Columbia City Council Plans to Hear Changes to Food Standards

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council plans to hear a proposal Monday to adapt the city's food code to be more in line with federal standards.

The state took portions of the Food and Drug Administration's 2009 Model Food Code back in September 2013. The proposal would adjust the city's food code to be more like the FDA's 2009 model.

The proposal would change the classification of some violations, upgrading them from non-critical to critical. Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services studied food code violations from 2012 and found the following as the most common non-critical violations that would be considered critical under the new code:

  • Where to wash
  • Food display
  • Handwashing sink
  • Using a handwashing sink
  • Cooling, heating and hot holding capacities

There are also violations that would be considered non-critical instead of critical under the 2009 code. They are:

  • Discharges from the eyes, nose and mouth
  • Microwave cooking
  • Toilets and urinals
  • Eating, drinking or using tobacco
  • Controlling pests

Cory Johnson, a frequent Columbia diner, said the changes to the code seem like they should be common sense for restaurants.

"If you have a respectable restaurant and establishment and they care about their patrons and having their patrons return, most of those seem like a no-brainer," Johnson said. "You should be able to at least meet those requirements, that's why they're in place."

The city's food code has not been updated since 2001. You can review the FDA's model code from 2009 here.

If the council approves the proposal, these changes would be in effect starting on June 1.