Violation #1 Food Source

A. Approved Source

All foods used in retail food establishments must be obtained from commercial suppliers that are inspected by the proper health authorities (state or local health departments, USDA, FDA). Foods prepared in private homes are frequently implicated in foodborne outbreaks.

Non-commercial kitchens have limited capacity for maintaining food at proper temperatures, and due to their small size, they are conducive to situations that can result in cross-contamination. Controlled processing is required for the safe preparation of food for sale to the public.

B. Wholesome, Free of Spoilage

Foods that are spoiled or that are subjected to potential contamination are considered to be adulterated (i.e., contaminated) and are unfit for human consumption. Food establishments must dispose of all spoiled and contaminated foods.

C. Cross-contamination

Disease-causing bacteria can be transferred to food from utensils and equipment (e.g. meat grinders and cutting boards) that have not been properly cleaned and sanitized. Some disease-causing microorganisms can survive outside the body for considerable periods of time. Food that comes into contact directly or indirectly with surfaces that are not clean and sanitized is susceptible to such contamination.

Disease-causing organisms and chemicals may also be present on the exterior surfaces of raw fruits and vegetables. Washing removes a large amount of the organisms and/or chemicals present. A separate food preparation sink with running water, and which is indirectly drained to the sewer, is required in all establishments that serve raw fruits and vegetables.

D. Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plan

Retail food establishments must have an adequate Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan in place when performing specialized processes such as: smoking as a method of food preservation, curing food, using food additives to alter pH or Water Activity, using methods of reduced oxygen packaging, operating a Molluscan shellfish life-support system display tank for shellfish that are offered for human consumption, sprouting seeds or beans, as well as other types of specialized processing methods. These food processes present a significant health risk if not conducted under strict operational procedures. A retail food establishment that uses any of these specialized processes, including Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP) must have a HACCP plan that contains the information specified under Appendix G. Certain processes require pre-approval from the Department.

E. Date Marking

Retail food establishments that specifically serve food to highly susceptible populations must follow regulations related to date marking. A Highly Susceptible Population is defined as “persons who are more likely than other people in the general population to experience foodborne disease because they are immunocompromised, preschool age children, or older adults that obtain food at facility that provides services such as custodial care, health care, or assisted living, such as a child or adult day care center, kidney dialysis center, hospital or nursing home, or nutritional or socialization services such as a senior center.”

Refrigerated, ready-to-eat, potentially hazardous food prepared or held in the facility for more than 24 hours must be clearly marked to indicate the date or day by which the food must be consumed on the premises, sold, or discarded when held at a temperature of 41°F or less for a maximum of 7 days. For food prepared in a food processing plant, facilities must adhere to the manufacturer’s use-by date. For food prepared by the facility, facilities must follow the date marking of the first ingredient used in a recipe, per section 3-702 of the Regulations.

Facilities that operate using Reduced Oxygen Packaging (ROP) methods must meet labeling requirements detailed in section 3-607 of the Regulations.

F. Consumer Advisory for Service of Raw/Undercooked Animal Foods

Disease-causing agents are often found in raw animal foods. Individuals who choose to eat foods of animal origin that are not fully cooked are at an increased risk of acquiring foodborne illnesses. Food service establishments serving raw or lightly cooked foods of animal origin, such as medium-rare hamburgers, seared fish, raw oysters, lightly cooked eggs, etc., must inform customers who order these items of increased risk of foodborne illness. Advisory information can be on menus, on table tents, or other approved communication channels.


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