Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Latest Food Safety Regulations In Massachusetts

By Dennis Gray

To guarantee safe food handling, distribution and consumption in Massachusetts, authorities have instituted very strict measures. Massachusetts food safety guidelines and regulations enable authorities to implement policies and interpret them in a way that safeguards the lives and health of residents. The regulations also involve extensive scrutiny of workers and facilities in the industry.

One of the main regulations is the demand of employment of Certified Food Protection managers in all establishments where people eat. The requirement is that the officer be more than 18 years and be accredited to perform the role. This includes passing necessary examinations administered by various bodies but regulated by the Department of Public Health. Restaurant associations in the area offer these programs and examinations.

Certification is required for the person responsible for overseeing daily preparation and serving of foods. There is no examination that is mandatory for the officer, but there are several training programs that will warrant certification. The programs revolve around the safety of foods and how to prevent illnesses and diseases that are related to food preparation, distribution and serving. It is safer for all employees to get necessary training and be certified in order to improve the quality of services provided.

To prevent spread of diseases, any employee who contracts a disease or is exposed to one should report as soon as possible. This means as soon as symptoms are detected. The employees are sensitized to report such danger signs as vomiting, open wounds and cuts, jaundice, diarrhea and sore throat that is accompanied by fever, among other symptoms.

Employees in restaurants and other eateries must watch the health of people they come into contact with, especially those they live with. The idea is to maintain the highest hygiene standards. If a roommate has a condition that may be spread in the course of preparing foods, necessary steps should be taken to protect those who consume it. It should be known that a sick employee endangers the lives of people who eat whatever is prepared.

The regulations require that such employees be restricted from preparation or any handling. In fact, they should be stopped from working until the condition has been cleared. In case a manager has doubts on the steps to take, he should consult with the local board of health. The basic requirement is to prevent exposure as much as possible to guarantee the safety of other employees and customers.

Regulations also exist to ensure safe handling of RTE. Anyone is prohibited from handling the foods with bare hands. The apparatus to be used include tongs, gloves, deli tissues, and spatula, among others. Jewelry when preparing or handling foods directly is restricted. The only exception is a plain ring like what is used during weddings. Your hands and arms should be free of jewelry and make-up.

Operations should be discontinued whenever the slightest sign of danger is detected. Immediately, authorities should be notified. Some of the areas of concern include continuous interruption in power supply, outbreak of a disease, fire, contact or misuse of hazardous materials, etc. This will prompt authorities to inspect the facility and propose correctional measures. It is only after the emergency has been corrected that operations resume.

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