Enjoy a meal - safely

Enjoy a meal – safely

Eating out has become more and more popular over the past few decades. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now reports that three out of five Americans enjoy a meal out at least once a week. Our busy lifestyles and varied tastes have reshaped our eating habits. The ever-changing landscape on Missouri Boulevard illustrates this social change. From the drive-through window to the reservation-only table at your favorite steakhouse, area dining establishments offer a variety of dining options to Cole County residents and guests.

With all the dining options overseeing the safe handling and preparation of your meal in Cole County? Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the food handling personnel and food establishment management to store, prepare and serve your meal in the safest manner possible by following the guidelines established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These guidelines, known as the Food Code, exist as a national food safety standard. Food establishments that do not practice appropriate food safety procedures as described in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code put the public at risk for foodborne illness. Foodborne illnesses resulting from inappropriate food temperatures, inadequate cooking, contaminated equipment, unsafe food sources, and poor hygiene are reported.

To provide an additional layer of oversight in preventing foodborne illness, trained personnel at the state and local levels inspect all food establishments operating in Cole County. Food establishments include grocery stores, schools, hotels, restaurants, bars, and convenience stores. State and local employees known as environmental public health professionals perform routine, unannounced inspections to provide guidance and education through FDA food law enforcement.

Staff at the Cole County Health Department allow inspections of food establishments located in Cole County, but outside the Jefferson City limits. We also inspect catering operations located within state-owned office buildings. Likewise, Jefferson City employs personnel to permit and inspect all food establishments located within city limits. Both of these offices rely on the assistance and guidance of the Department of Health and Senior Services personnel who are also located in Jefferson.

In addition to routine inspections of food establishments, state and local employees participate in foodborne disease investigations, food recovery procedures, and emergency response events involving food products. Food safety training is also provided to the public through a variety of options. The goal of all offices operating under the FDA Food Act is to ensure public health by protecting the food supply chain.

If you believe you have observed unsafe food storage or handling, we ask that you contact our office or Jefferson City so that all residents and guests of Cole County can enjoy spending time in the city.

Brandon Mayber, an environmental public health specialist, has worked with the Cole County Health Department for seven years. He graduated in 2011 from the University of Lincoln Agriculture Program and received his Master of Environmental Science from the University of Lincoln in 2012. Brandon worked for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services before joining the Environmental Public Health team in Cole County.

#Enjoy #meal #safely

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