Food Safety Program

The Logan County Department of Public Health (LCDPH) Division of Environmental Health, through the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Local Health Protection Grant, operates a comprehensive Food Protection Program. The goal of the Food Protection Program is to prevent the occurrence of foodborne illness and to assure the food consumed by the residents and visitors of Logan County is safe. This is accomplished mainly through education of food operators, surveillance of reported food illnesses, and enforcement of sanitation codes. Food establishments selling, preparing, and/or serving foods to the public are inspected in order to assure compliance with the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code, the Logan County Ordinance, and other applicable regulations.

In Logan County, food establishments are typically inspected at least 1-3 times per year depending on level of risk, food handling practices, and compliance records. Routine inspections are unannounced and are scored on a 100-point minus debit point system. There are 45 items or categories under which violations may be written. Within these 45 items, 13 are considered critical items. Critical items are those violations that are more likely to contribute to food contamination, illness, or other environmental health hazard.  Items such as improper food temperatures, contaminated foods, and poor personal hygiene are considered critical items. The remaining 32 items are considered non-critical items. Non-critical items are those violations that are relatively unlikely to directly contribute to food borne illness but do affect the overall sanitation level of the facility. Items such as unclean floors and inadequate lighting are considered non-critical items.

Routine inspections provide information regarding the establishment's level of food safety practices at the time of the inspection. Trends in the inspection history provide a more complete picture of the sanitation level that can be expected in specific food establishments. Therefore, as results are posted, the two most recent routine inspections will be provided in order to assess any improvement in sanitation level that may have been noted. Food safety scores can be viewed under the inspection score section which is available on this site.

Opening a New Food Establishment?

If you are interested in opening a new food establishment, the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health will help you get started. The first step in the process is to complete and submit a plan review which must include a neatly detailed drawing of your facility showing the location of all equipment, hand sinks, etc. Upon receipt, the department representative will review your plans, provide instruction, and/or make any recommendations prior to allowing for the start of construction. It is important to never start construction or remodeling without first submitting the plan review. In addition, you cannot operate a new food service establishment without proper health department approval (certification) so contacting the department must be your first step in the process.

Renovating Your Existing Food Establishment?

If you are making any changes to your existing establishment, regardless of how extensive, you must first contact the department so it can be determined whether completion of a plan review and pre-construction approval is necessary.

Operating a Temporary Food Establishment?

Regardless of the duration of the event, if you plan to sell, prepare, and/or serve food at an event such as a festival, fair, auction, fundraiser, etc. you must first contact the department to discuss the need for certification which grants permission to operate a temporary food establishment. If an application and payment is not received by the department at least 5 days prior to the event, you may be subject to a late fee penalty. 

Included with the Temporary Food Application is a Self-Inspection CheckList  which must also be completed and submitted as part of the application process. If you plan to serve food at multiple events and would like to apply for a Multi-Event Temporary Food Certificate, you must also complete an Event Planner form to submit with your temporary food application. 

For temporary food events lasting no more than one day, the department will waive the fee. However, the operator must still complete and submit to the department an Application for Temporary Food Establishment Non-Licensed Event (One Day) and a Self-Inspection Check List to be approved.  These applications must also be submitted to the LCDPH at least 5 days prior to the event to allow the department time to review plans and provide any necessary pre-event consultation. Applicants not meeting this deadline may be subject to a late fee penalty.

If you would like information regarding the Logan County temporary food operation requirements, you can refer to the LCDPH Temporary Food Service Establishment Guidelines or contact the department for more details.

Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification Courses

The IDPH Food Service Sanitation Code Section 750.540 requires food service establishments of medium and high risk to employ workers who are certified in safe food handling. The LCDPH Division of Environmental Health offers an IDPH approved Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification course for both initial certification and renewal. Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification course applications for the next available courses are available on this website or at the health department. For further details, you can contact LCDPH at 217-735-2317.  For a statewide listing of available courses go to http://dph.illinois.gov/fssmccourses.

