Foodservice Equipment Reports

L.A. Doggies: You Are Served

Doggie bags won’t be necessary anymore for dog owners in Los Angeles who wish to dine al fresco with their pets. Late last month, Los Angeles County announced that eateries with outdoor dining areas can allow dog owners to chow down with their pets.

The decision to invite canines is up to an individual operator. “Guidelines have been established to protect food safety and ensure safety for all patrons,” said Jonathan Fielding, the county’s top health officer. The new guidelines prohibit food preparation—including mixing beverages—on the patios and prohibit restaurant employees from having direct contact with pets. Dogs may not walk through the restaurant to reach the outdoor area and can only be served on single-use, disposable containers. Tableware, including plates, flatware and glasses cannot be stored, displayed or pre-set at the outdoor dining area.

In addition, eatery owners are obligated to follow local city ordinances related to sidewalk, public nuisance and sanitation issues, authorities said.

The new policy affects L.A. County restaurants inspected by the Public Health Department; Pasadena, Long Beach and Vernon are not covered in the policy change.