North Carolina's Public Health Division held a hearing in Raleigh Thursday about using stricter federal food guidelines.
Under the new guidelines, cold foods must be kept colder, sick restaurant workers must stay home and cooks must not touch certain foods with their bare hands.
It's a change most restaurants support.
"There are all kind of diseases and things people can catch now, and not only do I work at a restaurant, I eat at one. So I want people taking precautions with my food as well," said Tina Slater, who works as a server at Mattie's Diner in Charlotte.
Mecklenburg County health officials said the new regulations will force them to update forms and inspections, and lead to a drop in food-borne illness.
"At the end of the day, there's going to be a lot of good that comes out of it," Mecklenburg County Health Department spokeswoman Lynn Lathan said.
The new rules are expected to cost North Carolina restaurants about $5 million over the next five years, but it will save money by protecting patrons.
The public health hearing is a required part of the adoption of the new rules. State legislators already voted last year to replace state regulations with the federal food code.