If you are interested in starting your own restaurant or catering company there are a number of food service regulations that you should consider before you begin investing time and money in realizing this dream. The food service industry is encumbered with all sorts of federal and state mandates that have been passed over time in the interest of public safety, both for the workers in the industry, as well as the customers themselves.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, also known as the FDA, has federal guidelines and regulations that individuals must adhere to if they wish to stay in the food service industry. These guidelines and regulations range from the manufacturing and distribution of food products, to food labeling and preparation safety. The FDA has a web site which lists all of their guidelines and regulations and can be found at http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/default.htm. Apparently, there are even widgets and apps available through the FDA to let individuals know about the most recent and immediate food recalls. There is also a link provided to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service Fact Sheets covering all the food service regulations concerning the safe handling of poultry, eggs, and meat products.
Along with food safety, there are other regulations that would be restaurateurs or caterers need to consider. These run from establishment of minimum wage, overtime pay, and tip reporting standards, to keeping up with the latest regulations concerning the hiring of short-term unauthorized immigrant workers. Another issue to consider is, especially for future restaurant owners, how to balance the strict public health rules with the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act which mandates non-discrimination against customers and employees with disabilities. There are also the provisions act, also known as the FLSA, which are focused on the regulations concerning the hiring of young people to help in the food service industry.
While there are many rewards to opening a restaurant or catering company, each potential small business person must be aware that with all the rewards comes a great deal of headaches as well.
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