A new law concerning food safety became effective on January 22, 2011.
Act 106, which clarifies and strengthens oversight of food safety inspections for all retail food facilities, or restaurants and retail food stores became effective.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, “Under the new law, each of the state’s retail food facilities will be inspected using uniform regulations based on the federal Food and Drug Administration’s National Model Retail Food Code, regardless of the inspecting entity. Act 106 also requires that local inspection information be reported to the Department of Agriculture monthly and posted on a statewide online inspection database.
“This new law will make inspections more transparent, which improves accountability,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell C. Redding. “All inspections performed by local and state jurisdictions will be available on an easily accessible online inspection database. At any time, consumers will be able to go online to see up-to-date food inspection results, regardless of the inspecting body, empowering them to make informed decisions about where they dine out or buy their food.” The department’s current database only includes facilities currently under the state’s jurisdiction and some local jurisdictions. “Since 2003, the Rendell administration (took) a number of measures to make Pennsylvania’s food establishments safer. It first adopted FDA’s Model Food Code in 2003 to begin creating a uniform inspection system. In 2006, it unveiled a landmark online system that makes inspection reports readily available to anyone. The system has since been recognized as a national model.”
If you want to see the latest inspection for any establishment serving food to the public in, say, Wrightsville or Marietta, all you would have to do is go to the website and key in the County and zip code data. That would be true, too, for every municipality in Lancaster County except one!