Retail Food

Retail Food Safety

Food safety is the top priority for the Environmental Health Department as we work with almost 400 local food establishments.

Inspection Process

Each year establishments receive unscheduled inspections by Environmental Health inspectors. Inspections address safe food handling practices and the physical condition of the facility. In addition to identifying problems in the operation, inspectors talk with food handlers about food safety practices that can lead to safer food. Any serious problems are required to be corrected or the owner will face the possibility of civil penalties and / or closure in very rare situations. Restaurant inspection results are available here.

Inspection Frequency

Restaurant inspections are conducted an average of two times per year, depending on the complexity of the menu, number of meals served, and violation history. For example, restaurants that handle food more frequently are inspected more frequently than a convenience store that serves mostly prepackaged foods.

Starting a Food Business

Before constructing, enlarging, or converting any building for use as a retail food establishment, the Environmental Health Department must review and approve the plans. A plan review application packet must be completed and returned with the appropriate fees in order for the department to initiate a review of the plans. Note: Plans will not be reviewed until a completed packet has been submitted.

Taking Ownership of an Existing Food Establishment

Contact Environmental Health to set up an inspection of the facility. An inspector will meet you on site and may require correction of any items observed that do not meet the regulations prior to issuance of license. An inspection fee will be collected on site for this inspection in addition to any other licensing fees.

Temporary Food Events

 Summit County hosts many special and temporary events each year. Many of those include food vendors. Temporary event food vendors are required to have a Retail Food Establishment License. 

Special Event Vendor Applications and worksheets must be completely filled out and submitted to the event coordinator. Please check with the event coordinator for event application deadlines. 

Event Coordinators must submit all applications and worksheets to the Summit County Public Health Department, Environmental Health along with the Event Coordinator Application and Vendor List, at least 10 business days prior to the event. Prior approval must be granted in order for a vendor to serve food.