Important Food Safety Information
Please take a moment to read the December, 2010, message below from Giles F. Roberts, Program Director of Food, Tourist, and Pool Programs for the Division of Public Health, Georgia Department of Community Health, regarding the importance of making sure the nation's food supply is as safe as it can be:
"We no longer can assume our nation's food service industry to have low priority for attack by those wishing to harm our economy and people. (Recent) news reports demonstrate that our enemy now considers the food service industry to be the weakest link in our nation's food supply. Food service operators no longer are on the sidelines of this ongoing battle with terrorism. They too are now on the front lines with County Environmental Health Specialists in protecting the nation's food supply not only from a food safety perspective, but now from a food security perspective as well. Food service operators must put emphasis on observing what takes place around food displayed for service and take action to remove food if contamination or tampering is observed by employees. They must make sure properly trained food employees are overseeing these food bars not only to comply with the requirements of food service rules and regulations, but to ensure displayed food remains wholesome for the sake of the industry and its consumers. Food service operators must carefully observe food that is delivered to their establishments, making sure product is from an approved source and that no signs of tampering or abuse are present. They should also have assurance that delivery persons are properly credentialed before being allowed within the establishment. Food supplies should never be left unattended at anytime. Food supplies should be properly received and promptly stored within the establishment. If food and supplies must be delivered after hours, it is an absolute necessity that prior arrangements be made with reputable food supplies for such deliveries (click here to review a file on Key Drop Deliveries).
I would ask that food service management be reminded of the latest threats to the industry and the need for heightened awareness that must be taken not only by Environmentalists but by food management as well. For resources in developing a food security program, food service management can go to the FDA website.
Environmental Health regulates and inspects all restaurants to minimize the spread of food-borne illnesses. Inspection reports are posted at restaurants for patrons and the general public to view. Any time a complaint is filed, or a food-borne illness is reported to public health, Environmental Health investigates.
Food Service Rules and Regulations (version 290-5-14):
The Food Service Rules and Regulations have changed! Click here to download a copy of the new rules and regulations: FoodServiceRules
Click HERE for a brochure outlining some of the major changes.
Click HERE to read the rules outlining how often a restaurant must be inspected.
To find out more about the specific restaurant inspection process in your county, contact your county's Environmental Health Office.
Training and certifications are available for restaurant owners and staff:
The National Restaurant Association's ServSafe® courses are designed to provide participants with valuable information on potentially hazardous foods and safe food handling practices, the HAACP system of food safety; establishing, purchasing, and receiving standards and procedures; designing facilities and selecting appropriate equipment and guidelines for working with regulatory agencies.
There are 2 different ServSafe® courses you can take:
ServSafe® Manager's Certification Course - This 2-day course is primarily offered to certify managers. An exam is administered at the conclusion of the second day of instruction. Upon satisfactory completion, a certificate will be issued. The cost is $200 per person for the Manager's Certification course.
Chatham County Environmental Health 2013 Course Dates
Classes will be held from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Chatham County Health Department located at 1395 Eisenhower Drive.* The following registration form should be completed and returned two weeks prior to the class:
Chatham County ServSafe Registration
ServSafe® Overview Class - This 3-hour class covers basic food safety. A certificate of participation will be given upon completion. All individuals affiliated with the food industry will benefit from the safe food handling information this class provides. The cost is $25 per person for the ServSafe® Overview class. In Chatham County, call 912-356-2160 for more information.
* The new Chatham County Health Department is located between the former Health Department at Eisenhower and Sallie Mood Dr. and the Savannah-Chatham Humane Society.
Effingham County Environmental Health 2013 Course Dates
Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Effingham County Health Department Environmental Health office located at 768 Hwy. 119 S. in Springfield. The following registration form should be completed and returned two weeks prior to the class:
Effingham Co. ServSafe Registration
Several local colleges including Coastal Georgia Community College also offer the course. For more information contact your local environmental health office.
Educational Materials for Food Employees
The Coastal Health District's Environmental Health Division is dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of those who choose to eat in food service establishments. Food service employees play a big role in ensuring that their customers are not exposed to foodborne illnesses.
The information below can help employees understand the role they play in protecting themselves and those they serve every day.
Click here to download a poster with instructions on first aid for choking: ChokingPoster
Need an employee handwashing sign? Click here: Handwashing Sign
Click here to print out a "no smoking" sign for your establishment: No Smoking Sign
For additional food service education materials, click here: FDA Hygiene Handbook