The Food and Drug Administration has officially released an updated Food Code for the first time since 2005. The Food Code details procedures for implementing a food safety program in any food service environment, from grocery stores to fine dining restaurants. The agency updates the code every four years to accommodate new developments and address ongoing food safety issues.
The most significant changes to this year’s Food Code include:
- Leafy greens must have a time and temperature control in a HACCP food safety program
- New requirements focus on preventing the cross contamination of food allergens and aim to improve the awareness of allergens by food service workers
- Children’s menus cannot include cooked-to-order meats
- Revised cleaning and sanitizing procedures for restaurant equipment
Any restaurant’s food safety program should be informed by the guidelines set out in the Food Code. This is especially true for restaurants employing a HACCP food safety program. The updated code addresses two of the major food safety issues of the past couple years: allergens and pathogens in fresh uncooked greens like lettuce.
To view the complete 2009 Food Code, check out this link: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/FoodCode2009/default.htm