TEWKSBURY — Part of the Tewksbury Health Department’s responsibility is to communicate updates in regulations to businesses that are under its purview. Restaurants and other food establishments must comply with the new federal food code, for example.
Director Susan Sawyer and her department have planned trainings, mandatory for food operations in town. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health adopted the 2013 Federal Food Code over a year ago. The Health Department is partnering with DR Consultants to provide free training for food establishment owners, operators and PICs in town.
According to Sawyer, the Board of Health expects at least one employee or owner, that has a supervisory and management responsibility and the authority to direct and control food preparation and service, to attend the 90 minute training. The training will help educate staff on the changes and requirements of the 2013 Food Code.
The Food Code is a model for safeguarding public health and ensuring food is unadulterated and honestly presented when offered to the consumer. It represents FDA's best advice for a uniform system of provisions that address the safety and protection of food offered at retail and in food service.
Failure to attend a training would constitute a priority violation, so someone from each facility must complete the training. The Health Department will hold the training over a series of days and times to make it convenient for food service establishments to attend.
Training will be offered at the Tewksbury Public Library located at 300 Chandler St. on Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m., Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020, 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Any questions may be directed to the Health Department at 978-640-4470.
The Health Department also oversees retailers who sell tobacco and vape products and will offer training sessions, in conjunction with the Billerica Health Department, on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Set to be conducted in the auditorium inside Billerica Town Hall, 365 Boston Road, Billerica, the training session will be repeated three times that day at 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m., and cover the new state law restricting the sale of tobacco and vape products.
The new law contains restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco and vape products. According to the mass.gov website “Beginning June 1, 2020, the sale of flavored combustible cigarettes and other tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes and flavored chewing tobacco, will be restricted to licensed smoking bars where they may be sold only for on-site consumption. Also taking effect on June 1 is the addition of a 75 percent excise tax on the wholesale price of nicotine vaping products, in addition to the state’s 6.75 percent sales tax.”
Training sessions will also be offered at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. start times at the following locations on Jan. 22 - Room 301, 3rd Floor, City Hall, 4 Summer St., Haverhill, Jan. 27 - Sanborn Hall in the Quinn Building, 90 Hampshire St., Methuen, Jan. 29 at Council on Aging, 331 High St., 2nd Floor, Newburyport, and on Feb. 4 in the Library Room, Flint Library, 1 South Main St., ground floor, Middleton.
Sawyer strongly urges attendance at a training session to ensure compliance with the law. In preparation for attendance, retailers are encouraged to visit the State of Massachusetts website mass.gov/newtobaccolaw for a comprehensive overview of the new state law.
Tobacco control agent Ron Beauregard is available to answer questions at email@example.com.