Food Safety for Church Dinners
One of the biggest food safety mistakes people make during church dinners is that they let perishable food items sit out on a table at room temperature for too long. Both hot hold and cold hold foods are taken out of the refrigerator or oven at the church member’s home, and then they are transported to the church and placed on a serving table where they sit during the service awaiting the dinner time after the service. Any foods- hot or cold- that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than 2 hours can easily allow bacteria to multiply and cause illness. When perishable foods are not kept on a heating source (chafing dish or slow cooker/crock pot) or nestled in a chilling source (bowls of ice or ice chest on ice), they enter the Danger Zone between 41 F and 135 F. Where bacteria grow the most rapidly and should be thrown away after remaining at room temperature for more than 2 hours.
Before handling food you are preparing wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds and then dry your hands with a clean paper towel, not a dirty cloth towel used by the whole family. Wear clean throw away plastic gloves or use alcohol gel hand sanitizer (Purel) before handling ready to eat food.
Keep raw meat and poultry separate from cooked foods. Do not use the same cutting board for raw vegetables that was previously used to cut raw chicken or meat. The juices from raw meat can contain harmful bacteria that cross contaminates other foods. If you have only one cutting board cut vegetables first and then wash it in warm soapy water and use it to cut meat second.
Use a food probe thermometer (cooks thermometer- 0 F to 220 F) to make sure your foods are in The Red Zone and fully cooked. Meat and poultry including wings, sausages and hamburgers, should be cooked to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli 0157:H7.
And remember, color is not a reliable indicator of doneness- internal temperature is. Use a food thermometer to be sure meat and poultry are safely cooked. Steaks should be cooked to 145 F, ground beef should be cooked to 160 F, and all poultry (chicken and turkey) should be cooked to 165 F. Once your foods have reached The Red Zone for food safety, protect your church members from The Danger Zone. Don’t leave foods sitting out for more than two hours at temperatures between 41 F and 135 F .
Any leftovers to be taken home after the church dinner should be refrigerated or frozen promptly. Leftover hot foods should be reheated to 165 F before eating. Keep cold food cold at 41 F or colder, the same rules of The Danger Zone apply for cold foods, too. If cold food has been sitting out for more than 2 hours, do not eat it, throw it away.
Please call the Duncanville Health Department at 972-780-4963 with your food safety questions.
Pool and Spa Regulations
The City of Duncanville Code of Ordinances Sec. 5-8 © (1) states that any private pool or spa located within the city shall not be permitted to remain in a condition so as to create a public health or safety hazard, or a nuisance to the general public. Any time a private pool or spa contains any amount of water, the owner or occupant of the premises must:
a. Maintain water clarity so that all parts of the bottom can be seen;
c. Maintain pool substantially free of foreign matters;
d. Prevent harborage or breeding places for insects or rodents.
The Duncanville Health Dept. recommends and requires all of the above, and in addition, that the pump run at least 8 hrs each day with the Chlorine levels at 1 ppm or greater to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes which may be vectors of West Nile Virus.
Wading pools should not be left with the same water in them for more than two days. Empty and refill every two days to prevent mosquito breeding, or store dry and inverted between periods of use.
Any failure to meet the above requirements for a period exceeding 10 days may result in the city taking further legal action to correct these unsatisfactory conditions.
Your cooperation and compliance with the above requirements in a timely manner will be greatly appreciated by the Duncanville Health Dept. and your neighbors as we work together to help slow the spread of West Nile Virus by mosquitoes in or
Please call the Duncanville Health Department at 972-780-4963 with your pool or spa regulation questions.
Residential Swimming Pool Draining Guidelines
- Never pump water into a storm sewer, bar ditch, or alley.
- When possible pump the water into a sanitary sewer of the residence.
- If help is needed in finding the closest sanitary sewer access, call the Duncanville City Service Center 972-780-4900.
- If there is no access to a sanitary sewer within a reasonable distance from the pool, the water can be pumped onto the ground of the residence if the water is completely contained on the property of the pool owner.
- Take care to avoid water running off onto property of adjacent residences.
- Take care that water pumped from the pool does not drain into the house, garage, or storage buildings of the residence.
- If a gate lock has to be cut off or fence section removed to facilitate pumping, replace the lock and/or repair the fence when the job is completed.
SUMMARY: Your cooperation with these guidelines will help prevent any contamination of our creeks and streams that may adversely affect fish, wildlife, and drinking water. Algae and/or chemicals in the pool water can kill fish in our streams, and these fish eat the mosquito larvae we are trying to prevent in the pools we pump.
Please call the Duncanville Health Department at 972-780-4963 with your residential swimming pool questions.
Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2016
On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, the Duncanville City Council amended Chapter 16B of the Code of Ordinances and passed the “Smoke-Free Air Ordinance of 2016,” in an effort to greatly reduce the exposure of employees and citizens to the harmful effects of second-hand tobacco smoke.
