Updated Food Service Reopening Guidance Tools Are Now Available!

As more food service operations are opening their dining rooms, operators are reminded of the need to comply with the requirements found in Governor Kemp’s Executive Order from May 12, 2020 and to stay alert for any additional updates.  The Georgia Department of Public Health has updated its  COVID-19 GUIDANCE FOR RESTAURANTS WITH DINING ROOM SEATING  to reflect updates in the Executive Order.   

To assist operators with their plans for compliance, the National Restaurant Association has released its Reopening Guidelines training video as the 3rd tool in its series of free COVID-19 response videos for food service facilities. All three training videos are available in English and Spanish and are presented via ServSafe, the organization’s educational arm.  The Reopening Guidelines presents an overview of important actions that help to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by applying new sanitation and disinfecting practices, and recognizing new social distancing requirements that are key components to safely reopening food service operations.

Free Food Handler and COVID-19 Takeout/Delivery Training from ServSafe

ServSafe is currently offering COVID-19 themed food takeout and delivery training at no cost to assist those that have shifted to this service as a result of this ongoing outbreak. Additionally, ServSafe is offering free Food Handler training through May 31, 2020. Click on the following link to take advantage of these free training opportunities:

https://www.servsafe.com/Landing-Pages/Free-Courses

Social Distancing and Restaurants

Social distancing, as defined by CDC, is the “remaining out of congregate settings ”—which would be an environment in which a number of people gather for a period of time— “and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”   The CDC is highly encouraging “social distancing” to help minimize the spread of coronavirus-19 and the guidance advises that gatherings of 50 or more people be postponed throughout the United States.  The guidance does not apply to organizations like restaurants and other day-to-day business operations; however, states and municipalities can impose limits themselves.  As of this date, Governor Kemp has not stated that Georgia restaurants must close their dining rooms, but to encourage effective social distancing, it is strongly recommended that restaurants only offer take-out and/or drive-thru service.  If the dining area does remain open, it is recommended that customers be seated as far apart as possible. And if food is served from a buffet, it is recommended that the buffet be well-monitored, and that the food is served directly to customers by restaurant staff. 

Also check out ServSafe’s Coronavirus: What Can You Do? guide, which offers coronavirus information tailored for the food service industry. Coronavirus related information updates often as more is learned about this illness, so please routinely check other resources like the CDC’s and CDPH’s dedicated coronavirus webpages for updates.

Additionally, the National Restaurant Association and the Georgia Restaurant Association are offering dedicated COVID-19 webpages that offer resources geared toward the food service industry, including links for food donation and mental health organizations.

One-Day ServSafe Course Available in Cobb!

Cobb & Douglas Public Health will offer a special, one-day ServSafe  Food Safety Managers class on Wednesday, November 6th.  This will be a good opportunity for persons that need to recertify, first-timers who already have a strong food safety foundation, and those that need to retake the ServSafe exam.

The class will be held in the 2nd floor meeting room located on the Marietta Health Center Campus at Building B (1738 County Services Pkwy, Marietta, GA 30008).  The deadline for registration is October 9, 2019. Please share this information with those you believe may be interested. See the registration form or our website for more information.

Upcoming ServSafe Class in Douglas County

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There will be a ServSafe Food Safety Management course presented at our Douglas County Environmental Health office on August 27-28th.  Our Douglas office is located within the Douglas Courthouse, 8700 Hospital Drive in Douglasville.  Registration will close on August 8th.  The registration form and links to other CFSM providers can be found on our website.

As a reminder, every food service establishment is required to have a certified food safety manager (CFSM) with current certification that is actively engaged in overseeing the application of food handling and operations in their respective facility, unless otherwise exempt by the Georgia Food Service Rules and Regulations Chapter 511-6-1.  Please check your certification to ensure that the time has not lapsed.  Also, please share this information with others as applicable.

Certified Food Safety Manager Class Coming to Douglas in August

There will be a ServSafe Class presented at our Douglas County Environmental Health office on August 28-29th.  Our office is in the Douglas Courthouse on Hospital Drive in Douglasville.  Registration will close on August 8th .  The registration form and links to other CFSM providers are found on our website.

As a reminder, every food service establishment is required to have a certified food safety manager (CFSM) with current certification that is actively engaged in overseeing the application of food handling and operations in their respective facility, unless otherwise exempt by the Georgia Food Service Rules and Regulations Chapter 511-6-1.  Please check your certification to ensure that the time has not lapsed.  Also, please share this information with others as applicable.

 

Our Last CFSM Class for 2017 is Coming in December!

Every food service establishment is required to have at least one certified food safety manager (CFSM) unless they are exempted by the Rules and Regulations for Food Service.  The last ServSafe Food Safety Management course taught by Cobb & Douglas Public Health in 2017 will be held on December 12-13 at the Marietta Health Center, Building B, 1738 County Services Pkwy, Marietta.  Registration closes on November 15, so please share this information with those in need of this training.  The registration form must be completed and returned with payment to assure a seat in this class.  Visa or MasterCard payments may be taken via phone by calling our main Environmental Health line at 770-435-7815.