11th Annual Food Operator’s Seminar Held; More than 175 attendees updated on new “Dining with Dogs” legislation

 11th Annual Food Operator’s Seminar Held; More than 175 attendees updated on new “Dining with Dogs” legislation

Brewster, NY— More than 175 attendees—chefs, caterers, owners and operators of Putnam County’s food establishments—gathered in Carmel on March 20 and 21 for the eleventh annual Food Operator’s Seminar, conducted by the Putnam County Department of Health. The seminar had representation from all types of restaurants, delicatessens, food shops, institutional food services and other food vendors. They gathered to learn about new topics and trends in the food industry. The event also offers an opportunity for the health department to recognize food establishments for both “lifetime” achievements, as well as those of the past year.

One hot topic on the agenda this year was an update on the recent “Dining with Dogs” legislation. This new public health law, passed by the state legislature, now allows restaurants the option of providing space in an outdoor seating area for clientele who wish to bring well-behaved dogs out to eat with them. Another popular and very practical topic included a close-up look at how flavor enhancement and salt reduction can go hand in hand. Additionally, the health department took the opportunity to brief food operators on lead poisoning prevention, in relation to renovations and remodeling. These prevention efforts, both in Putnam and the rest of New York State, have been significantly increased over the past year. Lead poisoning can be life-changing and is entirely preventable, and many municipalities have ramped up efforts after the serious problems in Flint, Michigan. Food safety training opportunities, and cleaning and sanitizing bleach alternatives were topics presented by two outside speakers.

The recognition side of the program included the presentation of two Lifetime Achievement Awards. One went to Christine Brady of the Carmel Central School District for 34 years of operational excellence. The second was awarded to Paul and John Aversano of Aversano’s in Brewster for 30 years of excellence.  A Food Safety Partnership Award was presented to Clock Tower Grill and Health Inspector Commendation Awards for distinguished performance went to Cameron’s Deli, Countryside Kitchen, Fresh Company Catering, JP Cunningham’s and the Mahopac Central School District. The department’s highest and most stringent honor, the Commissioner’s Gold Award for operational excellence, was distributed to eleven food establishments: Brewster High School, Carmel High School, Community Based Services, Frangelina’s Deli & Café, George Fischer Middle School, Henry H. Wells Middle School, John F. Kennedy Elementary School, Kent Primary School, Matthew Paterson Elementary School, Mia’s Pizza and Watchtower.

The Department of Health’s mission is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit the PCDOH website at www.putnamcountyny.com/health or visit the social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth, and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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