Loading the player ...
Proposed Food Handlers License Requirement 6/29/12
CBS 7 News
June 29, 2012
Midland, Texas – We all eat at restaurants but how do we know those who prepare the meals are practicing proper food safety practices. Health Departments in the Permian Basin do not currently regulate this but the Midland Health Department is proposing a Food Handlers License for anyone who works in the food and beverage industry.
"Personal hygiene, temperature, storage and preparation of food, from the time you get the food until the time you serves it to your customers," said Celestino Garcia, Manager, Midland Health Department.
Those are all topics that will be covered in the proposed food handler’s license class that could soon be a requirement for all food and beverage industry workers in the Tall City. Midland Health Department officials say it's a much needed change as so many inexperienced people are going into the industry.
"We have people that are getting into the restaurant business and have no clue about food safety," said Garcia.
But Jerry Morales with the Permian Basin restaurant association says they have some concerns.
"Who would handle the paperwork, what the fee's would be, how long is the permit good for and who would be instructing the classes," said Jerry Morales, President, The Permian Basin Restaurant Association.
Morales says the primary concern is the cost.
"Texas Roadhouse for example, 100 employees, everyone would have to have it at the $50 that was proposed, that's $14,000 a year, it's a hefty fee, way out of line," said Morales.
But Garcia says they are considering passing the fee onto the employee.
"We would prefer that we license the individual to hold them accountable versus imposing that on the restaurant industry," said Garcia.
He says the fee would solely be used to cover the cost associated with running the program.
"The intent here is not to make money but educate people," said Garcia.
And the restaurant association wants to be apart of the discussion.
"The Permian Basin Restaurant Associated does not oppose it we just wan to be apart of the curriculum that is gonna be coming out," said Morales.
The Midland Health Department says they plan to hold meetings with the restaurant association, they want this initiative to be a team effort.