New food safety rules designed to protect the public at restaurants and food establishments statewide will go into effect on Saturday.
The new rules, which follow completion of a series of public hearings across the state, include a changes that require food-handling certification for persons-in-charge at all food establishments.
According to health officials, this is designed to ensure that a minimum baseline of food safety knowledge is found at all food facility owners and managers.
Studies have shown that food establishments with properly trained managers have a lower occurrence of food-safety violations linked to food illnesses, they said.
Other changes to the rules include allowing health inspectors to post placards during all types of inspection, including those for general complaints, and to post a “CLOSED” red placard at places operating without a valid permit.
Additionally, the department will be allowed to refuse permit renewals for food establishments with unpaid fines or stipulated agreements more than 30 days overdue.