Change Nova Scotia's Food Safety Regulations!

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#BRIGHTWOODLOVESDOGS

It is with a heavy heart that we need to let everyone know that puppers are no longer allowed through the front doors of our Brightwood Market taproom in Downtown Dartmouth until things change.

Recently, an anonymous complaint was made to the Inspection, Compliance and Enforcement branch of the Department of Environment; someone observed a dog on the premises and a compliance officer paid us a visit to follow-up on the complaint.

If we are found in breach of the NS food safety regulations, our food establishment permit could be taken away, which would in turn take away our Beverage Room License. The enforcement officer indicated that we were in breach of section 39 of this regulation which states:

“An operator may permit the following live animals to be in a food establishment in the circumstances indicated:

 (a)    a guide animal, if permitting the guide animal to enter does not pose a risk of contaminating the food; and

(b)    edible fish, crustaceans, shellfish or live fish in an aquarium “

This section effectively says no dogs are allowed wherever food is served in Nova Scotia. We believe this is the wrong approach to handling dogs & food safety and think that we can improve this!

Brightwood Brewery believes that dogs are family members; we believe that Nova Scotia’s restrictive dog laws can be detrimental to their overall wellbeing. Dogs are not allowed on the ferry, dogs are not allowed on the bus, dogs are not allowed to be off leash in most public parks, dogs are not allowed inside of most public spaces. Dogs are social animals and are not meant to be cooped up inside of an apartment or house most of the time, especially in the heat we’ve been experiencing this summer! There are limited options for owners who would like to take their dog along with them when running errands or enjoying some R&R outside of their home.

We purchase our pre-prepared food from local off-site kitchens such as the amazing Humble Pie or the delicious Staff of Life. We store these products in an enclosed refrigerated display and reheat in our commercial oven to serve; all done behind our bar (where dogs are not permitted). Our taproom is constructed of concrete, wood, aluminum, drywall and contains minimal fabrics; all easily cleanable surfaces.

In order to enact change, and allow dogs within our taproom, we are proposing to add a part (c) to the regulation, modeled off of successful systems in the British Columbia and Alberta Food Regulations which state fully or in part:

"(c ) any other animal that a health officer determines will not pose a risk of a health hazard occurring on the premises."

This will allow the food inspector to determine if the specific location in which people are dining in is suitable for dogs (“guide” or otherwise) to be allowed and to allow for the owners of food establishments within Nova Scotia to determine whether or not they can offer a dog friendly environment. This eliminates all grey areas within the current regulation and allows us to bring our dogs into a few more places, out of the thousands they are not allowed.

If you count yourself a supporter for this cause, please take the time to sign our change.org petition or stop in our taproom to sign a paper copy. Thanks!