Food Establishments

Food Inspections
How are health inspections done?
Inspections conducted by the Environmental Health Department are unannounced and occur when the facilities are open. Registered Sanitarians have the primary responsibility of inspecting facilities that provide food to the public. These food establishments are divided into four categories based on frequency of inspections.
Category I
Food establishments that sell only prepackaged foods, non-potentially hazardous foods, or beverages with minimal handling. These establishments can include, small bars, small bakeries, warehouses, and continental breakfast bars.
At least one inspection every 180 days.
Category II
Medium food establishments that handle and prepare raw ingredients with a variety of processes. Examples can include, retail delis, retail seafood markets, medium size restaurants, fast food restaurants.
At least one inspection every 90 days.
Category III
Large food establishments that handle raw ingredients and prepare a variety of foods. This category can include customers with a higher risk to food borne illnesses. Examples include daycare centers, hospitals, nursing homes, and large restaurants.
At least one inspection every 60 days.
Category IV
This category can include food establishments that operate 24 hours a day, cafeterias, a retail outlet that processes smoked foods, or has reduced oxygen packaging.
At least one inspection every 45 days.
What does the health inspection mean?
  • 0 demerits is EXCELLENT
  • 100 would be UNACCEPTABLE
  • 0 demerits means no major violations were seen at the time of inspection
  • 15 demerits could be considered an average number
  • 30 demerits or above requires a re-inspection within 24 hours
Major violations consist of improper cooking techniques or practices that could result in food borne illnesses. The first group of major violations include not re-heating food properly, not keeping food hot enough, not keeping food cold enough, and not cooking food to proper temperatures. The second group of major violations includes other practices by employees that could cause food borne illnesses. Examples of these violations include not washing hands properly, no soap and paper towels at hand sinks, or improperly storing chemicals. Establishments correct major violations during inspections. Sanitarians frequently conduct follow-up inspections to verify continued correction.
Non-major violations are items that do not result in any demerits, but must be corrected by the food establishment. Examples of these violations include walls, floors, ceilings, not clean or not in good repair.