Retail Food Safety Food safety is the top priority for the Environmental Health Department as we work with more than 400 local food establishments.
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.
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.
Mobile Food Vending
Whether you want to sell food at a construction job site or at the weekend concert, mobile food vending can be a successful and fun business opportunity. It also comes with unique risks that are not present in a building based restaurant such as frozen hand wash sinks and no electricity from the grid. For more info on starting a mobile food business, see this informative flyer (Spanish) or (English). Fill out a Mobile Plan Review application to get started.
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 Temp Event Vendor Permit or Retail Food Establishment License. A flow chart was created to help coordinators and vendors to navigate this program. There are fees associated with these permits/licenses.
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. There are fees associated with these applications. Prior approval must be granted in order for a vendor to serve food.
All applications and fees are requested to be submitted to Environmental Health 30 days prior to the event. If either are received within 10 days of the event a late fee will be assessed.