The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Faith

September 16, 2013

State food safety laws raise concerns

INDIANAPOLIS – State health officials are looking for ways to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses at events sponsored by churches, youth organizations and other nonprofits without inadvertently regulating them out of existence.

Legislation passed by the General Assembly earlier this year is requiring the Indiana State Department of Health to review the state’s confusing and conflicting food-safety laws that cover some nonprofit organizations but not others.

At a hearing on the issue Monday, a state health official said there needs to be increased awareness among both regulated and unregulated entities of basic food-safety rules to reduce food-contamination outbreaks that lead to illness, hospitalizations and deaths.

“We think it’s important that there ought to be somebody in charge, that could promote food safety in the organization, to provide some kind of oversight,” said Anthony Gilliam, a state health department official.

Both state and federal officials have been working over the past decade to reduce the easily transmitted food-borne illnesses linked to unsafe food practices. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011, there were more than 5 million people hospitalized, and 149 deaths, due to the norovirus. Another 19,336 were hospitalized due to salmonella poisoning, which claimed 378 lives.

Indiana currently has a law that requires all restaurants and other “food establishments” to have a certified food handler on staff to oversee food safety matters and to act as an educator for employees about safe food handling practices.

But there’s some confusion about what constitutes a “food establishment” when it’s run by a nonprofit organization. For example, a church has a limited number of days every year during which it can serve food to the public before it becomes a “food establishment.”

One of the concerns that emerged during Monday’s hearing in front of the Senate Health Finance Commission was the unintentional risk being posed by volunteers who work food-related events held by churches and other nonprofits that are exempt from the state’s food-safety regulations.

Text Only
Faith
  • Davis, Verna mug Verna Davis: Got a song stuck in your head? Just surrender Ever have a song stuck in your head? You find yourself thinking about the song at random times during the day. Or humming the song at odd times during the day. Or worse yet, when stopped at a traffic signal you find yourself belting it out only to realize that even with the windows rolled up, the person in the car beside you can hear your not-so-musical rendition.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA - HB0816 - church news - Azzato, Jennifer Church News: Aug. 16 The following are brief Church News items of local interest.

    August 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Judge: Church of God fraud case closed No objections have been filed preventing the closure of a decade-old investment fraud case involving the Church Extension of the Church of God. The deadline for objections to a plan resolving the case was Aug. 4.

    August 8, 2014

  • FEA - HB0809 - United in Christ - DH 4 Uniting to serve A meaningful relationship with God can grow within the walls of a church, but for the congregation at United in Christ Church, that connection happens by taking time to step away from the pews and walk into the community.

    August 8, 2014 4 Photos

  • Verna Davis: Asking and answering some rhetorical questions

    A rhetorical question implies its own answer so in order to make a point. Sometimes, rhetorical questions are meant to engage us in...well…umm…some sort of rhetoric. Just for the fun of it, let’s ask (and answer) some rhetorical questions.

    August 8, 2014

  • Church News: Aug. 9 The following are brief Church News items of local interest.

    August 8, 2014

  • FEA hb0802 World Race 1 Called to serve Life right after college is a time of uncertainty and scrambling for a full-time job for a lot of recent graduates, but Holly Smith has known in her heart for a while what she was destined to do after commencement.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Davis, Verna mug Verna Davis: Peace is worth fighting for Some people say they know how to find peace. We should “simply” follow our hearts, search for meaning in our lives, and fulfill our dreams. Sad to say, those things may bring us a bit of satisfaction, but they certainly don’t bring us peace.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • JamFest set for Aug. 3 at Christ Lutheran Christ Lutheran Church, 2751 N. Scatterfield Road, will host JamFest from 4 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3.

    July 26, 2014

  • Verna Davis: Seek peace by turning from evil and doing good There's something we all want: peace. World peace. Family peace. Personal peace. We yearn for peace, a feeling of freedom from commotion and antagonism, of harmony in our relationships, of lack of strife or dissension. What would we do to have peace in our lives?

    July 25, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin