New state rules would allow restaurants to serve raw, rare food

Posted June 21, 2012

— The North Carolina Commission for Public Health is poised to adopt new food regulations for the state, a move that would relax current standards prohibiting restaurants from serving raw or undercooked foods.

On Thursday, a public health review commission approved the new rules, which are expected to be formally adopted at a committee meeting July 19.

New rules would allow patrons to order a rare hamburger, for example, as long as the restaurant provides a warning about the dangers of eating raw or undercooked food, which can cause foodborne illness. Restaurant workers would have to wear gloves or use tongs when handling ready-to-eat foods.

Many of the changes follow the new food safety guidelines set forth in the federal Food and Drug Administration's 2009 Food Code.

The new rules, if approved, will take effect Sept. 1. 


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  • dcatz Jun 22, 2012

    Why should a restaurant need permission from the state to prepare a food a certain way? As long as the customer is fully informed as to what they are getting (i.e. not trying to pass off raw meat as cooked), it is the customer's own responsibility for what happens to their own body.

  • hpr641 Jun 22, 2012

    If this passes and you decide you want, say a raw hamburger, may I suggest staying away from places with, on their most recent sanitation grade, anything less than 100 (98+ before the 2 bonus points)? That, or just make it yourself ... carefully.

  • piene2 Jun 22, 2012

    While I, who eats almost everything rare or raw am delighted with this news, I can not quite understand it. For as long as I can remember two fairly large restaurant chains in North Carolina (Waffle House and (first name bleeped) Barrel) have offered their food cooked to order which includes as rare as asked for. One would think that if it had been against the law, they would have known that. As a matter of fact, it states just that on the Waffle House menu. Well, either way, I am happy to be able to go to more places and enjoy my food cooked the way I like it. As a sidebar, I remember that some years back, The State of New Jersey passed a law that no eggs could be served in restaurants unless the yoke was fully congealed (cooked to death). The day the law came into effect thousands of people flocked to Trenton, completely tying the city in knots. The law was repealed later that day.

  • NCHighlander Jun 22, 2012

    cow-sushi.. yum! schiltzmalt

    Stop making comments like that. I can't stop laughing!

  • schlitzmalt Jun 22, 2012

    cow-sushi.. yum!

  • NCHighlander Jun 22, 2012

    Great news. Last month we do away with the dreaded and disgusting pink slime which also contained the key ingredient to kill dreaded bacteria and now we can get hamburger raw.
    I think this is a conspiracy though up by the toilet paper industry.

  • gingerlynn Jun 21, 2012

    Nothing better than a rare hamburger at a quality establishment. Never been sick in 48 years. Steak Tartare anyone?

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 21, 2012

    Here's some more information along this same line -

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 21, 2012

    Scuba - "Interesting though that when all this first came about all of those who complained were IGNORED-they were looking out for us and our health-since we obviously can't be trusted to make our own decisions."

    I noticed that too.

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jun 21, 2012

    sjb - "i trust my steak to restaurants, but ground beef not as much."

    Me too. Some don't understand that, but if a steak is dropped on the floor and then cooked, all the germs it picked up from the floor are killed with the searing; but if that same piece of meat is dropped on the floor, then ground to bits before cooking, all the germs it picked up from the floor are mixed all through the meat as it's being ground. Yuck!

    At fast food joints, I want my burgers well done to deal with that cause when it comes to my food, I trust few.