Food For Thought Newsletter
2016 Food Regulations Update!
Virginia Department of Health recently updated its food regulations to include the following:
- The term “potentially hazardous food” was changed to “time/temperature for safety” (TCS) food to better reflect the nature of the food;
- Cut leafy greens — lettuce, cabbage, kale and others — were added to the list of TCS foods that require time and temperature control;
- Employees must be aware of food allergens and their dangers;
- Salmonella (nontyphoidal) has been added to the Big Five to make the Big Six list of infections that food service employees must report to the person in charge;
- The establishment must have procedures in place to respond to a vomiting or diarrheal event in the food establishment;
- Wild mushrooms cannot be sold without approval from the Health Department;
- Bare hand contact with ready-to-eat (RTE) food ingredients may be allowed if the food is going to be sufficiently heated before service;
- Requirements for cooking raw animal foods using a non-continuous cooking method are specified;
- Undercooked ground meat may not be offered on a children’s menu;
- Food establishments using reduced oxygen packing (ROP) methods must provide a HACCP Plan to the Health Department before using the ROP method;
- Thawing requirements for fish that has been packaged using a reduced oxygen packaging method are specified.
These changes are based on improved science for determining how to keep food safe. Fairfax County Health Department recommends that these best food safety practices be added to your food safety practices, as they apply. If you have any questions, please call 703-246-2444, TTY 711