New Brunswick

Restaurant owner fears new food rules will cost jobs

The owner of a Saint John restaurant believes the province's new food safety regulations will come at a significant cost to small businesses.

New regulations for New Brunswick restaurants requires staff to be certified

Health officials say the new rules were in the works before an E. coli outbreak was linked to a Jungle Jims restaurant. (Matthew Bingley/CBC)

The owner of a Saint John restaurant believes the province’s new food safety regulations will come at a significant cost to small businesses.

As of July 1, restaurants must ensure one person on every shift is certified in safe food handling.

But Dick Daigle, who owns Pizza Hut, said food safety is already a priority.

"It's just one more input cost on the hospitality industry that is really starting to affect the bottom line for this industry overall," he said.

Pizza Hut has a training program in place and hires an external company to come in and audit food safety.

Daigle said his bottom line will take a big hit with the new rules.

"I mean from my perspective, it's probably going to cost me $1,000 a year. By the time you train six or seven employees, pay them for time that they're actually going to the course plus pay between $75 and $150 per course depending on when you take it, it's a pretty significant impact on our industry."

The new regulations made headlines in the wake of an E. coli outbreak in Miramichi last month, but health officials say they’ve been in the works for months.

The E. coli outbreak was linked to a Jungle Jim’s franchise. At least 13 people were infected by the bacteria.

Daigle says restaurant owners are also dealing with increases in minimum wage, energy costs and taxes.

He is worried jobs will have to be cut as a result.                 

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