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Schuylkill County News

Proposed Pottsville Ordinance Could Levy Huge Fines on Violating Businesses

License and inspection fee set to quadruple in the ordinance is passed.

Pottsville City Council is set to introduce a new ordinance on Monday that calls for the potential of massive fines against public food and drinking businesses found in violation of it.

What City Council introduces on Monday would be a first reading of this ordinance. It couldn’t be passed and put into law until the time the board meets in August.

Proposed New Food and Drinking Business Ordinance in Pottsville

Officially, the new proposed ordinance calls for an amendment to Chapter 126-3 and replacing in its entirety, Chapter 126-4.

Chapter 126-3 deals with food license and inspection fees. Under the new proposed ordinance, the cost to businesses would be quadrupled, from $25 to $100 annually.

The ordinance that will be introduced on Monday also calls for striking Chapter 126-14 entirely and replacing it with newer language.

First, the current ordinance says that any public eating or drinking business that violates any provisions under Chapter 126 is subject to a fine of not more than $1,000.

That, under the proposed changes, would be replaced by a series of far more specific fines that could be levied against business owners.

These violations would get a business owner a $50 fine for each infraction:

  • Single-use/single-service articles: properly stored & used.
  • Food & non-food contact surfaces cleanable, properly designed, constructed and used.
  • Plumbing installed, proper backflow devices.
  • Certified Food manager certificate: valid & properly displayed.

Fines would be $100 each for any of these 30 violations:

  • Person in Charge present, demonstrates knowledge, & performs duties.
  • Management, food employee & conditional employee; knowledge, responsibilities & reporting
  • Proper use of reporting; restriction & exclusion
  • Procedures for responding to vomiting diarrheal events.
  • Proper eating, tasting, drinking or tobacco use.
  • No discharge from eyes, nose & mouth
  • Hands clean & properly washed.
  • Adequate handwashing sinks properly supplied & accessible.
  • Food received at proper temperature.
  • Required records available, shellstock tags, parasite.
  • Pasteurized eggs were used where required.
  • Water & ice from approved source
  • Plant food properly cooked for hot holding.
  • Thermometers provided & accurate.
  • Food properly labeled, original container.
  • Personal cleanliness
  • Wipe cloths: properly used & stored.
  • Proper disposition of returned, previously served, reconditioned and unsafe food.
  • Time as a public health control: procedures & records
  • In-use utensils; properly stored.
  • Utensils, equipment & linens: properly stored, dried & handled.
  • Gloves used properly.
  • Non-food contact surfaces clean.
  • Non-food contact surfaces clean.
  • Hot & Cold water available: adequate pressure
  • Sewage & wastewater properly disposed.
  • Toilet facilities: properly constructed, supplied cleaned.
  • Garbage & refuse properly disposed: facilities maintained.
  • Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean.
  • Adequate ventilation & lighting; designated areas used.

Fines of at least $300 but not more than $1,000 would be levied against food and drinking business owners if they violate any of these regulations during a city inspection:

  • No bare hand contact with RTE foods or pre-approved alternate method properly followed.
  • Food obtained from approved source.
  • Food in good condition, safe & unadulterated
  • Variance obtained for specialized processing methods.
  • Approved thawing methods used.
  • Insects, rodents & animals not present
  • Contamination prevented during food preparation, storage & display.
  • Washing fruits & vegetables
  • Food separated and protected.
  • Food contact surfaces: cleaned & sanitized.
  • Proper cooking time & temperature
  • Proper reheating procedures for hot holding
  • Proper cooling time & temperature
  • Proper hot holding temperature
  • Proper cold holding temperature.
  • Proper date marking & disposition.
  • Consumer advisory provided for raw/undercooked foods.
  • Pasteurized food used; prohibited foods not offered.
  • Food/Color additives: approved & properly used.
  • Toxic substances properly identified, stored & used.
  • Compliance with variance/specialized processes/HACCP

The proposed ordinance, as it’s currently written, does not call for a cap on fines against violating business owners.

City Council meets on Monday, July 8, at 6 p.m.

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  1. James EISENHART

    July 8, 2024 at 8:03 am

    I currently boycott most Putzville Businesses,due to ghd stupidity of most
    Council members. Keep up the good work,you’ll drive good businesses to
    Move out. I hope Thry do.

    • Coalregion12

      July 8, 2024 at 9:40 am

      So why the HUGE increase? Any reason(s) to quadruple the fines? So who is qualified to do these inspections in Pottsville? The state already has the Agricultural Department running inspections. Do we really need Pottsville to double up on this too?
      Best part is there is NO cap on fines as it is currently written.

      • Lori

        July 8, 2024 at 10:39 am

        It seems the city Council feels they are the no all do all and have to answer to no one. They’re making rules they know nothing about. But I can honestly say I didn’t vote for any of them. And I won’t when they come up for reelection. There are so many bigger problems and possible they should be dealing with.

  2. Lori

    July 8, 2024 at 10:37 am

    Yep it’s easy to see. The city Council is really trying to shut down also. They do nothing to bring in and keep businesses but they sure as heck do a lot to shut them down and get rid of them.

  3. Heidi

    July 8, 2024 at 11:27 am

    Please go to the City Council meetings to voice your concerns. Citizens to stand up for the businesses as best we can.

    Council meeting is tonight 7/8 at 6pm at City Hall. Second Monday of the month.

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