Understand Health Code Requirements for Food Establishments

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is committed to protecting the public’s health by conducting science-based inspections of all food establishments. CDPH Sanitarians conduct inspections for new businesses, existing businesses and in response to a compliant. 

There are Different Types of Health Inspections

Business License Health Inspections

New food establishments, or a transfer of ownership, that are applying for a business license must pass a health inspection by CDPH before the license will be issued.  After an application for a license has been filed with the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, a health inspector from the CDPH will contact the applicant to arrange for an inspection.  The applicant can schedule an appointment with the Health representative at the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection at 312.744.5430, 312.74.GOBIZ (744.6249).

During the inspection, the health inspector will assess the types of food that will be prepared and the methods used for preparing and serving the food. This information will be used to assign a ‘risk-level’ – risk 1, 2 or 3 – to the food establishment.  This risk level will be used to determine how frequent a food establishment needs to be inspected.

Routine Health Inspections

Once a food establishment is licensed and operating, a health inspector will periodically conduct unannounced inspections. The frequency of these inspections is based on the risk level assigned to the establishment.

In general, risk 1 establishments are inspected twice per year,risk 2 establishments once per year, and risk 3 establishments every other year. If problems are identified, the establishment may face fines or possible closure, depending on the severity of the problems.

Complaint-Based Health Inspections

CDPH receives around  4,000 complaints against food establishments each year. In response, CDPH health inspectors conduct unannounced inspections at the establishment.

Ways to Prepare for a Health Inspection

You should know what to expect,  here are some ways to prepare:  

Health Code Violations

During routine inspections, or in response to a complaint a health inspector may issue one or more citations to the food establishment. These citations are based on the following violations:  

Priority Violations

 This category includes such occurrences as:

  • Inadequate storage temperatures
  • Improper food handling practices
  • Improper personal hygiene
  • Rodent and/or insect infestation
  • Lack of hot running water

Priority violations create an immediate health hazard that carry a high-risk of causing food-borne illness. Priority violations must be corrected immediately; if they cannot be corrected immediately, the license will be suspended, and the food establishment must close. Once the violations are corrected, the food establishment operator must sign an affidavit stating the violations have been corrected, and schedule a follow-up inspection  All violations must be corrected in order for the establishment to reopen.

Priority Foundation Violations

This category includes such occurrences as:

  • Potentially hazardous foods improperly thawed
  • Re-serving food previously served to another customer
  • Food not properly protected from contamination during storage, preparation, display, service, or transportation
  • Inadequate pest control

Priority Foundation violations create a potential health hazard if not corrected in the timeframe specified by the health inspector. If serious violations are identified, an unannounced follow-up inspection will be conducted by the health inspector at a later date.

Core Violations

Core violations include such occurrences as:

  • Poorly constructed or maintained walls, ceilings or floors
  • Improper storage of soiled and clean linens, coats, and aprons

Core violations do not pose an immediate threat to the public’s health. A follow-up inspection is not performed if there are only Core violations. No citations are issued for Core violations.

The City of Chicago has adopted a new food code rules to better ensure food safety.

For all inspections completed after July 1, 2018 the Chicago Department of Public Health

will use the following check list.

 

FOODBORNE ILLNESS RISK FACTORS AND PUBLIC HEALTH INTERVENTIONS

SUPERVISION

1  Person in charge present, demonstrates knowledge, and performs duties       

2  City of Chicago Food Service Sanitation Certificate       

EMPLOYEE HEALTH  

3  Management, food employee and conditional employee; knowledge, responsibilities and reporting       

4  Proper use of restriction and exclusion       

5  Procedures for responding to vomiting and diarrheal events       

GOOD HYGIENIC PRACTICES  

6  Proper eating, tasting, drinking, or tobacco use       

7  No discharge from eyes, nose, and mouth       

PREVENTING CONTAMINATION BY HANDS  

8  Hands clean & properly washed       

9  No bare hand contact with RTE food or a pre-approved alternative procedure properly allowed       

10  Adequate handwashing sinks properly supplied and accessible       

APPROVED SOURCE  

11  Food obtained from approved source       

12  Food received at proper temperature       

13  Food in good condition, safe, & unadulterated       

14  Required records available: shellstock tags, parasite 

PROTECTION FROM CONTAMINATION  

15  Food separated and protected        

16  Food-contact surfaces: cleaned & sanitized       

17  Proper disposition of returned, previously served, reconditioned & unsafe food       

TIME/TEMPERATURE CONTROL FOR SAFETY  

18  Proper cooking time & temperatures       

19  Proper reheating procedures for hot holding       

20  Proper cooling time and temperature       

21  Proper hot holding temperatures       

22  Proper cold holding temperatures       

23  Proper date marking and disposition       

24  Time as a Public Health Control; procedures & records       

CONSUMER ADVISORY  

25  Consumer advisory provided for raw/undercooked food       

HIGHLY SUSCEPTIBLE POPULATIONS  

26  Pasteurized foods used; prohibited foods not offered       

FOOD/COLOR ADDITIVES AND TOXIC SUBSTANCES  

27  Food additives: approved and properly used       

28  Toxic substances properly identified, stored, & used       

CONFORMANCE WITH APPROVED PROCEDURES  

29  Compliance with variance/specialized process/HACCP

GOOD RETAIL PRACTICES

SAFE FOOD AND WATER  

30  Pasteurized eggs used where required       

31  Water & ice from approved source       

32  Variance obtained for specialized processing methods       

FOOD TEMPERATURE CONTROL  

33  Proper cooling methods used; adequate equipment for temperature control       

34  Plant food properly cooked for hot holding       

35  Approved thawing methods used       

36  Thermometers provided & accurate       

FOOD IDENTIFICATION  

37  Food properly labeled; original container       

PREVENTION OF FOOD CONTAMINATION  

38  Insects, rodents, & animals not present       

39  Contamination prevented during food preparation, storage & display       

40  Personal cleanliness       

41  Wiping cloths: properly used & stored       

42  Washing fruits & vegetables       

PROPER USE OF UTENSILS  

43  In-use utensils: properly stored       

44  Utensils, equipment & linens: properly stored, dried, & handled       

45  Single-use/single-service articles: properly stored & used       

46  Gloves used properly 

UTENSILS, EQUIPMENT, AND VENDING  

47 Food & non-food contact surfaces cleanable, properly designed, constructed & used       

48  Warewashing facilities: installed, maintained & used; test strips       

49  Non-food contact surfaces clean       

PHYSICAL FACILITIES  

50  Hot & cold water available; adequate pressure       

51  Plumbing installed; proper backflow devices       

52  Sewage & waste water properly disposed       

53  Toilet facilities: properly constructed, supplied, & cleaned       

54  Garbage & refuse properly disposed; facilities maintained       

55  Physical facilities installed, maintained & clean       

56  Adequate ventilation & lighting; designated areas used       

EMPLOYEE TRAINING  

57  IN OUT     All food employees have food handler training       

58  IN OUT     Allergen training as required       

CITY OF CHICAGO ORDINANCE COMPLIANCE  

59  Previous priority foundation violation corrected       

60  Previous core violation corrected       

61  Summary Report displayed and visible to the public       

62  Compliance with Clean Indoor Air Ordinance       

63  Removal of Suspension Sign

 Service Facts

 I Want To