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2017 FDA Food-safety rule change is now hitting small restaurant owner’s pocketbooks

26 Aug 2019 15:00:00 Marshie

By Marshie Morgan [email protected]

August 26, 2019




Under the state food code in some states like Pennsylvania, restaurants will need to have someone on-site at all times who is designated as the person-in-charge and has taken a safe food handling manager course and become certified, under changes to the state food code.  These changes are being prompted by the Model Food Code Changes of 2017 issued by the FDA.


In some states which are running under the old law they are getting push back by restaurant owners saying things like it could “Hitting my pocketbook and could cause my business to go under.”  As a person who has taught food safety over three decades that comment is extreme and very unlikely.  What will cause a business to go under faster than they can say ice cream is someone getting sick at their establishment?  The costs of negative media exposure, higher insurance premiums and even someone getting hospitalized or dying could destroy their business.


Under the old law, a restaurant’s person-in-charge, PIC, merely had to be available to be summoned if a food inspector shows up, but doesn’t necessarily have to be at the restaurant during all open hours. The Food Drug Administration changed this to read a restaurant’s PIC must be onsite at all times during operating hours. This includes when the food inspector shows up and have a current food manager’s certification. The main reason for this change is because the licensed food manager is to oversee the operation and ensure that food is being handled safely.  The licensed person cannot ensure food safety when they are way from the operation.


There is a lag in the law because it takes some states longer than others to make changes to their state food code.  While the state of Pennsylvania is warning restaurants that the regulation will be enforced beginning next year, officials at the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Penn State Cooperative Extension both said they've been told by Agriculture Department officials that it could be 2021 before the new law takes effect. The bureaucratic slowdown is because some states are slower than others to change their food code rules.  Then to make matters even slower county and city regulations are slower to change from the state code. This new change the PIC is food managers are licensed and onsite can take years for some states and cities to enforce.  However, it makes good business sense to follow the federal rule to keep your patrons safe and your business proactive.


Descriptions of courses offered by the restaurant association and the Cooperative Extension or Ag Extension offices show that the training runs about $145-$185 per class, depending on whether the student buys a book, and whether the class and test are taken in-person or online.

At M&M Biz Solutions, I do customized training for small restaurants and health departments or they can take advantage of volume discounts.  My online food manager’s class is with the convenience of the student and operator in mind.  The best part about using www.MMBizSolutions.com you support small business and pick which certification you want saving you time and money in travel expenses and missed work.


Restaurant operators elect which ANSI certification they want with Prometric, ServSafe or National Registry Food Safety Professionals which are accepted nationwide to comply with their health departments. All of the ANSI food manager certifications require you be Proctored meaning someone must watch you take the written exam or online exam. I offer all three certifications for your convenience.  Because I realize, time is money, and I wanted you to have options.  Prices run from $99-$159. I even offer international certification.  M&M Biz Solutions serves the entire United States food safety and workplace OSHA compliance courses.

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