Food Safety Program

Person wearing white chef's shirt and clear plastic gloves spooning out fried rice from a metal serving bowl.

RCHD’s Environmental Health Division is responsible for administering the Food Safety Program in Ross County. The Food Safety Program is primarily responsible to protect the community against foodborne illnesses resulting from health code violations and improper handling of food. It is responsible for inspections of food service operations, vending machines, mobile food operations, and retail food establishments.

Key components of the Food Safety Program include:

  • License all food service operations and food establishments
  • Inspect food establishments and food services operations
  • Approve plans for all new and renovated food-related facilities
  • Investigate foodborne illnesses and reports of contaminated food
  • Investigate customer complaints
  • Obtain and analyze water samples from food establishments/food service operations with privately owned wells
  • Inspect vending machines that dispense food products
  • Inspect Micro-Markets

What type of license do I need to sell food?

There are several food license categories that RCHD licenses and inspects. Each category is grouped based upon the type of risk or what kind of setting the food establishment is operated. The following are the types of license categories licensed and inspected by the Ross County Health District:

Permanent facilities such as restaurants, cafeterias, grocery stores, convenient stores, and caterers. Download an application and plan review. Allow 30 days for review.

Portable structure that must change locations every 40 days (i.e food trucks). Download an application and plan review.

Facility that is operated no more than 5 consecutive days. Download an application and plan review. Allow at least 7 days for review.

Vending machines that sell hot or cold food or beverages that are time and temperature-controlled foods.

Food Sales in small displays and many times are in office buildings, businesses, or workplace.

You can learn more about the following food production by contacting the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

ODA oversees the licensing / registration of:

  • Home bakery, where temperature-controlled foods are produced from your home.
  • Wholesale production of food such as canning.
  • Farm Markets. 
  • Small egg production
  • Bottling of product for resale.

ODA also has detailed information about Cottage foods.

Food Safety Training

Person in charge Training – Person-In-Charge (PIC) Certification in Food Protection is a mandated training for the designated person in charge for each shift of a risk level I, II, III, and IV food service operation or retail food establishment if any of the following apply: 

  • A food service operation or a retail food establishment initially licensed after March 1, 2010, unless the individual has successfully completed an equivalent or more comprehensive manager certification in food protection course (Manager Certification). 
  • A food service operation or retail food establishment has been implicated in a foodborne disease outbreak. 
  • The licensor has documented a failure to maintain sanitary conditions in accordance with section 3717.29 of the Revised Code for a retail food establishment or section 3717.49 of the Revised Code for a food service operation.

The Manager Certification in Food Protection program is a more extensive training that provides managers with in-depth knowledge of proper food safety practices for use in their facilities.

Beginning March 1, 2017, each risk level III and risk level IV food service operation and retail food establishment is required to have at least one employee with supervisory and management responsibility and the authority to direct and control food preparation and service that has obtained the Ohio Manager Certification in food protection.

Posters

RCHD has collected and created food safety posters for use in your facility. If you need information that is not listed, please call our office.