Food Protection

Adoption of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Model Food Code

**2019 UPDATE**  Status of FDA Food Code Adoption – January 2019

The 2017 FDA Food Code will soon be adopted as the regulation for all retail food establishments in Connecticut.  The 2017 FDA Food Code can be downloaded here.

In June of 2017 Public Act 17-93 was passed. This Act included enabling language for adoption of the FDA Food Code by July 1, 2018.  Implementation of Public Act 17-93 began on July 1, 2017 and was set to become fully effective on July 1, 2018.  On May 7, 2018 a new legislative proposal was approved, Public Act 18-168, to extend the adoption date for the FDA Food Code from no later than July 1, 2018 to no later than January 1, 2019.

What that means??   The FDA Code has not been adopted YET.  As of December 20, 2018, regulations have been drafted to implement the FDA Food Code and are under review at the CT Office of Policy and Management.  The FDA Food Code will become effective upon approval of the regulations in early 2019.  

STAY TUNED

Background/implementation deadlines:

  • Effective July 1, 2017, the acidification of sushi rice and sous vide cooking will be allowed only with a variance from the Connecticut Department of Public Health.  If you use or wish to use these techniques, contact your MHD Sanitarian for more information on applying for a variance.
  • Effective October 1, 2017, cold holding temperatures decreased from 45 degrees Fahrenheit or below to 41 degrees Fahrenheit or below. 
  • Effective October 1, 2017, hot holding temperatures changed from a minimum of 140 degrees Fahrenheit to a minimum of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

**Beginning October 1, 2017, Milford Health Department (MHD) Sanitarians began debiting potentially hazardous foods – now known as time/temperature controlled for safety (TCS) foods – that are not hot or cold held at the new temperatures of 135 degrees F. or higher or 41 degrees F. or less.**

  • Effective October 1, 2017, food establishments reclassified to meet the FDA food classification definitions.  These changes were be reflected on existing MHD permit renewal applications.  The adoption of the FDA food classification definitions resulted in a change in classification for many food establishments. Click here for food establishment classification definitions.
  • Effective December 1, 2017, City of Milford Code of Ordinances Chapter 8, Food and Food Establishments has been amended to align with Public Act 17-93 and the FDA Food Code. 
  • Effective December 1, 2017, the Milford Health Department licensing and fee structure has been amended to be in compliance with those standards set forth in the FDA Model Food Code.  Please review the MHD 2018 fee schedule that was effective February 2018.  
  • Coming Early 2019 -  Qualified Food Operators (QFOs) will be known as Certified Food Protection Managers (CFPM).  
  • Coming Early 2019, Class II, III and IV food establishments will be required to have trained Certified Food Protection Managers.  Upon the expiration date specified on their certificate, current QFOs will be required to renew their certification.  Click here for a list of the approved training programs.  

**Expiration dates on your training certificate will be closely reviewed for compliance with the FDA food code.  If it has been more than five years since your certification (ex. ServSafe), you will be required to retake the exam and obtain a new certificate. Please start planning now to ensure that your training is up to date.**

  • Coming Early 2019, all food establishments will be required to register with the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CTDPH) before a licensed is issued or renewed by the Milford Health Department. Information on how to register with the CTDPH will be forthcoming.
  • Coming Early 2019, MHD Sanitarians will be utilizing a new inspection report form.  Inspection reports will no longer provide a number score.  Violations will be categorized as “Priority”, “Priority Foundation” and “Core” which align with risk of that violation as it relates to foodborne illness.  More information regarding this system will be forthcoming.
  • Under the new regulations, all Milford Health Department food service inspectors have completed all the required training and are certified as FDA Food Code inspectors.

For general questions about the FDA changes, please contact the Milford Health Department 203-783-3287 or email at [email protected].

Please click here to read the 2018 official letter from the Director of Health to all local owner operators with regard to the upcoming changes to the food code. 

Click here to view Public Act 17-93

Click here to view Public Act 18-168

Click here to download the most recent version of the FDA Food Code

Click here to view the City of Milford Food Establishment Ordinance, Chapter 8

Power Outage Information:
 
For information regarding proper procedures for food service establishments to follow during a power outage, click here.

Food Protection

One of the responsibilities of the Milford Health Department Environmental Health Division is to ensure that food prepared and served to the public is safe and hygienic.  Our goal is to reduce the public risk of food borne disease by conducting risk based inspections of facilities that prepare and serve food in Milford, investigating food borne illness and complaints, and providing food safety training for volunteers.  We have several programs in place to do this:
  • Establishment Inspections
  • Plan Reviews
  • Temporary Events
  • Proper Food Handling Training for Volunteers

Establishment Inspections

The Environmental Health Division conducts routine inspections of all food service establishments including, but not limited to, restaurants, grocery stores, school cafeterias, day care center kitchens, snack bars, hospitals and assisted living facilities.  Inspections are unannounced and are graded on a debit system with points deducted for failure to adhere to provisions of the CT Public Health Code and the Milford Code of Ordinances.  Facilities are required to get a passing score; if they do not, they are re-inspected approximately two weeks after the first failure.
 
For more information regarding the CT Public Health Code as it relates to Inspections:
Guide to Compliance with the CT Public Health Code pertaining to food service http://www.ct.gov/dph/lib/dph/environmental_health/food_protection/pdf/compliance.pdf
 
CT Public Health Code

Temporary Events

The Milford Health Department wants public events sponsored by all organizations to be successful and safe. To that end, event organizers who are including food service as part of their event are required to register the event by completing an Event Coordinator/Sponsor – Temporary Event Application.  It is the responsibility of each sponsoring organization to ensure that those involved in food service complete a Temporary Food Service Permit Application, and have adequate knowledge and take appropriate precautions to insure that the consuming public is safe from food borne illness.

Plan Review

 
In addition to conducting inspections, another key component of our food protection program is the plan review process.  Proper food handling, cooking and storage of foods is essential in preventing food borne illness.  The physical layout and characteristics of a food service establishment have much to do with the wholesomeness of the food served or sold at the establishment.   The plan review is intended to make certain that the kitchens, refrigeration and hot holding appliances, and sanitary facilities can be cleaned, can hold proper temperatures, and are of commercial grade.
To make certain that the equipment and the layout of food service establishments meet code requirements, the Environmental Division requires a physical plan review for:
  • Any new establishment opening in Milford
  • Converting/remodeling existing non-food service structures to Food Service Establishments
  • Significant changes in menu/major renovations to existing food service establishments
  • An existing establishment that has been closed for a considerable length of time

Itinerant Food Vending Facility

As defined in the Milford Code, an Itinerant Food Vending Facility means a vehicle-mounted food service establishment designed to be readily movable and to have food dispensed outside the facility. ~A pushcart is considered an itinerant food vending facility. ~Itinerant vendors are subject to the same sanitary and equipment requirements as a full service food establishment. ~They are licensed and regularly inspected.
 
New Itinerant Food Vendors wishing to obtain a license to operate in Milford must go through the plan review process to ensure their equipment and facility meets all current code standards. ~After the plan review is approved and the apparatus is inspected by a Sanitarian, a food license application may be submitted with the appropriate fee. Then the license can be issued. Licenses may be renewed on an annual basis.