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EcoSure Food Safety Monitor
September 2017

The EcoSure Food Safety Monitor is a free monthly newsletter written by EcoSure Food Safety & Public Health experts. EcoSure is a division of Ecolab.

September 2017 Food Safety Monitor newsletter

Hawaii Revises Food Safety Regulations

New food safety rules for the state of Hawaii—designed to improve public health protection—went into effect on September 2. The Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) amended Chapter 50, Food Safety Code, after completing public hearings on Hawaii Island, Kauai, Maui and Oahu in December 2016 and March 2017. The amended rules will affect all food establishments statewide with new requirements for the industry.


One major change is a new mandate for Food Handlers Education certification for persons-in-charge at all food establishments. This will ensure a minimum baseline of food safety knowledge for all facility owners and managers. The new rule requires that all food establishments have at least one “person in charge” who has a food handlers training level certificate present at all times the business is open and whenever food is being prepared.

The Hawaii DOH will accept certification recognized by the American National Standards Institute. Training is available live and online from various vendors with fees averaging $10-$15 for certification. Businesses have an entire year to comply with the person-in-charge certification requirement as proof of certification will be required during health inspections after September 2, 2018.

Other changes to the state’s Food Safety Rules include:

  • Health inspectors may post placards during all types of inspection, including those for general complaints, and may post a “CLOSED” red placard at food establishments operating without a valid permit.
  • DOH may refuse permit renewals for food establishments with unpaid fines or stipulated agreements more than 30 days overdue.
  • DOH approval will be required prior to the sale of all “Wild Harvested Mushrooms.”
  • Permit exemptions will be allowed for residential child and adult day care providers, and bed and breakfast operators when certain conditions are adhered to. While exempt from permit requirements, these establishments may be subject to state health inspections.
  • Exemptions will also be allowed for the sale of “Homemade Foods” foods that are not potentially hazardous (e.g. certain pre-packaged foods). While exempt from permit requirements, these establishments may also be subject to state health inspections.
  • Special Event Temporary Food Establishment permits will be restricted to 31 days at a time. Consecutive permits may be allowed. Permit fees will remain at $100 for a 20-day permit with an additional $5 fee for each day over 20 days.
  • The section of the rules for Mobile Food Establishments has been removed and these regulations will be incorporated into the general regulations for all food establishments. All Mobile Food Establishments are required to access a state approved facility to support their food operations safely.
  • Full adoption of the 2013 FDA Model Food Code to include regulations governing reduced oxygen packaging. This will provide Hawaii with the most current nationally recognized food safety practices based on the most recent scientific studies conducted on food safety.
For more information on the department’s food safety program go to the Hawaii Department of Health news release or www.health.hawaii.gov/san.

 Food Safety Tips For Weather Emergencies/Power Outages

With the recent events of hurricanes and storms hitting the U.S. and Caribbean Islands, we thought it would be good to provide a few reminders regarding weather emergencies.Ensuring your teams are prepared before, during and after emergencies is critical for helping minimize food loss and reducing your risk of foodborne illness. The following food safety tips are from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

Steps to follow before the weather emergency/power outage (if you can):

  • Group foods together in the freezer to help them stay colder longer.
  • Place meat and poultry on a tray to prevent cross contamination of thawing juices.
  • Use dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible during an extended power outage. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.
  • Store non-perishable goods on higher shelves to avoid flood water.

Steps to follow while the power is out:

  • Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if the door is kept closed. A full freezer will hold its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).

Steps to follow after a weather emergency/power outage:

    • Check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, seafood, eggs or leftovers) that has been above 40°F for two hours or more.
    • Check each item separately. Throw out any food that has an unusual odor, color or texture or feels warm to the touch.
    • Check frozen food for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is 40°F or below.
    • Never taste a food to decide if it’s safe.
    • When in doubt, throw it out.

              Additional resources:

              FSIS publication “Preparing for a Weather Emergency” can be downloaded and printed for reference during an emergency. FSIS also has a very informative infographic covering what to do before, during and after a power outage.

              EdNet: The National Food Safety Educator's Network

              We frequently refer you to various FDA, FSIS and CDC resources. To get a monthly summary of Food Safety Education topics each month, go to EdNet.

              EdNet, the National Food Safety Educator’s Network, is a monthly,multi-agency electronic news journal from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).EdNet provides educators, consumer advocates, government officials, and industry representatives with a quick monthly summary of news about food safety programs and activities.

              Sign up for this food safety news.


              Ecolab Food Safety Matters Quarterly Webinars

              Are you taking advantage of this free educational opportunity? 

              Free Continuing Education hours!

              Food Safety Matters webinars are free quarterly web presentations featuring food industry, academic, regulatory and culinary experts presenting topics surrounding the diverse aspects of food safety. You may view archived webinars and receive continuing education certificates for live or delayed viewing.

              Sign up to receive webinar invitations.

              Ask the Expert: Multi-Lingual Training


              QUESTION:What was the resource you mentioned in the past for multi-lingual training for Food Safety?

              ANSWER:You are likely referring to the FDA Oral Culture Learner Project. This project studied the different ways that adults learn. As a result, they developed a series of story boards on educational posters on basic food safety topics. These posters/storyboards are designed to enhance food safety training efforts at the retail level by helping food employees understand the important role they play in protecting public health.

              These posters are available in nine different languages at no charge. You may view and download the posters here