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Just as cooking directions are followed to create the perfect dish, there’s a wide array of regulations that need to be upheld to gain the privilege of serving food to the public. There’s no one-size-fits-all set of rules for foodservice businesses to follow, as each state has their own food codes and regulations that you need to abide to in order to stay open.
If you’re ready to jump right in, find your state’s regulations here.
Each state has it’s own food service codes to follow. We’ve already compiled the full list of all state regulations. Here’s how these codes work, and why each state has a different set of regulations.
While your regulations may vary based on the state you’re in, we’ll break this down simply. This is typically how the regulation process works:
A business that stores, prepares and serves food get inspected by both state and local health departments. While conducted differently in each state, typically the inspection is done by the County’s Health Department.
Consider this: even if your bar or restaurant is temporarily closed, you’ll still need to pass this inspection in order to open again!
State and local regulators work together to ensure the public is being served safe food. Per this article on the U.S. structure of food safety, here’s an overview of how this partnership works:
Local regulators (cities): are the first to address food safety, especially concerns about milk and flour/bread.
State regulators: have authority to regulate food businesses within their jurisdiction and primarily regulate food processing (even though much of that oversight has been supplanted by federal law) and the retail sector, such as, restaurants (food services) and grocery stores.
The main items within food regulations that deserve mention (and that we haven’t covered already) are as follows:
Food Storage—food borne illness can be caused when food is stored improperly. Here’s a few tips to follow:
Pro tip: keep a thermometer on hand—this digital feature makes temperature reading easy.
For a complete guide on proper handwashing, check out this article.
Employee Safety—the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates safety standards to ensure safe working conditions are being met.
Selling Alcohol—state and local regulations must be met before gaining access to selling alcohol. There are different tiers of licenses too, depending on what you’re serving. For example, a cocktail bar selling hard liquor will need a different license than say, a brewery. You can find answers to all your questions by visiting this website.
The privilege to serve food to the public doesn’t come easy. Whether you’ve been in the foodservice industry for years—or if you’re just interested in opening your own restaurant or bar—there’s a set of rules and regulations that must be followed. Read below to find your state’s specific food service codes.
Only Hubert delivers the expertise and products to solve complex challenges like overcoming the labor shortage, driving more food sales, and creating a memorable experience for customers.
For 75 years we’ve helped many industries—including hospitality, education, food retail, healthcare, retail, and more—overcome these unique challenges with our expertise and line of products, including displayware, display fixtures, décor, signage, bar & beverage, food prep equipment, large commercial equipment, ice machines, merchandisers, and back of the house equipment.
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