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Department Health Food Safety and Sanitation Program

Environmental Health

The Department of Health works with food service establishments as defined by Section 381.0072, Florida Statutes  to help ensure their products are not a source of foodborne illness. Generally this includes food service operations located in institutional settings (such as schools, assisted living facilities, detention facilities, adult day cares, etc.), civic and fraternal organizations, bars and lounges that don't prepare foods, and theaters that limit their food service to items customarily served at theaters (such as beverages, pop corn, hot dogs and nachos). The codes and standards for food service establishments are found in Chapter 64E-11, Florida Administrative Code.

The Department of Health's (DOH) Food Hygiene Inspection Program is risk-based. This means that those facilities that pose a greater risk to the public becoming sick from consuming their product are inspected more often than those that pose a lesser risk. The amount of risk is determined by risk factors. These risk factors include the types of food served, the amount of preparation that is required, the population that is served, and the quantity of food that is prepared. Considering these types of factors are consistent with recommendation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In fact, Annex 5 of the 2013 version of the FDA Model Food Code is devoted to conducting risk-based inspections. High risk facilities are inspected quarterly, which means 4 times per year (or 3 times for schools that close for summer vacation). Moderate risk facilities are inspected semiannually, which means 2 times per year. Low risk facilities are inspected once per year.