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Idaho to implement new food code, starting July 1

Idaho implementing updated food code

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Starting July 1, Idaho will implement an updated food code for better food safety standards.

Incorrect temperatures, under- or over-cooked foods, contaminated equipment, food from unsafe sources and poor personal hygiene are unhealthy practices that lead to foodborne illnesses. The revised Idaho Food Code will be updated in order to prevent these conditions.

"Well, Idaho has adopted the new food code because our old food code was based on the 2003 FDA (Food and Drug Administration) model food code. So there have been changes over the past few years and it was time to update the code, add a few things - a few changes - and new science has come out," said environmental health specialist Nathan Taylor, of Eastern Idaho Public Health.

In conjunction with the new code, Eastern Idaho Public Health can no longer allow individuals or businesses to give out food during public events without the proper permits.

"Anybody serving or giving away food to the public, whether it be a promotional event at, say, a business - those people are required to obtain a license. If it's a private event, like a family reunion or something of that nature that the general public is not allowed to visit, then no license is required," said Taylor.

EIPH encourages you to ask for their help when you want to sell or provide food to the public.

"We're not necessarily the food police - we are per say - but we're here to educate and help people be in compliance with the rule. And anybody that wants to sell food needs to come down to the health district to clarify if they need a license or not. We'll help them determine whether or not the rule applies to them," said Taylor.

EIPH's job is to minimize the risks of food illness as much as possible.

There are very specific exemptions to the rules being implemented. The exemptions are below:

a. Agricultural markets as exempted in Section 39-1602, Idaho Code.
b. Bed-and-breakfast operations that prepare and offer food for breakfast only to guests.  The number of guest beds must not exceed ten (10) beds as defined in Section 39-1602, Idaho Code.
c. Day care facilities regulated by Sections 39-1101 through 39-1119, Idaho Code.
d. Licensed outfitter and guides regulated by Sections 36-2101 through 36-2119, Idaho Code.
e. Low-risk food establishments, as exempted in Section 39-1602, Idaho Code, which offer only non-time/temperature control for safety (Non TCS) foods.
f. Farmers Market vendors and roadside stands that only offer or sell non-time/temperature control for safety (Non TCS) foods or cottage foods.
g. Non-profit charitable, fraternal, or benevolent organizations that do not prepare or serve food on a regular basis as exempted in Section 39-1602, Idaho Code.  Food is not considered to be served on a regular basis if it is not served for more than five (5) consecutive days on no more than three (3) occasions per year for foods which are not time/temperature control for safety (Non TCS) foods.  For all other food, it must not be served more than one (1) meal per week.
h. Private homes where food is prepared or served for family consumption or receives catered or home-delivered food as exempted by Section 39-1602, Idaho Code.
i. Cottage Food Operations, when the consumer is informed and must be provided contact information for the cottage food operations as follows:
     -By a clearly legible label on the product packaging; or a clearly visible
placard at the sales or service location that also states:
     -The food was prepared in a home kitchen that is not subject to regulation
and inspection by the regulatory authority; and
     -The food may contain allergens.

For information on food licensing and regulations, visit the Eastern Idaho Public Health website.

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