Food Safety

St. Clair County Health Department's Food Service Sanitation Program is designed to protect public health through compliance with the St. Clair County Retail Food Establishment Code and the Illinois Department of Public Health Food Sanitation Code to ensure safe food handling, preparation and service through routine inspections and education.  The program uses educational tools, investigations and public news releases to create an awareness of problems associated with improper food handling and poor personal hygiene.

St. Clair County Health Department has a jurisdiction for all food establishments located within 18 townships. The following townships in St. Clair County fall under the jurisdiction of East Side Health District for Food Safety: Canteen Township, Centreville Township, East St. Louis Township and Stites Township. For concerns within those 4 townships, contact East Side Health District at 618-271-8722.

What does an Inspector and Sanitarian with the Environmental Health Division do in regards to food safety within the County?

  • Conduct routine sanitary inspections 2 to 3 times a year on all food establishments within our jurisdiction (i.e. restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, bakeries, schools, taverns, etc).
  • Investigate complaints from concerned residents or patrons of food establishments. The complaint may be from a suspected foodborne illness or concerns about sanitary conditions of a facility.
  • Provide educational in-service programs for facilities and the general public.   The in-services focus on proper hand washing and food safety.
  • Conduct plan reviews of blueprints for proposed new food establishments to verify compliance with all codes and ordinances as they relate to food safety.
  • Conduct opening inspections of all new food service facilities before operating in St. Clair County.
  • Provide educational information to the public and food service establishments through a variety of brochures. Please contact our office at (618) 233-7769 for educational brochures for events and meetings. The educational information is provided to create an awareness of problems associated with improper food handling and poor personal hygiene.  
  • Submit news releases, using media outlets, website and Facebook, on a regular basis to focus on proper hand washing, safe food handling during the holidays, summer food safety and numerous other topics.
  • Post food recalls that affect residents of St. Clair County on website, Facebook and twitter. Contact food facilities as necessary in regards to food recalls.
  • Post all food facility inspection scores on website on a quarterly basis.

There are several links below for food service permits, Certified Food Manager guidelines, facility scores, recalls and more for your information.

For more information, please contact the Environmental Health Division, Monday through Friday, 8:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. at (618) 233-7769 or via email at SCCHDenvironment@co.st-clair.il.us

Updated schedule for local current Certified Food Management training classes
future schedule for local CFM training classes​​​

Food Safety Manager Training

The Illinois Food Service Sanitation code sets the standards for the Food Safety Managers that are required for each establishment.  The number of Food Safety Managers that are required for each establishment is determined by the menu and the food preparation techniques that are occurring in the facility.  Each establishment must have proper supervision to insure that the facility has the ability to control the risk factors that can contribute to foodborne illness. 


Supervision is the first item that is addressed on the inspection report.  There must be a Person In Charge that is present in the establishment, is able to demonstrate their knowledge of the food code in one of the following three ways, and is aware of and practices the duties of their job as the Person in Charge.

  1. The individual has completed and successfully passed one of the National Food Safety Manager Certification Courses.
  2. Has no violations of the priority items during the current inspection.
  3. Correctly answers the inspector’s questions regarding public health principles applicable to the operation.  The inspector’s questions are to be open ended and enable a clear and informed decision of the oversight and public health principles as they apply to the establishment including the routine monitoring and compliance with the food code.  This process is commonly referred to as Active Managerial Control.

Each facility must have at least one employee that has supervisory and management responsibility and the authority to direct and control food preparation and service.   Each individual who holds a
Food Safety Manager Certificate should also be able to describe the Major Food Allergens and the symptoms that a Major Food Allergen could cause in a sensitive individual who has an allergic reaction.

To obtain the Food Safety Manager Certification, you must take a minimum of an 8 hour course and pass a proctored exam accredited under the standards developed and adopted by the Conference for Food Protection with a 75% or better. 

Food Handler Training.  

A food handler is defined as an individual working with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food contact surfaces.  Any individual working in the State of Illinois, unless that person has a Food Safety Manager Certification, must have a food handler certificate.  (This also applies to an individual who is not a food handler on a regular basis, but fills in as a food handler when needed.)  All food handlers working in food service shall have the training completed within 30 days of hire.  There are numerous options available that include the ANSI approval for $ 15.00 or less.

Both the food handler course and the assessment can be completed online, 24 hours a day and the training and assessment do not need to be monitored by an instructor. 

