It is a well-established fact that working in the food-service industry can be challenging, to say the least. However, beginning January 1, 2019, restaurants in Wilmington and across North Carolina will be required to follow a new food temperature law.
Prior to 2019, all food items that required refrigeration, such as meats, pasta salad, dips, etc. were to be refrigerated to 45 degrees. In 2012, North Carolina adopted the Federal Food Code (Issued by the FDA), which requires food-service providers to maintain all cold foods at a temperature of 41 degrees. Restaurants in North Carolina were given six years to become compliant with the new issued regulation. That means that beginning on January 1, 2019, all establishments serving food, including concession stands and food trucks, will be required to maintain cold-holding food at 41 degrees.
The purpose behind the new regulation in North Carolina is to reduce and prevent illnesses caused by Listeria and other bacteria, which thrive in the 42-45 degree temperatures. Most corporate franchise restaurants are already compliant with the new 41 degree holding standard. However, independent restaurants in Wilmington, North Carolina and throughout the state will need to become familiar with this new regulation in order to remain compliant with State law. This is important for business owners, as non-compliance with food health regulations can ultimately affect a restaurant’s food inspection grade.