Restaurant Owners Call For Update Of Food Safety Laws
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Critics of Tennessee's food safety laws say the laws aren't strong enough and haven't been updated since the 1970s.
After coming under fire, there has been a major push to enhance the regulations that restaurants have to follow, so the food local residents eat is much safer. It's something that has been on the mind of Randy Rayburn for years,.
"It's been around for the while, and it's one of those things that needs to be brought into this century - for both the health and safety of the customer, but also for the understanding of the industry," Rayburn explained.
Rayburn owns Mid-Town and two other restaurants and says the restaurant inspection rules are downright confusing.
"One inspector will come in and say everything is fine and then the next one will come in and say move this or move that. And it's the inconsistencies that really concern everyone," he said.
It's also on the radar of the Tennessee Hospitality Association and the Tennessee Food Safety Task Force. Both groups are calling for a change - and point out the rules are so old they don't address the handling of sushi and don't stop restaurant employees touching food.
"Our industry has been working with the state health department to help to try to organize the laws for several years now, and it just seems to be - typical of our legislature, it doesn't seem to be moving forward," said Rayburn.
Efforts to change though are not coming overnight. But this year there's hope, that maybe 36 year old rules can finally be updated to make residents safer the next time they eat out.