Health Department Issues Statement About Service Animals In Food Establishments

ADA-Service-Animal-5Jasper (Local Sources) – With thousands of people expected this week in Jasper for the 38th Strassenfest, the Dubois County Health Department has issued the following statement about exactly “What is a service animal?” and about having service animals in food establishments.

“The Dubois County Health Department is reminding the public, through the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), only certain animals are classified as “Service Animals!”

Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work for perform tasks for an individual with a disability.

The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability. An emotional support, therapy, comfort or companion animal are terms used to describe animals that provide comfort just by being with a person.  Because they have not been trained to perform a specific job or task, they do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.

A service animal is not a pet.  Pets, such as monkeys, are considered to be a wild animal, and not a service animal.

The Indiana Food Code states that “live animals may not be allowed in the operational areas of a retail food establishment.”  A retail food establishment is defined as an operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, vends, or otherwise provides food for human consumption.

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