Department of Health calling attention to pet-friendly restaurants

Department of Health calling attention to pet-friendly restaurants

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Several restaurants in the metro are known to be pet friendly, but the Mississippi Department of Health said they don’t approve of the dog and dining experience.

“We have to abide by what the restaurant codes are, so we won’t have any choice,” said Drew Creel, proprietor for Krilakis Greek restaurant in Ridgeland.

Creel has had his restaurant pet-friendly restaurant open for years. He said that after learning about this food code, the restaurant will turn away any future furry customers.

“I really wasn’t aware that the health department said that dogs could not be anywhere around your restaurant,” said Creel.

However, Liz Sharlot of the Department of Health shared a statement that reads in part:

“It is the responsibility of the food safety certified manager on staff at each restaurant to be knowledgeable about food safety issues and to control practices and procedures that contribute to foodborne illness.”

Those that came to dine with dogs at Krilakis never sat indoors. With seating outside, their pets were leashed outside of this gate; a rule that Creel insisted on. Even so, that still violates the state’s food code.

The food code reads as follows:

6-501.115 of the 2017 Food Code states that animals are prohibited not just from the building, but from the premises of a food establishment. There is a short list of exclusions to this rule as long as contamination of food, equipment, utensils, and linens cannot result. Those exceptions include fish tanks, patrol dogs accompanying security officers, and service animals.

Sharlot said the code dates back to at least 2005.

“I think some restaurants don’t know about it. I wasn’t aware that dogs couldn’t be around,” said Creel.

His opinion might hold some truth. Deep South Pops on State Street had dogs on their patio Friday.

Walker’s, Barrel House, and Bop’s Frozen Custard in Ridgeland are also known to have pet-friendly patios.

The health department said this is one of many violations they will continue to inspect for in the future.

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