Food Health and Safety Laws You Should Know
The Centers for Disease Control report that approximately 48 million individuals each year get sick from illnesses associated with food. In an effort to keep these statistics as low as possible, food safety laws exist to remove the risk of illnesses caused by chemical additives, environmental contaminants, and microbiological pathogens in food.
While food safety issues can come up in a number of areas, some of the most common areas associated with food safety include donated food and unprocessed produce. In New Jersey, there are federal as well as state and local laws designed to keep people safe.
In 2011, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act, which has helped to keep food safe. New Jersey also has its own food safety requirements. The following will take a brief look at some of the important areas of food health and safety laws in New Jersey that you should know.
Laws Concerning Food Sources
There are a number of regulations in New Jersey that address how food sources should be handled, which include the following:
- Food that is prepared in a home is prohibited from being used for human consumption at retail food locations.
- Ice that is used in food or as a cooling medium must be made from drinking water.
- Fish that are sold for sale for human consumption must be legally caught or harvested.
Protecting Food From Contamination
In an effort to protect people in New Jersey from being harmed by contaminated food, the state has passed a number of regulations addressing how food should be handled, these regulations include:
- Food workers must minimize bare arm and hand contact with food.
- Linens and napkins cannot be used in contact with food unless these items are used to line a food container and then replaced each time a container is refilled.
- Cloths used for wiping food spills are prohibited from being used for any other purpose.
- Food workers are prohibited from using a utensil more than once to taste food that will be sold or served.
Addressing Organisms of Public Health Concern
To reduce the risk of people being harmed by organisms that present public health, New Jersey has passed a number of laws. For example:
- Raw animal foods that are cooked in a microwave oven must be heated to a temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit in all parts of the food.
- Fruits and vegetables that are cooked must be cooked to a temperature of 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Laws Addressing Food Identity, Labeling, and Presentation
People in New Jersey are kept safe from contaminated food due to various regulations that exist in the state. Some of these regulations include:
- Bulk food that is made available for self-dispensing must be labeled with several important details including the common name of the food or a list of ingredients if the item contains two or more ingredients.
- Bulk unpackaged foods do not need a label if no health or nutrient-based claims are made.
Speak with an Experienced Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been harmed by eating contaminated food, do not hesitate to contact Ferrara Law today to schedule a free initial consultation.