On September 1, 2012, new Food Code Rules will go into effect in North Carolina. The new food code represents the most comprehensive change in North Carolina’s food protection standards in more than 30 years and establishes practical, science-based rules and provisions to help avoid food-borne illnesses, like noroviruses and salmonella.
Under the new rules, employees must avoid handling ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and all restaurants must have a certified food protection manager during hours of operation. Restaurant owners also must establish employee health policies to ensure that an ill employee who has the potential to contaminate food is not involved in the preparation or serving of food.
Restaurant rating systems also will change under the new food code. Although sanitation rating cards showing the grade and score will continue to be posted, restaurants will no longer earn a bonus for completing voluntary food safety training since certification will be required.
Another change people will notice is that local food trucks and pushcarts will also be subject to the new food code rules and will be required to post a sanitation rating card.
Key Provisions of the new North Carolina Food Code:
- Each food establishment will be required to demonstrate knowledge of food protection by passing an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited exam. This requirement will be phased in and become effective January 1, 2014.
- Each food establishment will be required to develop and adhere to an Employee Health Policy to prevent and control the transmission of illnesses.
- Food establishments will be required to refrain from handling exposed, ready-to-eat foods with bare hands.
- Food establishments will be required to decrease the temperature of refrigerated foods and must date-mark opened, ready-to-eat foods.
Anyone interested in viewing the new code can visit the following website:
The food rules are found in section .2600 and the NC Food Code Manual is posted as well.
While malnutrition plagues numerous developing countries, rates
of obesity are at an all-time high in many
developed countries, with the highest prevalence in the United States and Mexico. The health and nutritional status of mothers and infants are directly linked, making appropriate infant feeding a critical first step in preventing these and a variety of other medical conditions. "Poor feeding practices can lead to malnutrition and obesity, and contribute to an overall decline in the health and welfare of the population," said Cathy Carothers, President of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). Research shows that infants who are not exclusively breastfed for their first six months of life are also more likely to develop a wide range of chronic and acute diseases and conditions including ear infections, diarrheal diseases, asthma, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and respiratory illnesses. In addition, mothers who do not breastfeed are at an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Keeping breastfeeding high on the public health agenda is critical to improving global health. Early and exclusive breastfeeding with the introduction of appropriate complementary feeding around six months of age ensures that both mothers and infants receive maximum health benefits. The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, jointly developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), serves as a roadmap toward a renewed commitment to exclusive breastfeeding beginning in the first hour of birth to achieve optimal health outcomes. The Global Strategy is celebrating 10 years of guiding infant feeding in 2012.
In honor of that anniversary, the topic of World Breastfeeding Week 2012 (August 1-7, 2012/October 1-7, 2012) is "Understanding the Past—Planning the Future: Celebrating 10 years of WHO/UNICEF's Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding." Building on the concept that the Global Strategy serves as a roadmap for actions to protect, promote and support breastfeeding to achieve maximum health benefits, World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated with the ILCA theme "The Road to Lifelong Health Begins with Breastfeeding."
This road to lifelong health is not one for mothers and babies to travel alone. “While breastfeeding is a learned behavior, it is important to remember that the journey to successful breastfeeding begins with support of families, health care providers, governments, employers and communities,” said Carothers. ILCA provides abundant resources, including a “Find a Lactation Consultant” Directory that helps new mothers access local International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) who can help navigate the way to successful breastfeeding and ultimately to sustained health. ILCA’s “Worksite Lactation Support Directory” provides a listing of IBCLCs with specific expertise in helping employers set up lactation programs to help mothers continue breastfeeding after they return to work.
For more information about World Breastfeeding Week or IBCLCs, visit the ILCA website at www.ILCA.org.
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun are the main cause of skin cancer. UV damage can also cause wrinkles and blotchy skin.
These are just some of the reasons why the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department is proud to participate in UV Safety Month and help raise awareness of the risks of sun damage. During the month of July, join us in taking action to prevent skin cancer and reduce the risk of UV damage.
You can take steps today to protect your skin:
- Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher.
- Cover up with long sleeves and a hat.
- Check your skin regularly for changes.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS. On June 27, in honor of National HIV Testing Day, the Rutherford Polk McDowell District Health Department encourages you to get tested for HIV.
The only way to know if you have HIV is to get tested. Many people with HIV don’t have any symptoms. In the United States, 1 in 5 people living with HIV don't know they have it.
Even if you don’t feel sick, getting early treatment for HIV is important: early treatment can help you live a longer, healthier life.
Am I at risk for HIV?
HIV is spread through some of the body’s fluids, like blood, semen (cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV is passed from one person to another by:
- Having unprotected sex (vaginal, anal, or oral) with a person who has HIV
- Sharing needles with someone who has HIV
- Breastfeeding, pregnancy, or childbirth if the mother has HIV
- Getting a blood transfusion that has HIV (very rare in the U.S.)
Testing is available daily. For additional information please contact one of our offices:
Rutherford County: (828) 287-6221
Polk County: (828) 894-8271
McDowell County: (828) 652-6811
AAPCC and Poison Centers Issue Warning About Concentrated Packets of Laundry Detergent
ALEXANDRIA, VA. – The American Association of Poison Control Centers and the experts at America's 57 poison centers are urging the public, especially parents, to keep highly concentrated "single dose packs" of laundry detergent up and away from children, according to Debbie Carr, AAPCC executive director.
Poison centers are reporting a recent uptick in calls about exposures of children to laundry detergents packaged in small, single-dose packets. Some young children and toddlers who swallow these small packets have become very ill and have required hospitalization. Other children have gotten the product in their eyes, resulting in significant eye irritation. Some children have been exposed when the product burst after putting it into their mouths.
The following are examples of exposures to children who have become ill from concentrated laundry detergent packets:
- Ten minutes after a 20-month-old swallowed a laundry detergent packet, the child developed profuse vomiting, wheezing and gasping and then became unresponsive to even painful stimuli.
- A 15-month-old who bit into a pack and swallowed a mouthful had profuse vomiting and, after arrival at a hospital, had to be put on a ventilator for airway protection.
- A 17-month-old bit into a packet and then rapidly developed drowsiness, vomited, breathed the product into the lungs, and had to be put on a ventilator.
"The rapid onset of significant symptoms is pretty scary," said Dr. Michael Beuhler, medical director of
the Carolinas Poison Center. "Other laundry detergents cause only mild stomach upset or even no symptoms at all. Although we aren't certain what in the product is making the children sick, we urge all parents and caregivers to make sure laundry detergent packs are not accessible to young kids."
The American Association of Poison Control Centers recommends the following steps:
- Always keep detergents locked up and out of the reach of children.
- Follow the specific disposal instructions on the label.
- If you think a child has been exposed to a laundry detergent packet, call your local poison centerat 1-800-222-1222 immediately.