Minutes from ODH Food Safety Conference Call August 17, 2016 1.
Burger King Chili ODH Food safety staff have been contacted by a number of local health districts (LHDs) stating that they have observed Burger King date marking their chili for ten days. This does not comply with the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code, and the chili shall be date marked for no more than seven days. Burger King corporate office was informed of this, and at that time they stated that they would inform their managers to date mark for no more than seven days. On August 17, 2016, ODH Food Program staff received an email from Burger King stating that they are interested in requesting a variance from ODH to date mark the chili for up to ten days. This will need to be reviewed by ODH to determine if the variance can be granted. In the meantime, LHDs may cite a violation under section 03.4 if they observe issues with Burger King date marking the chili for more than seven days.
ODH Fact Sheets ODH has posted fact sheets on our food safety page under Resources and Fact Sheets, and consist of the following: vomit/diarrheal cleanup, food safety after a fire, nitrates and food safety, water interruption, reopening a food service after a flood. The fact sheets may be found here: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/odhprograms/eh/foods/sub/Resources%20and%20Fact%2 0Sheets.aspx.
Letter of Opinion ODH and ODA recently issued a letter of opinion regarding labeling of packaged foods that are displayed on serving lines. The letter states that packaged foods displayed on a serving line do not require labeling if: 1. The display case or packaged food contains identification of common names of each packaged food held within; and either: 2. The FSO or RFE have a written copy of the ingredients and allergen content for each packaged food available upon customer request; or 3. The FSO or RFE posts a sign or poster in or on an area adjacent to the display cases listing the common name, ingredients and allergen content of each packaged food displayed in each case. ODA and ODH understand that a serving line is a contiguous line that flows along food displayed for selection by the end consumer for immediate consumption and ultimately ends with the checkout. The food can be either selected by hand or requested from a food employee. The serving lines may include coolers or display racks which are contiguous to the serving line, but may not exceed ten feet from the serving line unless otherwise monitored by food employees. The food serving line area must be monitored by food employees pursuant to O.A.C 3717-1-03.2(W). For purposes of this Letter of Opinion, serving lines do not include aisles of food displayed for retail sale in an RFE or FSO. The letter can be found on the ODH website: http://www.odh.ohio.gov//media/ODH/ASSETS/Files/eh/foodsafety/2016-01.pdf?la=en.
Food handler proposal The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) is proposing to amend 3701-21-25 OAC to require all food handlers to obtain level one certification; require all level one courses to meet ANSI standards; and eliminate the level one rule for the PIC. ODH and ODA have held discussions regarding the proposal, and have held one meeting with stakeholders. ODH and ODA will be holding additional discussions, and additional stakeholder meetings may be needed. OEHA and AOHC were among the stakeholder group that attended the first meeting, and several comments were received. Any local health district that wishes to comment may submit written comments to [email protected]
, or contact OEHA or AOHC to submit comments. It was requested during this call that the proposed language be sent to the local health districts, since some have not seen the proposal.
Norovirus cleanup ODH has been receiving questions regarding which chemicals can be used for disinfection of norovirus. The EPA has a list of registered chemicals that are effective against norovirus, which includes QUATs. However, if a label on a chemical indicates that it is effective against Norovirus and includes an EPA registration number, it would be acceptable because the EPA registers the labels for chemicals. Also, if a facility wishes to mix their own chlorine solution, they should follow CDC recommendations for the concentration: 1,000-5,000 ppm. The CDC website has instructions for mixing the solution and other Norovirus info: http://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/preventing-infection.html. A question was asked during the call as to whether chlorine test strips are available that will test up to 5,000 ppm. We conducted an online search and did see that test strips that will test up to 10,000 ppm may be purchased. Note that there is a difference between disinfection and sanitization. If disinfectants are used on food contact surfaces, it is recommended that they be rinsed and sanitized prior to use with food. Another question was asked during this call regarding how to disinfect soft surfaces. An online search indicated that there are disinfectants available that will work on soft surfaces. It is also recommended that soft surfaces be routinely laundered. Here is a link to a video with good information on prevention of norovirus: http://vimeo.com/89134675. ODH will review the fact sheet on our website to ensure it is up to date and includes the info on sanitizing food contact surfaces.
Cracker Barrel butter Cracker Barrel recently contacted ODH to ask if the butter they use is a TCS food. Cracker Barrel had the pH and water activity tested by a lab, and submitted the results to ODH. Based on these results, the butter used by Cracker Barrel does not meet the definition of a TCS food and may be held at room temperature. The two products tested were tub of butter and individually wrapped butter cups. As requested during the call, ODH will send the test results to the LHDs.
Open position The ODH food program currently has a vacancy for a Sanitarian Program Specialist 1 working out of our Toledo office. The position will be posted on this website until August 23, 2016: http://careers.ohio.gov/.
Wendy’s variance ODH was also contacted recently by an LHD stating that they had observed that some Wendy’s locations are refrigerating leftover cheese slices and using them the next day after they were held using time as a public health control. This does not comply with the variance that ODH issued to Wendy’s in 2011. The variance states that Wendy’s may hold Schrieber brand cheese slices using time as a public health control for up to eight hours, and any leftover cheese slices may not be refrigerated and returned to service. The variance does not apply to any other brand of cheese slices, or shredded cheese. Wendy’s corporate office has been notified that some local health districts have observed Wendy’s locations that were not complying with the variance, and they stated they will address the issue. During this call, some LHDs stated that they were not aware of the variance, and requested that ODH post a list of variances on our website. ODH will discuss this. In the meantime, a list of variances will be sent to the LHDs.
The ODH Food Safety Program will begin holding quarterly conference calls. The next call will be held in November, and the call information will be sent to all LHDs.