Health Academy Courses and Fees (Chapter 21)
Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments (View Public Comments Received:2)
Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule
Amendment of Chapter 21 of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York is authorized by sections 389(b) and 1043(a) of the Charter. Charter §389(b) provides that “heads of mayoral agencies shall have the power to adopt rules to carry out the powers and duties delegated to the agency head or the agency by or pursuant to federal, state or local law.” Charter §1043(a) authorizes each agency to “adopt rules necessary to carry out the powers and duties delegated to it by or pursuant to federal, state or local law.” These rules are also authorized by Local Law 93 for the year 2013, enacted November 9, 2013, which added §17-1504 to the Administrative Code of the City of New York, authorizing the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) to provide voluntary consultative inspections to restaurants and establish fees for these inspections.
The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (the Department) is proposing to amend Chapter 21 (Health Academy Courses and Fees) of Title 24 of the Rules of the City of New York, as follows:
- · Repeal §21-03, Swimming pool technology course and fee;
- · Add a new §21-07, Food service establishment consultative inspections and fees; and
- · Amend the title of the chapter and §21-01, Scope and applicability.
Repeal §21-03 -- Swimming pool technology course and fee
This section currently describes a Health Academy course that is no longer being offered, and should be repealed. Before it was amended by the Board of Health by resolution adopted September 21, 2011, New York City Health Code (Health Code) §165.15(b)(1) required swimming pool operators to take a Department swimming pool technology course at the Department’s Health Academy. As amended, the Health Code currently requires that pool operators hold a “certificate indicating successful completion of an adequate course of instruction regarding the safe and effective operation and maintenance of pool treatment equipment . . . ,” but does not require that such courses be offered by the Department.
Add a new §2-07 – Food service establishment consultative inspections and fees
The Department is proposing to offer voluntary consultative inspections, with no risk of receiving notices of violation subject to monetary penalties, to food service establishments in the restaurant inspection program established by Health Code §81.51 and Chapter 23 of these rules. The consultative inspections would provide additional food safety training and education and would be available at the request of a food service establishment permittee, or applicant for a new permit, subject to Department resources. The consultative inspection would be conducted by a Department staff member with extensive knowledge of New York City’s food safety regulations and include an on-site assessment of the establishment’s food handling and preparation practices as well as its facilities, sanitation and food storage. For operating establishments, the Department would also review recent inspection histories.
Administrative Code §17-1504, enacted by Local Law 93 for the year 2013, authorizes the Department to offer these consultative inspections and establish a fee for them. The Department proposes to charge a $400 fee for existing restaurants and a $100 fee for restaurants that register for a consultative inspection before receiving their permit. These fees, which would partially offset the costs of providing this service, have been approved by the City’s Office of Management and Budget.
These consultative inspections would be entirely voluntary. To maximize the benefits of the consultation, the Department may require that the owner, operator or manager accompany Department staff during the on-site inspection. Findings would not be graded, and would only be scored if requested by the operator for informational purposes. Findings would not be used to determine the date of the next inspection or the length of the inspection cycle; and would not influence subsequent inspection findings. No notice of violation or grade card would be issued. The results are intended to inform the establishment’s operator of practices and conditions that violate applicable food safety laws and regulations and provide recommendations for improving operations affecting food safety. If the Department observes a condition that constitutes an imminent or public health hazard during the on-site consultative inspection the permittee would be required to correct the condition immediately, and the Department may close the establishment on a temporary, emergency basis to protect the public health, until the condition is corrected.
Amend the Chapter title and §21-01 Scope and applicability
Since the new §21-07 will not involve a course offered at the Health Academy, but only describes a consultative inspection and fees to be charged by the Department, the Chapter title and §21-01 are also being amended.