About Food Service Establishment Inspections
(Please be advised that these inspections indicate conditions at the facilities at the time of inspection and may not represent current conditions.)

In January 2019, the St. Clair County Health Department began conducting inspections of food service facilities using the 2017 FDA Food Code. 

Category 1 establishments do complex preparation of potentially hazardous foods. Potentially hazardous foods are foods that can easily support the rapid growth of bacteria that could cause disease, or foodborne illness. Category 1 establishments are inspected three times per year.

Category 2 establishments have more limited preparation of commercially frozen or pre-prepared items. Category 2 establishments are inspected two times per year.

Category 3 establishments have no preparation of potentially hazardous foods and only commercially packaged or prepared foods are served. Category 3 establishments are inspected two times per year.

In an effort to protect the consumer and reduce the possibility of foodborne illness, the following standards for proper handling of raw and cooked food, food equipment and employee work habits reduce the chances of contamination and should be utilized:

Foods are wholesome and free of spoilage. No expired infant formula, expired food or home canned or prepared foods are served.
 
Foods are cooked to, or held at appropriate temperatures. Cold foods at 41°F or below. Hot foods at 140°F or above.

Facilities have enough hot storage units to maintain hot foods at the appropriate temperatures, and enough cold storage units to keep cold foods
cold.

Facilities keep uncooked foods separated from ready to eat foods, or utensils are not reused. Foods that are not individually pre-packaged are served again.

Employees that are ill are restricted from working.

Employees exhibit good handwashing techniques. i.e. Properly wash their hands when changing from one task to another and generally following good hygienic practices.

Dishes and equipment are properly sanitized. Sanitizer is at correct. Concentration to destroy microorganisms without leaving a residue.

Establishment has hot and cold running water at each sink, or water supply is from a safe, approved source.

Sewage and wastewater are disposed of properly.

Water is precluded from ever flowing back from the waste water into the fresh water supply.

An installed handsink is located conveniently and is easily accessible.

No insects or rodents are present in the building and the openings are protected and secured to keep insects and rodents from having access to the facility.

Toxic items are properly stored, labeled, and used only as intended.

 The most recent food establishment inspection scores can be found here​

NOTE: Establishments with a score of '0' are new; they have passed an 'opening' inspection, but have not had their first 'scored' inspection

(Please be advised that these inspections indicate conditions at the facilities at the time of inspection and may not represent current conditions. )
NOTE:  Establishments with a score of '0' are new; they have passed an 'opening' inspection, but have not had their first 'scored' inspection

Inspections of establishments are based on a 100-point scale. All items do not have the same weight. Critical Violations are weighted 4 and 5 points, while other violations are weighted 1 and 2 points. Critical items must be corrected immediately or a re-inspection will be conducted to insure the correction has been completed. Items that are corrected at the time of inspection are not reflected in the score listed on this web page. Records of Food Service Sanitation Inspections are public records in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act and are available for review upon written request to our department.

All establishments are assigned a level of risk:

Category 1 establishments do complex preparation of potentially hazardous foods. Potentially hazardous foods are foods that can easily support the rapid growth of bacteria that could cause disease, or foodborne illness. Category 1 establishments are inspected three times per year.

Category 2 establishments have more limited preparation of commercially frozen or pre-prepared items. Category 2 establishments are inspected two times per year.

Category 3 establishments have no preparation of potentially hazardous foods and only commercially packaged or prepared foods are served. Category 3 establishments are inspected two times per year.


Cottage Food Brochure
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Department
Health Department
Date Modified
6/29/2020

Cottage Food Registration Application
Food Safety
Department
Health Department
Date Modified
6/29/2020

Farmers Market Brochure
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Department
Health Department
Date Modified
6/29/2020

Food Establishment License Application 2020
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Department
Health Department
Date Modified
6/29/2020

IDPH Cottage Food FAQs Technical Bulletin 44
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Department
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Date Modified
6/29/2020

IDPH Cottage Food FAQs Technical Bulletin 44a Supplement
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Date Modified
6/29/2020

IDPH Farmers Market Sanitation Guidelines Technical Bulletin 30
Food Safety
Department
Health Department
Date Modified
6/29/2020

Illinois Farmers Market food safety tips
Food Safety
Department
Health Department
Date Modified
6/29/2020

Temporary Permit License Application
Food Safety
Department
Health Department
Date Modified
6/29/2020