Top 20 Food Code Changes for Businesses
Minnesota's new Food Code: What do you need to know?
As of January 1, 2019, Minnesota has a new Food Code. The list below highlights 20 major changes in the new Food Code for business owners, managers and food service workers.
The items are divided into Need to know and Need action. Each item has a brief description of the change. There are many more changes in the new Food Code than what are listed here. Find information about these items, or other items, on the Minnesota Department of Health Food Code website.
If you have questions about the new Food Code, contact your health inspector by calling 311 (612-673-3000) or emailing [email protected]
Need to know
Potentially Hazardous Food (PHF)
PHF is now “time/temperature control for safety" (TCS) food.
Critical and Non-Critical Violations
Critical violations are now Priority 1 violations. Priority 1 items directly impact food safety or injury. Non-critical violations are now either Priority 2 or Priority 3 violations. Priority 2 items support Priority 1 items (such as equipment, utensils, and facilities). Priority 3 items relate to sanitation and good retail practices.
Certified Food Manager
Certified Food Manager (CFM) is now a Certified Food Protection Manager (CFPM). There is no longer a one-year grace period for renewing
certificates. Expired certificates must be renewed within six months of expiration and continuing education must be completed before certificate expires. More businesses are required to have a CFPM including mobile food units (food trucks) and seasonal businesses selling over 10 days a year.
Highly Susceptible Population
Highly Susceptible Population is now defined. Facilities that provide services to highly susceptible populations will be held to stricter food safety standards for some foods. Examples include day cares and custodial care facilities.
Hot Holding Temperatures
The hot holding temperature is lowered from 140°F to 135°F for time/temperature control for safety (TCS) foods.
The requirement has been removed for all equipment to be NSF or NSF equivalent. Only some equipment must be certified or classified for sanitation by an ANSI accredited certification program (such as NSF, CSA, ETL, or UL). Non-commercial microwave ovens and toasters are now allowed equipment.
Food businesses are required to inform consumers about the increased risk of eating meat, fish, dairy, and eggs that are sold or served raw or undercooked. Consumers must be notified through disclosure that includes a description of the food that makes it obvious the food is raw (“raw-egg Caesar salad”) or by placing an asterisk next to the food item on the menu. If an asterisk is used, it must refer to a footnote that states the product is raw or undercooked. The footnote must include a specific statement regarding the increased risk of foodborne illness from consuming the raw or undercooked product.
Variances Required for Special Processes
Most specialized processes will require a variance, including smoking, curing, or acidifying food for preservation; some reduced oxygen packaging; custom processing animals; and sprouting seeds/beans. Most special processes will require an approved HACCP plan before a variance is granted.
Time as a Public Health Control
TCS foods with a Time as a Public Health Control (TPHC) plan may be held up to six hours without refrigeration if the food:
- Was 41 degrees or colder at the start, and
- Does not reach 70 degrees or warmer at any time during the six hours.
Contact your health inspector if you want to update your TPHC plan.
Food businesses that use or sell wild mushrooms have more record-keeping requirements. Wild mushrooms must be obtained from an approved harvester. Harvesters have more registration and record-keeping requirements.
Date Marking of Packaged Food from Manufacturers Opened On-site
Date marking is not required for specific foods that are processed and packaged by a food manufacturer when the food is opened on-site. Specific items include some deli salads, hard and some semi-soft cheeses, cultured dairy products (yogurt and sour cream), pickled fish, shelf-stable dry fermented sausages, and shelf stable salt-cured meat products.
Non-continuous Cooking (also known as par-cooking)
This type of cooking has specific steps that must be followed. Your health department needs to approve written procedures ahead of time.
Managers are required to restrict employees with uncovered wounds. Employees must report to the person in charge when they have sore throat with fever. Norovirus has been added to the list of illnesses that must be reported to the person in charge and to the Minnesota Department of Health. Employees who have been ill but who do not have a diagnosed disease may return to work after being asymptomatic for at least 24 hours. There are specific instructions for when restrictions and exclusions of ill employees can be removed or adjusted.
Clean Up of Vomiting and Diarrheal Events
Businesses must have procedures for how to clean up vomit and fecal matter (poop) safely.
Fingernail Brushes and Hand Dryers
Fingernail brushes are no longer required at hand sinks. Heated-air hand dryers, including knife style dryers, are allowed at hand washing sinks in the kitchen.
A sign or poster reminding employees to wash their hands must be posted at hand washing sinks used by food employees.
Preventing Contamination from Hands
Bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods is not allowed.
Take-Home Food Container Reuse
Returnable and consumer owned take-home containers may be refilled with food or beverage if specific rules are followed.
A thin-tipped thermometer must be used to measure the temperature of thin foods such as meat patties and fish fillets.
A dish machine that sanitizes with hot water must provide a device to measure the utensil temperature inside the dish machine.
Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.
Last updated May 23, 2019