Recently, the President signed a bill that calls for the labeling of all products that contain genetically modified ingredients. This is a hotly debated topic among consumers, produce suppliers and food industry professionals, and we feel that it’s an important issue and worthy of at least some discussion.
ServSafe MN Training and GMO Labeling
As current ServSafe MN training and Minnesota Food Code regulations stand, there is nothing that is mandated in regards to using GMO-modified ingredients in the local food service industry. As far as food safety and food-borne illnesses are concerned, the state does not feel that GMO’s pose any significant health risk.
There is, however, a growing trend among consumers to purchase food items that are certified organic or clearly labeled as non-GMO. This current bill appears to provide transparency as to where the ingredients in prepared items come from and will allow the consumers to make their purchasing decisions based on whether a product is GMO free or not.
GMO-Labeling Effects on the Food-Service Industry and ServSafe MN Training
This new bill forces us to consider how new regulations will impact local businesses.
Quite honestly, we do not have enough information at this time to fully address the long-term effects of this bill. The United States Department of Agriculture has stated that it may take up to two years for them to put any regulations in place.
While we know that these rules will play a role in how food is packaged on our grocery shelves, it may also have repercussions for our restaurants and smaller businesses. Most food-service managers will tell you that proteins and fresh produce often come from different suppliers depending upon availability. A lot of these ingredients are shipped in bulk and many times are only labeled with their farm or place of origin. In these cases, it is our view that the suppliers themselves will be responsible for clearly labeling these ingredients before they reach your facility. If you produce any item packaged for sale using ingredients previously labeled as genetically modified, you will probably be required to label your product accordingly.
One sector of the industry that does not seem to have been addressed in the early stages of this process is the restaurant industry. At this point we cannot tell you whether restaurants will have to include any form of disclaimer on their menus. If this does become the case, you can rest assured that Safe Food Training will cover it in an upcoming blog.