Two big changes go into effect for restaurants in Illinois on July 1, 2014:

1) Food Safety Managers’ certification goes from a 2-day class to one; renewing students must take one day class and test every five years.

2) ALL Restaurant Food Handlers in a restaurant MUST complete Safe Food Handler training. This means anyone that handles food or food contact surfaces: dishwashers, waitresses, busboys, line cooks, prep cooks– anyone that is not a manager that handles food or food contact surfaces.

Food Handler training is 2-3 hours, 40 question test. See LSK’s online version (I think NRA is the big winner in this new law). LSK offers Safe Food Handler Training; see Classes page for more details.

This law takes effect July 1 for restaurants, as defined in the FAQ document below; non-restaurants, you have until July 1, 2016 before this applies to you.

Take a deep breath: the law goes into effect July 1, but everyone has a few months to become compliant with the new law.  I’m being told City will start to write tickets by January 1, 2015, probably at 12:01am.

My take on the new law: great thing to have all Food Handlers have some training; when food borne illness happens, it’s usually caused by ignorant Food Handlers and not a certified Food Manager.  And I think it will help restaurant owners sleep better at night.  My class includes black-light hand washing demo that makes everyone aware of how well (or poorly) they wash their hands, which is 90% of the battle.

Of course, administration of the law is another matter.  Our government has made this much more complicated than necessary (I know, you’re shocked), and it’s another new piece of administration for you to handle. LSK can help make it simple and get you covered.

More info is contained in this Frequently Asked Questions document.

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