The Hawaii DoH is gradually improving and raising the food safety standards, and this September 2nd, they are implementing some key regulations from the 2013 FDA Food Code. These are all welcome changes and work to increase the level of food safety here in Hawaii. The areas affecting most restaurants are:
During working hours, and this includes during prep when you are not open, at least one person must have a formal Food Handlers Education certificate. The DoH offers a free course, Tina at aikahuculinarysolutions
provides ServSafe training classes, and there are various online courses as well. The certificate must be an ANSI recognized course.
Having at least 1 Person in Charge (PIC) with the certificate shows the inspector that the facility has at least one person knowledgeable in food safety basics, and most likely, that is the person that should walk around with the inspector. Having multiple people with the certificate is suggested by me. What if a single PIC calls out sick? Takes a vacation? The more certified workers, the better. Satisfying the new regulation is easier with multiple certificates, but the more people know proper food safety, the better!
If there is no certified PIC on duty, this may result in an automatic YELLOW placard, and when they return to revisit they would want to see that a course has been purchased or reserved. Don’t mess around or wait – get certified! The DoH has given a 1 year grace period, and it expires September 2nd.
Also starting in September, any establishment without a valid permit may receive a RED Placard - CLOSED Make sure your permits are in order and renewed in plenty of time. I suggest to keep a copy of the application paperwork in an easily accessible place that can be shown to the inspector when they visit.
There are new regulations on Reduced Oxygen Packaged foods that are adopted from the 2013 food code. I will detail these in next month’s article.
These are the new regulations that affect most restaurants. The full press release is here