By GLEN BROWN
For The Times
Good news for non-profit food vendors: They do not have to take the state certification as a Food Safety Manager as thought previously.
Popcorn Festival members, who attended the Indiana Festival State Convention last year, were told that state regulations would require all food handlers, including non-profit organizations, to take tests and be certified. However recently, according to vendor committee members Janie Krecker and Nancy Withers and Clay County Health Departments agent Bill Hale, non-profit organizations are exempt from having to take a test to be certified to handle food items. At this time, legislature is being worded to exempt non-profit organizations who sell food.
However, everyone stated that non-profit food handlers who prepare and handle food must comply with existing regulations by having hand-sanitation facilities on-site consisting of soap-and-water, diluted bleach water and rinse water for normal sanitizing and cleaning. Also, they need to have a five or 10-gallon container with spigot to wash hands periodically with a grey-water catch container below. Gloves, hair nets or hair caps are always required. Those who sell packaged food items do not have to have hand-sanitation facilities on site.
Evelyn Brown, President of the Festival states that we have limited the number of food vendors this year to eliminate duplication of food items plus allow food vendors to make more money. By doing this, it also helps the non-profit organizations to come on board and make money as well.
The Festival Vendor committee is asking that any non-profit organizations who did not sign up for booth space, may do so at any time prior to the Festival since the changes in the regulations are now in their favor. Due to the high cost of gasoline, the Festival committee has voted also to defer late fees this year for all vendors. This also includes deferring late fees for local non-profit food vendors who are not required to be certified.
Please contact Janie Krecker at 939-2027 or Nancy Withers at 442-0021 to sign up for booth space or if you have any additional questions. By eliminating the late fee, non-profit organizations can now pocket more money for their organization.