TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Tippecanoe County Health Department's new guidelines went into effect at the first of the year.
The biggest change - food inspectors will now review places based on menu type. The Health Department breaks that down into five categories.
Type 1: Pre-packaged non-potentially hazardous foods
Type 2: Limited menu, pre-packaged raw ingredients are cooked or prepared to order
Type 3: Extensive handling of raw ingredients; preparation includes cooking, cooling, and reheating
Type 4: Extensive handling of raw ingredients; preparation includes cooking, cooling, and reheating, advanced preparation; facilities who service a highly susceptible population
Type 5: Food processing at the retail level
Those groups are in place for restaurants to better understand the degree of risk associated with the increased level of food handling.
What this means is a health inspector may visit these establishments three or four times a year, instead of two.
Chief of Foods at the Tippecanoe County Health Department, Ariel Endresen said many establishments tense up when an inspector is around. She thinks the changes could help with that.
"It gives us a better relationship with restaurants. This way we can get in there more often, have a better relationship with each person," said Endresen.
Endersen said before she took over this position last year, the health department was following state guidelines correctly, but most counties in Indiana do inspections based on menu type. She enforced this to make sure Tippecanoe County was keeping up with the rest of the state.