Some restaurants may soon be able to welcome canine friends to their patios

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Salt Lake County Health Department announced that some Salt Lake County restaurants and cafes have received the variance that allows them to welcome dogs to their outdoor eating areas. 

Twenty-two food establishments in Salt Lake County received the variance for the 2019 season and are now legally allowed to welcome canine companions to their patios, according to a press release. 

Authorities say the variance only applies to dogs and not others animals. It also does not affect in any way qualifying ADA service dogs. 

According to federal law, service dogs individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability must be allowed in all public areas of a food establishment. Emotional support animals, comfort animals, companion animals, and therapy animals are not considered service animals under the law, the press release stated. 

 In order to receive the “dog patio” approval, SLCoHD says dog-friendly food service businesses need to submit a special processes safety plan (Known as a HACCP Plan), pay an application fee of $315 and agree to a few simple rules. 

Here are some of the rules according to SLCoHD: 

  • The establishment must post signs that notify patrons that dogs may be on the premises
  • The patio must have an outdoor entrance so dogs don’t have to go through an interior dining area, and there must be self-closing doors between the patio and interior area
  • The patio must be cleaned with animal-friendly chemicals at the beginning of each shift, or every six hours if the business does not have defined shifts
  • Any dog bathroom “accidents” must be cleaned and the area sanitized within 5 minutes
  • Wait staff and other restaurant food-handlers may not touch any dog
  • Dogs must remain on-leash and must have collars with current license and rabies tag
  • Dogs may not be on tables or chairs
  • Dogs should be given water in a disposable container, but may not eat food (including dog food or treats)
  • Dogs may not have contact with any dishes or utensils

The variance is only good for one summer dinning season and if the food establishment is in good standing SLCoHD say they can renew their variance for $110 fee. 

To apply for the variance contact the Food Protection Bureau at 385-468-3845.

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