Health District Changes Food Policy
1/3/2011 4:53 PM
The primary goal of the Williamson County and Cities Health District (WCCHD) Retail Food Program is to reach out to those who prepare and serve food to the public and provide education on the best food safety practices for a food establishment.
The WCCHD Board of Health adopted a new policy effective January 2, 2010, that changes the permitting requirements for temporary events. Previously, events that lasted less than 2 days were exempt from the permitting process. A temporary event is now defined as an event lasting longer than 4 hours, including time for food preparation. This initiative is to insure the same level of food safety for the public attending or supporting all food related events. Besides menu review and assistance, WCCHD provides education and on-site technical assistance to vendors preliminarily, during the event and upon request or complaint. A permitting fee of $35 is required of food vendors; however, the fee may be waived for organizations operating as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit entity. Whether conducted by for-profit or not-for-profit businesses, the same services will be provided to ensure the service of a safe food product to the public.
Through this partnership with local entities and organizations, WCCHD hopes to create a win-win situation where-in the risk of food-borne disease is minimized with the least administrative burden possible. There is no intent to prevent any non-professional vendor from operating. WCCHD food safety experts will provide technical assistance including site visits to insure that menu items, equipment, processes, and training are considered adequate to protect the public based on the risk posed by the food items being sold.
For more information about food safety, please contact our Food Safety Program at 512-248-7617 or visit our website at www.wcchd.org