New Food Safety Rules Take Effect Saturday

New Food Safety Rules Take Effect Saturday (Reporter: Jon Erickson)

CRAVEN COUNTY - New food safety regulations take effect Saturday for restaurants throughout North Carolina.

Employees cannot have bare hands while handling ready-to-eat food, according to the regulations.

Workers at The Country Biscuit, on Broad Street in New Bern, will wear gloves or use tongs, according to the restaurant's owner Jeff Ipock.

Employees who are ill will not be allowed to prepare or serve food, the regulations state.

And perhaps the most costly change is a lowering of the required temperature at which cold food must be kept.

"We'll have to spend some money to follow the code they've put in place," Ipock said.

The money is worth it, Ipock said, because the new rules come with added "peace of mind" for owners and customers alike in regards to food safety.

In connection with the new regulations taking effect Saturday, the rules outline more changes in the future.

Each restaurant will be required to have a certified food protection manager.

An existing employee may be designated to serve in that role; this requirement goes into effect in 2014.

The goal of the new regulations is to help avoid food-borne illnesses like norovirus and salmonella, according to health officials.

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