rating system is revised
By Robert Lucke
Due to changes in Montana Department of Health and Human Services food establishment inspection forms, the Hill and Blaine counties Gold Star Program will see changes as well.
The Gold Star Program is an award that area food establishments receive for doing very well on the day an inspection is done by the Hill County Health Department.
"We implemented using the new forms last week and we want everyone to be aware of the many changes in them from the past forms," Hill County Health Department sanitarian Heidi Bischoff said. "I strongly urge restaurant owners, managers and the like to read these so they can be up to date on what the state now requires."
The new form no longer uses scores or point values. The actual federal regulation number is stated on the form next to the shortened definition of each corresponding regulation. Other changes include a space for a correction date to be written and a spot for noting equipment temperatures.
"Basically it is a much more detailed inspection form with stricter wording and more enforcement value to it," Bischoff said. "A very important statement on the new form reads, Failure to comply with any time limits for corrections of critical item violations may result in closure of food service operations.'"
The new form may be modified even more after the Spring Sanitarian Conference.
Bischoff said that in the past many restaurants were able to maintain fairly high scores even though they had several critical violations. The new form does not permit that because it is not based on a point system.
"The Gold Star Program will also be modified due to the non-scoring aspect of the new inspection form," Bischoff said. "That modification will be addressed and discussed with establishments that are eligible for this honorary food safety program."
For more information, contact Bischoff at 265-5481.