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 food borne illness and to reassure 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, Illinois Retail Food Code, Logan County Ordinance, and other applicable regulations.
In Logan County, food establishments are inspected at least 1-3 times per year depending on 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 food establishment 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 of this website.
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 completing and submitting a plan review. 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.
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 a determination can be made as to whether completion of a plan review and pre-construction approval is necessary.
Operating a Temporary Food Establishment?
If you plan to prepare and/or serve food at a temporary event such as a festival, fair, auction, fundraiser, and etc, you become a temporary food establishment whether you plan to sell the food or not. The first step you are required to take is to contact the department to discuss the need for certification which would grant permission to operate as a temporary food establishment.
On the Temporary Food Application, there is a Self-Inspection Check List 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 complete the Event Planner 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 allow time for review and any needed consultation, these documents must be received by the department at least 5 days prior to the event. 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 the department at 217-735-2317. For a statewide listing of available courses go to http://dph.illinois.gov/fssmccourses.
Additional Food Service Education
For food service managers who want to educate staff on food safety principles, the LCDPH Division of Environmental Health is always available to provide in-services to food establishments at no cost. You can make arrangements by calling the department in advance to schedule an appointment.
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.
Farmers Markets are becoming increasingly popular throughout the state 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 licensure (certification) according to Illinois law. For further information regarding certification 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 the family members to customers at farmers markets. In order for a cottage food operator to conduct business in Illinois, he/she must first apply for registration with their local health authority each year of operation. Applicants residing in Logan County must apply to register through the 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 the 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 need additional information, contact the LCDPH.