Illinois Required Food Handler Training

On August 27, 2013, an amendment to Senate Bill 1495 was added to the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act (410 ILCS 625). This amendment requires any food handler working in the State of Illinois (who does not possess a valid Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certificate or FSSMC) to complete food handler training.  A food handler is a food employee, as defined in the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code, who works with unpackaged food, food equipment, utensils, or food contact surfaces.  Even a person working in a facility who is not a food handler on a regular basis, or who fills in when needed, must also receive food handler training.

The amendment requires that After January 1, 2015, "restaurant" facilities must be able to provide proof that all food handlers have received proper training and a certificate for each employee must be made available to the local health department inspector upon request for review. By Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) definition, a "restaurant" means any business that is primarily engaged in the sale of ready-to-eat food for immediate consumption. "Primarily" is defined as having sales of ready-to-eat foods for immediate consumption comprising of at least 51% of total sales, excluding the sale of liquor. Therefore, it is important for managers to assure employees (who are not food service sanitation manager certified) receive training as soon as possible. Training must be accomplished within 30 days of employment.

To meet the need of food establishments, The Logan County Department of Public Health (LCDPH) is approved by IDPH to teach the food handler training course.  The LCDPH food handler class includes training through lecture, demonstration, hands-on training, and group interactions.  In addition, this class will enable food handlers to gain first-hand food sanitation knowledge and a common sense approach to proper food handling from a professional regulator perspective.  Upon completion of the class, students should possess a thorough understanding of all major aspects of sanitation and how to prepare food safely for customers.  Students who pass a post class assessment test will receive a certificate. 

Courses will be offered at LCDPH on a demand basis to assist food establishments in meeting this requirement.  If training dates become available, Logan County food establishments will be notified in advance.  The cost per student is $20.  As an additional option to food handlers, web-based ANSI-approved courses are also available through other educational resources.

Please note the amendment also requires that Food handlers working in non-restaurant facilities such as schools, daycares, nursing homes, hospitals and retail food stores will have until July 1, 2016 to complete their training.  

For more details, check out the Food Handler Training Determination Tree prepared by IDPH or visit http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/fdd/FSSMC_FoodHandler_FAQ_V5_07072014.pdf for more food handler training information.  In addition, you can contact the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health. 

Additional Food Safety Education Services

For food service managers who want their staff to receive additional food safety education, the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health is always available to provide in-services to food establishments at no cost. Arrangements can be made by contacting the department in advance to schedule an appointment.

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Image Source:  Centers for Disease Control & Prevention/Amanda Mills

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets are becoming increasingly popular throughout much of Illinois and in Logan County. Most traditional products sold at a farmers market such as fresh and whole (non-processed) produce are exempt from regulations; however, a variety of items including potentially hazardous foods are subject to regulatory measures (permitting), according to Illinois law. For further information regarding temporary food permitting requirements, you can refer to the state and local food codes available at this website. In addition, you can refer to the LCDPH Guidelines for Farmers Markets and Outdoor Food Sale Events.

Cottage Food Operations

Effective January 1, 2012, Public Act 097-0393 amended the Food Handling Regulations Enforcement Act, 410 ILCS 625, and the Sanitary Food Preparation Act, 410 ILCS 650, to exempt a cottage food operation from regulation by state and local authorities provided the operation meets all the conditions and requirements of exemption in 410 ILCS 4(b).

Under the Public Act, cottage food operations can only sell non-potentially hazardous foods (as allowed in the Act) which are prepared in the primary domestic residence. The Public Act only allows for direct sale of the product by the owner or his/her family member to customers at farmers markets.  

In order for a cottage food operator to conduct business in Illinois, he/she must first apply annually for registration with their local health authority. Applicants residing in Logan County must apply to register through LCDPH by completing an application and paying a registration fee of $25.00.  Applications can be obtained by contacting your Logan County Farmer Market Coordinator or LCDPH.  Upon application approval, the operator will be issued a Certificate of Registration which is valid through December 31st of the year of issuance.  If you would like additional information, contact the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health.

Submitting a Complaint?

If you have a concern regarding a food establishment which you feel needs to be addressed or investigated, you can contact the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health for assistance.

Contact Us

If you need assistance or have questions pertaining to food safety and/or regulations, contact LCDPH Division of Environmental Health at 217-735-2317.

Information Source:  IDPH

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