The new ordinance will become effective on May 1, 2016, and seeks to mitigate these harmful effects by replacing the older ordinance, which allowed smoking in designated areas, with a comprehensive smoking ordinance that protects workers and citizens in municipal work sites, private sector work sites, restaurants, restaurant bars, and finally, bars that are not within restaurants.
The City of Duncanville now joins 42 other cities within the State of Texas who have also passed comprehensive smoke-free ordinances. These include DeSoto, Denton, Plano, Flower Mound, Southlake, University Park, Waxahachie, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Corpus Christi, and Dallas.
The comprehensive smoking ordinance includes several items that both businesses and citizens need to be aware of:
- Smoking is prohibited in all places of employment, including common work areas, auditoriums, classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, private offices, elevators, hallways, medical facilities, cafeterias, employee lounges, stairs, restrooms, vehicles, and all other enclosed facilities.
- Smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places within the city, including but not limited to restaurants, bars and restrooms, lobbies, reception areas, hallways, and other common-use areas. Private clubs are also included, with the exception of those dedicated to the service of veterans of the United States military and their families, incorporated as a non-profit corporation, located and established within the corporate limits of the City prior to January 1, 1975.
- Smoking is prohibited within 15 feet of outside entrances, operable windows, and ventilation systems of enclosed spaces where smoking is prohibited, including buildings owned and/or rented by the city, and within `15 feet of outdoor playgrounds, bleachers, or grandstands. It is also prohibited in outdoor arenas, stadiums, and ampitheaters or while in an outdoor service line.
- Purchase possession, consumption, or delivery of e-cigarettes and/or liquid nicotine to persons younger than 18 years old is prohibited.
- Smoking is not regulated in private residences, private automobiles, and retail tobacco stores, cigar stores, and retail electronic smoking device stores for sampling of the products sold there.
Enforcement of the new ordinance falls to the City Health Inspector, peace officer, or an authorized designee who can issue verbal warnings, written warnings, and finally, issue citations for offenses. The new ordinance provides a sliding-scale of fines within a 12 month period for individual offenders while businesses can face a fine up to $2000 for non-compliance issues.
For more information, contact the Duncanville Health Inspector at 972-780-4963.
Smoke-Free Air Ordinance Guidelines:
For specific type of businesses:
- Retail Tobacco/Electronic Smoking Store
- Apartment/Townhome Housing
- Outside Public Spaces
Temporary Food Permit
Food: all edible substances, ice, beverages, and ingredients to be sold or given away.
Any group, organization, company, or individual selling or offering for free any food item to the public must obtain a temporary food permit.
Application Process and Fee
A fee of $25.00, plus $5.00 for each additional day will be required at time of application along with a copy of a valid health permit and last inspection report of the food establishment or commissary preparing the food off site. To obtain a temporary food permit application click here.
NOTE: Duncanville food establishments with a valid permanent Duncanville Food Permit exempted from fee; however, they must still obtain a temporary food permit.
- All food must be approved by the Duncanville Health Inspector before the event and be from an approved source. No raw meat, poultry or fish prepped on site or at a home (approved licensed commercial kitchens only).
- Cooking of raw meat, poultry, or fish unless frozen will not be allowed with out special permission from the Duncanville Health Inspector prior to the event.
- Home preparation and/or cooking of food in a home and delivered to the site is not allowed.
- All condiments available for customer self service must be available in single self-service packets, or be dispensed from sanitary automatic dispensers. Single service plates, cups, and utensils only.
- All perishable food must be stored at 41 degrees Fahrenheit or colder, or at 135 degrees Fahrenheit or hotter to prevent incubation of food borne pathogens.
- Open unprotected displays of food are not allowed.
- All food items must be handled with proper utensils (scoops with handles, tongs, spoons, plastic gloves, no wood utensils). Bare hand contact with the food prohibited.
- Food service metal stem thermometer must be present and accurate within +/- 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
- There must be close access to a hand wash station with running water from a dispenser with a catch basin, pump soap, paper hand towels.
- All trash and waste must be contained in a lined trash can with a lid.
- Food contact surfaces of equipment shall be protected from contamination by customers, insects, bird, and other contaminating agents. Equipment shall be readily cleanable and maintained clean.
- The floor or ground shall not be dirt or grass. Set up on concrete, asphalt, boards, heavy plastic tarp or such, and keep clean of spills and debris.
- All cases of food and single service supply must be 6 inches off the ground.
- All stands shall have a suitable cover/roof over food preparation, cooking, and service area to prevent rain, dust and bird dropping contamination.
- All stands must provide for proper wash, rinse, and sanitizing of food service equipment. Sanitizing solution must be 50 ppm if chlorine is used, and 200 ppm if quaternary ammonia is used.
- All employees shall:
- Wear clean clothes.
- Have hair restrained to prevent contact with food.
- Wash hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizer can be used, however gloves must be worn when contacting ready to eat food. You may operate a grill without gloves if tongs or spatulas are used for food contact.
- Not handle food if open sores or cuts are present on hands or forearms unless a bandage and glove completely covers the wound.
- Watch the Duncanville Food Handler Training streaming video.
West Nile Virus / Mosquito Issues