ATLANTA — Beginning Nov. 1, new food-safety rules begin in Georgia that include information to help you know if an ingredient you’re allergic to is in a restaurant’s food.It has been nine years since the Georgia Public Health Department last updated the food services rules and regulations.
It made these new changes based on recent FDA guidelines and from what they’re hearing from food operators. One change means leafy greens in Georgia restaurants will be considered hazardous foods. To prevent food poisoning, the greens must be kept at a certain temperature.
In one of the major changes, restaurant operators will have to know about allergens and let customers know the ingredients they’re using, such as peanuts, eggs, seafood etc.
The Georgia Environmental Health director, Dr. Chris Rustin, says if, for example, you have an allergy to eggs and ask a server if there are eggs in a dish, the managers as well as servers need to be able to explain the ingredients in that dish.
One man we talked to in Dunwoody says he likes that change. Raymond Crosby says servers should be well-educated on how the food is prepared.
Another change in rules would allow secured pet dogs on outdoor patios at restaurants as long as the owner notified the public that dogs are allowed. One dog lover, Melissa Lynch, says she supports what she calls “paws on the patio.”
Another change would allow food trucks to serve in multiple locations as long as they notify the county health department. Currently, food trucks can only operate in two locations.
Dr. Rustin told Channel 2’s Carol Sbarge the new rules can be found on the Georgia Public Health Department website.
He says when county health inspectors do their first inspection in a restaurant after Nov. 1,that inspection will be an educational tool to let them know about the changes. That means there will be a grace period.