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Stores must keep food 6 inches off the ground


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POSTED: Tuesday, December 08, 2009

QUESTION: Several years ago, grocery stores were required to stack the cases of food for display at least four inches off the ground. Lately, I have seen cases of food stacked directly on the floor. Has the regulation on this changed?

ANSWER: Chapter 12 of the state Department of Health's Administrative Rules on “;Food Establishment Sanitation”; has not changed, said Sidney Doi, program specialist with the state Department of Health's Sanitation Branch. The requirement is that they be stored at least 6 inches above the floor, but there are several exceptions, he said.

Under Section 11-12-22(b), dealing with general food storage, it says, “;Containers of food shall be stored a minimum of 6 inches above the floor in a manner that protects the food from splash and other contamination, and that permits easy cleaning of the storage area.”;

Exceptions are pressurized metal beverage containers or cased food packaged in cans, glass or other waterproof containers that are not exposed to floor moisture.

The regulations allow the containers to be stored on dollies, racks or pallets or other storage equipment less than 6 inches off the ground if the equipment is easily movable.

A host of regulations regard the storage of food. For example, raw fruits and vegetables not requiring further washing or cooking before serving have to be stored in a way that protects them from being contaminated by food that does need to be washed or cooked.

Ready-to-eat foods cannot be stored below raw foods unless they are protected from contamination that could be caused by drips, leaks or spills.

QUESTION: We went to the Lea Salonga concert recently at the Blaisdell Concert Hall. Before the concert started, we wanted to take a family photo documenting that we were there, but an usher told us that no picture-taking was allowed. I understood no picture taking during the concert, but why couldn't we take one 20 minutes before it started? That doesn't make sense.

ANSWER: The policy regarding photo-taking is set by each act, and generally it is not allowed inside the concert hall, according to Sidney Quintal, director of the city Department of Enterprise Services.

In this case, as a condition of her contract, Salonga does not permit cameras or photographs at her events, he said. This is considered “;quite normal”; for national touring artists and is meant to protect their intellectual property, i.e., pictures, from being commercially sold, Quintal said. And, Quintal said, readers should be advised that picture taking and cameras are not generally permitted at any national touring event.

In order for the Blaisdell Center to control picture taking, cameras are not “;openly permitted”; after patrons come though the entry gate.

That means the no-camera policy is posted on signs and on the back of tickets, but employees don't search purses or bags for cameras.

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