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New Year, New Restaurant Regulations

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) With the New Year comes a few new regulations for restaurants in Johnson County. The changes come from the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals. The new rules handle some small things like how certain violations are classified, but two bigger changes involve the requirement for a Certified Food Protection Manager to be present at all times and having food inspection reports available online. 

"The quality and the safety is first. Safety first and then everything else. If you're not being safe with your food, you're not going to be around very long, said Mickys Irish Pub Owner David Stein.

Because of that, many of the changes are practices that restaurants say are already in place. For example, the county will now require that leafy greens are kept below 41 degrees. Patrick McBreen at the Airliner says they wouldnt allow anything else.

"Vegetables, whether they're greenleaf or not, it's always under 41 degrees anyway, just to maintain the freshness, said The Airliners Kitchen Manager Patrick McBreen.

"If they get contamination on them, then the microorganism can grow if it's not held at temperature, said the Director of Johnson County Public Health Doug Beardsley.

The biggest change, the requirement to have a Certified Food Protection Manager. Its a supervisor who can make sure everything is done behind the scenes to keep customers safe.

"For some people, this is their first job in a kitchen so basic things like, cross-contamination or touching raw meat wearing gloves, some people don't really think about that, said McBreen.

Generally, McBreen says its someone like a Kitchen Manager or owner that would hold the certification. Its not something that many restaurants say they have now, but they say it is a pretty good idea.

"To have another set of eyes that's maybe a little more critically trained to look at situations and understand where the risks are and be able to fix that is very important, said Stein.

That's just so the restaurant has their own resource to turn to so we have a little more knowledge base and a little more training that goes with the restaurant, said Beardsley.

Restaurants that are already open wont need to hire a Food Protection Manager right away. They actually have four years to fill that position unless they have a violation serious enough to require that they act right away.
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