(Orange, Texas)

December 18, 2012

Changes for food service businesses coming

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Environmental Health and Code Compliance Director Joel Ardoin said he wants the certification of food managers to become mandatory for all food service in Orange County during a public hearing 1:30 p.m. Monday.

The certification is voluntary in Orange County but many chain restaurants already require it.

The classes for certification of food managers is approximately $100-$125 and offered through out the year and available online.

Health Inspector James Scales said about half the businesses already have a certified food manager.

“The certification is for five years,” Scales said.

Commissioner Pct. 3 John Dubose asked what kind of penalty would be involved for those who choice to not comply.

“I do not want to punish Mom and Pop businesses but we do need to protect our citizens,” Dubose said.

Ardoin said the business would not be issued a food service permit if they did not have a certified food manager.

Ardoin said there would be a one year phase-in to give businesses time to certify food managers.

“We will send out letters to inform the companies,” Ardoin said. “The letter will state there will be a one-year phase in.”

Jefferson County already requires the certification.

The certification of food managers will be required by December of 2013.

During the hearing, Ardoin also discussed the regulation of food establishments including mobile food units, temporary establishments and roadside vendors.

Each business which sells prepared foods will be required to have a fully functional unit for preparing foods.

“This puts everyone on even ground,” County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said. “Roadside vendors will have to comply with the same regulations as restaurants.”

Orange County Commissioners Court approved the adoption for the orders during the 2 p.m. Monday meeting.