You can view the two ordinances atltdhd.ky.gov or contact Sara Jo Best with the Lincoln Trail District Health Department at (270) 769-1601 for more information. A public hearing is scheduled from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at the Lincoln Trail District Health Department on 108 New Glendale Road in Elizabethtown.
The Lincoln Trail District Health Department’s board of directors has adopted two ordinances it hopes will curb the number of food-borne illnesses in restaurants and meet a rising public demand for more transparency in food inspection scores.
Starting in March, all food service and retail food service establishments in Hardin, LaRue, Grayson, Meade, Marion, Nelson and Washington counties will be required to post food inspection scores in full view of the public — free from obstruction or defacement, according to a public notice released by the health department. And starting Sept. 1, all food service and retail food service establishments in those counties will be required to have a person in charge of operations for every hour the business is open. That worker must be certified in basic food safety concepts either through a nationally accredited program or local health department courses.
Sara Jo Best, environmental health director, said there have been numerous consumer requests for publication of the inspection scores within restaurants.
But many consumers, she said, have mistaken notions about the posting of scores in restaurants.
“A lot of people believe it is a state thing, but it is not,” Best said. ‘(It requires) each board of health to do that.”
Best said several counties in Kentucky already require restaurants to post inspection scores.
As for food safety training, Best said it is a reflection of state-level changes, which included adopting the latest FDA food code requirements.
Under the code, Best said, 17 basic food safety principles will be included in the courses. Delayed enactment of the ordinance is a grace period for restaurants to have their workers properly trained.
A lot of chain restaurants already require food safety courses for managers, and those courses will be accepted under the ordinance, Best added.
With technology enhancements improving the way food is stored and prepared, the primary reason most food-borne illnesses are now circulated is employee behavior, Best said. This includes a failure to wash hands and employees working while ill.
Ultimately, she said, the health department wants to reduce harmful behaviors and promote a responsible environment in local kitchens.