In the coming months, the Minnesota Department of Health will be making some changes to the current food code. One of those changes deals with the types of certifications equipment in industrial kitchens must have. This week, we’ll take a look at how changes in the MN food code will effect kitchen equipment decisions and how it impacts certified food managers in Minnesota.
New Changes In The MN Food Code Will Effect Kitchen Equipment Choices
According to the new regulations, MN certified food managers will have much more freedom as to what equipment they use in their establishment. There will no longer be the requirement for all equipment to be NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certified. This does not mean that anything goes when it comes to your equipment; certain equipment will still need to be certified for sanitation by an ANSI (American National Certification Institute) certification program. These 10 types of equipment still require sanitation certification:
- Warewashing Sinks
- Mechanical Warewashing Equipment
- Mechanical Refrigeration Units
- Walk-in Freezers
- Hot-Holding Equipment
- Cooking Equipment other than Microwaves and Toasters
- Ice Machines
- Mechanical Slicers
- Mechanical Tenderizers and Grinders
- Food Preparation Surfaces, including Prep Sinks
So, how does a certified food manager know whether or not their equipment is certified by the proper agency? Most industrial kitchen equipment will have a stamp, label or other markings indicating that it has been classified for sanitation. If you have a piece of equipment that is listed above without any visible markings, contacting the product manufacturer or your local health department’s office may help you find the necessary information.
With these upcoming changes to equipment sanitation classifications, now may be a good time for certified food managers to make a quick inspection of all of the equipment on the list to ensure they have the proper certification. We feel that widening the scope to any ANSI sanitation standard gives food production facilities more flexibility when it comes to equipment choices. How do you feel about changes in the MN food code will effect kitchen equipment? Will it mean more freedom or more burden?