DHEC updating food regulations, first time in 17 years

The Department of Health and Environmental Control is updating food safety regulations.

Representatives met with people in Myrtle Beach Monday to get their input. DHEC says the proposed changes put South Carolina's food code closer to newer federal standards.

They involve things like food handling, community festivals and pets in dining areas.

The state hasn't changed its food standards since 1995.

"The restaurant industry has changed so much since 1995, it's us trying to catch up with them," says Tom Eshleman, DHEC Food Supervisor.

DHEC hopes the changes will cut down on food-born illness like Listeria.

The new rules may require some restaurants to upgrade equipment.