Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

New Law: Food inspection exceptions

Published (7/15/2011)
By Hank Long
Share on: 

The efforts of a couple of self-professed “church ladies” from Goodhue County saved their church dinners thanks to a new law that exempts meals served by faith-based organizations from certain Health Department food inspection regulations, including inspections.

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) and Sen. John Sterling Howe (R-Red Wing), the legislation grants certain organizations with tax-exempt status exemption from food regulation statutes. It would also affect organizations that are affiliated with or related to a sportsman organization. It also adds a limitation that events must be held in the organization’s building or on the grounds.

Pat Irrthum and Kathy Theel began their efforts to reform the law that jeopardized their church dinners at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Zumbrota after Goodhue County relinquished its food inspection service for nonprofits last year as a cost saving measure. The Department of Health took over the duties for the county and last spring informed parishioners at the church and other area churches that they were in violation of a state law that requires permits for nonprofit events where homemade food is served. Irrthum testified in House and Senate health committees that her church never received previous communication prior to the health inspector’s arrival at their parish.

The law exempts church dinners from inspection provided that a certified food manager, or a volunteer trained in a food safety course, trains the food preparation workers in safe food handling practices. The exemption does not apply to faith-based organizations at the state fair or county fairs or to faith-based organizations that choose to apply for a license.

The law also states that school concession stands that serve commercially prepared, non-potentially hazardous foods are exempt from food inspection.

Additionally, the law adds an exception for food service events following a disaster as long as commercially prepared, non-potentially hazardous food is served.

The law is effective Aug. 1, 2011.

HF637/ SF477*/CH92

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

A positive balance
Omnibus health care law focuses on reform, restoring cuts and delaying pending cuts
(view full story) Published 5/25/2012

Looking out for children and families
Law offers new safe haven option for newborns; addresses adoption and child safety
(view full story) Published 5/25/2012

Caring for those who care for others
Omnibus health and human services bill remains a moving target
(view full story) Published 3/30/2012

Nursing home funding models
Should residents who can afford to, pay more?
(view full story) Published 3/23/2012

Minnesota Index: Smoking in the state
Facts and statistics on tobacco use in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 3/16/2012

Reform measures draw support
Health and human services reductions draw sharp DFL rebuke
(view full story) Published 8/11/2011

Delivery of health and human services
Governor says proposal puts too many people in health care jeopardy
(view full story) Published 7/15/2011

Surgical precision
HHS budget — end-of-session sticking point
(view full story) Published 5/20/2011

Advocating for patients and constituents
Nurses as legislators add their perspective to health care issues
(view full story) Published 5/13/2011

Aiming for reform
House approves omnibus health and human services finance bill
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Omnibus game and fish bill approved
Deer hunting, two-line fishing provisions push people’s buttons
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

Care for underserved communities
Community paramedic program is a ‘first of its kind’ proponents say
(view full story) Published 4/8/2011

A hand up in climb out of poverty
Bipartisan initiative looks to fund expansion of ‘Circles of Support’ program
(view full story) Published 4/1/2011

Feature: A healthier Minnesota
Long-term savings the goal of statewide improvement plan
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011

At Issue: No access for all
Report says more oversight needed of state-funded non-emergency transportation
(view full story) Published 2/4/2011