Temporary food establishments must register with the local health department

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[April 05, 2016]  LINCOLN - With warmer weather approaching, many groups or organizations will be holding public functions which include the preparing and/or serving of food at temporary food stands.

The Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code classifies temporary food service operations as food establishments which must comply with state food sanitation regulations. This means any temporary food establishment that prepares and/or serves food for public consumption, regardless of whether there is a fee for the food or not, is to be regulated by local health authorities. This does not include family gatherings or potlucks. The Logan County Department of Public Health Division of Environmental Health regulates the State and local food sanitation requirements through the Logan County Ordinance.

To help achieve compliance, the health department is asking anyone who plans to operate a temporary food establishment, regardless of duration, to complete and submit an application to the department at least five (5) working days prior to operation.

Temporary establishments operating for no more than one day will be asked only to complete and submit an “Application for Temporary Food Establishment Non-Licensed Event” form and checklist. There is no inspection or fee associated with the application and the health department will review this in advance of the event to help assure operators will adhere to proper food safety measures.

Temporary food establishments operating more than one day must complete an “Application for Temporary Permit” and submit this to the health department prior to the event. There is a graduated fee starting at $45.00 for a permit to operate a 2-3 multiple-day establishment and the health department will need to conduct an opening inspection at the start of operations.

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Be mindful that it is unlawful to prepare food for public consumption from a non-regulated or unapproved kitchen. If you would like to prepare and/or serve food to the public and are interested in starting your own food establishment business, you are urged to first contact the health department at 217-735-2317 to seek assistance in assuring you are in compliance with Illinois and Logan County regulations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) experience foodborne illness. Of those, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. The Logan County Department of Public Health strives to prevent foodborne illness and is counting on your cooperation this summer to help create a safe foodservice environment.

If you would like additional information regarding temporary food requirements, you can contact the department or log onto their website at WWW.LCDPH.ORG. The website also contains useful food safety information and printable application forms for your convenience.

[Don Cavi, MS, LEHP, Public Health Administrator, Logan County Department of Public Health]

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