Published Article

Hawaii Adopts 2009 Food Code

Jun 22, 2014

EcoSure Food Safety Monitor

By Miriam Eisenberg

In February, Hawaii adopted the 2009 FDA Food Code, after not updating their regulations since 1997. This brings the state in line with a majority of state health departments utilizing more recent codes.

The most notable changes include:

Frequent Inspections:

Food service operations will be inspected three times per year. High-risk establishments and those with poor inspection histories will be inspected more frequently.

New Food Safety Placard System:

  1. To be placed immediately following inspection.
  2. Posted in a location approved by the Department of Health and clearly visible to patrons.
  3. Green (Pass)
  4. Yellow (Conditional Pass) Follow-up inspection within two business days.
  5. Red (Fail) Business Closure - Health Department will work with you to reopen.

Updated Food Holding Temperatures:

  • Cold food must be held at 41ºF or below.
  • Hot food must be held at 135ºF or above.

These changes will bring the Temperature Danger Zone in Hawaii from 45ºF-140ºF to 41ºF-135ºF to match the 2009 FDA Food Code. Food service establishments will need to adjust or replace their cold and hot holding equipment to meet new regulations.

Raw or Undercooked Foods:

  • Consumer advisories must be posted alerting patrons to the dangers of consuming raw or undercooked foods.

Bare-Hand Contact of Ready-To-Eat Foods:

  • Employees must utilize suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment, unless otherwise approved by the Department of Health.

Required Food Safety Training:

  • Requires employees to be properly trained in food safety, including food allergy awareness.

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