State Politics

‘Grill bill’ heads to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk ahead of Memorial Day

The Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen's chef Michael Rigot tends to several of his gourmet grilled chevre cheese on boulted bread grit loaf sandwiches with blueberries, spicy pecans and local greens on an outdoor grill in Raleigh in 2016. Legislation passed this month would allow restaurants to use outdoor grills.
The Rye Bar and Southern Kitchen's chef Michael Rigot tends to several of his gourmet grilled chevre cheese on boulted bread grit loaf sandwiches with blueberries, spicy pecans and local greens on an outdoor grill in Raleigh in 2016. Legislation passed this month would allow restaurants to use outdoor grills. hlynch@newsobserver.com

Legislation allowing restaurants to cook on outdoor grills is headed to the governor’s desk after a final Senate vote Thursday.

Restaurants currently aren’t allowed to serve food that they prepared using an outdoor grill. Senate Bill 24 – known as the “grill” bill – would set regulations for the practice. The Senate signed off on House tweaks to the legislation Thursday in a unanimous vote, and Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to sign it into law.

The N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association called on Cooper “to sign the bill into law in time for Memorial Day weekend celebrations.”

“It will be very beneficial to food service establishments,” association president Lynn Minges said in a news release. “It will allow the state’s restaurants and hotels to use outdoor grills to better serve their patrons, especially during the approaching summer months. Our members, and in turn their customers, will benefit from the added flexibility to grow their services while lowering overhead costs.”

When the House unanimously approved the bill on May 11, House Speaker Tim Moore called it a “pro-jobs restaurant reform” measure.

“Republican reforms are getting government out of the way of business so North Carolina’s economy can thrive,” Moore said in a news release.

If it becomes law, restaurants that grill food outside would need to use a cast iron or stainless steel cooking surface, keep the grill supervised at all times, and store it in an enclosed area.

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