Food Service Establishments
Restaurants, food stands and other places that prepare food for sale to the public must get a permit from the Health Department. These businesses are inspected 1 to 4 times per year, depending on the menu's complexity and the various cooking, cooling, and reheating processes. The goal of each inspection is to identify and correct any conditions that might lead to foodborne illnesses.
- How to start a food business with Food Service Establishment Forms and Applications
- HACCP and Variance Information
- Food Safety Additional Resources including information on Wild Mushroom Foraging
- Restaurant and Other Food Service Frequently Asked Questions
- "The Health Inspector on Your Side"-WCOM's Say Yes To The Chef interviews an Environmental Health Specialist
Establishment Excellence Program
Orange County Environmental Health introduces a program that will identify food service establishments that excel (score of 98 or better for 2015-2016) or make extra effort to do more than the minimum to comply with rules by participating in specialized food processes training or HACCP training. Environmental Health recognizes food service establishment owners for their quality efforts. Environmental Health hopes to motivate food service establishment to address lingering maintenance and equipment problems that lower their scores or to reinforce the safety of their specialized food products. This is a voluntary program with the consent of the establishment. Establishments that are eligible include restaurants, dining halls, and cafeterias. A decal posted on the door will supplement the information Orange County consumers can already access about the inspection grade history.Click here for a list of establishments who received this distinction for 2015-2016.
|FOOD PRODUCTION METHOD||HACCP||VARIANCE|
|Reduced Oxygen Packaging of potentially hazardous foods (raw meats and poultry, raw veg, and frozen fish)with two-barrier methods||YES|
|Reduced Oxygen Packaging of potentially hazardous ready-to-eat food with one-barrier method||YES||YES|
|Reduced Oxygen Packaging to extend refrigerated hold time longer than 14 days||YES||YES|
|Sous-vide cooking within standard final cook temperature and cold-holding time||YES|
|Sous-vide cooking outside of standard final cook temperature and cold-holding time||YES||YES|
|Preparing and storing food using cook-chill||YES|
|Preparing and storing food using the cook-chill method and holding for longer than 72 hours||YES||YES|
|Curing to extend shelf life or outside of refrigeration||YES||YES|
|Smoking as a form of preservation||YES||YES|
|Acidification of food as preservation, such as sushi rice and fermentation of potentially hazardous foods, or using natural or artificial additives to extend shelf-life or outside the regulated EPA approved use||YES||YES|
|Sprouting beans or seeds, serving raw or cooked||YES||YES|
Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point
NC Food Code requires a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan for food processes needing more active managerial control during production. HACCP plans must be submitted to and approved by Orange County Environmental Health. Contact us for the sample HACCPs.
When a variance is requested, the HACCP and Variance Application must be submitted to Orange County Environmental Health, who will forward it with recommendations to the NC Variance Committee. The committee meets monthly; so please prepare plans and submit applications with enough time for approvals before beginning a specialized food process.
Contact us if you have questions about the NC Food Code, HACCP submittal, or Variance requests.