After Zomick’s Bakery of Inwood, a major kosher food manufacturer, had failed nearly 60 percent of state food inspections due to vermin infestations since 2005, reports The Jewish Week, something needed to be done to protect the consumers.
In the case of Zomick’s Bakery, if the bill is passed, every violation they incurred will be posted online for the public to see.
In the past under statutory law, a notice of a failed state inspection had to only be posted at the entrance of Zomick’s plant. Whether a third party consumer was aware of the violation or not was of little consequence.
It was common practice for the Food and Safety division “not to share inspection records with third parties,” a spokesman for the State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced.
A memo circulating explains that the state currently oversees near 28,000 food-handling establishments, and that it routinely “conducts sanitary inspections, handles consumer complaints, seizes unfit and adulterated foods, and enforces and regulates the state’s kosher food laws,” Vos Iz Neias reports.
If this bill is implemented, when customers can’t physically visit a restaurant, they will be able to research the violation history of the restaurant with a few clicks of the mouse.
“Posting the inspection results on a government website, such as the department’s or Open New York, would provide easier access to violation information to the public, especially for food purchased when the consumer doesn’t physically visit the establishment where it is produced or sold,” it said, according to The Jewish Week.
The proposed bill includes updated inspection information, dates of violations in the past, and the names and addresses of violators, products and brand names involved, and penalties imposed.
“People rely on safe processing practices and accurate labeling to protect their families from contaminated food, to avoid life-threatening food allergens and to make sure they are adhering to whatever dietary restrictions they follow. This will be an invaluable resource for all consumers, as it will allow them to make better informed choices about what foods to buy,” the memo concludes.
Zomick’s bakery said it had made big changes to its plant’s operation and has passed its two most recent state inspections, The Jewish Week reports. But if this bill is passed, instead of just taking their word for it, we will be able to verify everything ourselves and be able to eat knowing our food is safe.
If the bill is passed, consumers will be less in the dark with what is really going on in the kitchens of restaurants in New York.
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