Food Protection Overview
The Clinton County Health Department strives to maintain a good working relationship with food service establishment owners and operators to ensure a high standard of food service sanitation, protect the public from contracting foodborne diseases and prevention of disease transmission. All food service establishments within Clinton County must possess a valid food service permit and are routinely inspected to ensure that Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code requirements are being followed. Temporary food service stands operating for two to fourteen days for a single event must apply for and obtain a food permit up to three weeks prior to the event and are then inspected during the event.
New, remodeled or converted food service establishments are required to complete a Plan Review Application and submit building plans with specifications to the Health Department for approval prior to construction. Establishments closed for more than 90 days or have a change of ownership are required to contact the Health Department and schedule a pre-operational inspection prior to opening and issuance of a food permit.
Food related complaints and reports of illegal home kitchen operations (see description below) are investigated and handled in a confidential manner and can be filed through our online complaint form. Foodborne illness investigations are also conducted by the Health Department. Contact the Health Department if you have foodborne illness symptoms and suspect the cause was from food eaten or purchased at a food service establishment. Please contact your health care provider if you are having severe symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, severe nausea and vomiting or a high fever.
Category I (high risk) food service establishments are required to have a Certified Food Service Sanitation Manager (FSSMC) on duty whenever food is prepared or cooked. Category II (medium risk) establishments are required to have a minimum of one full-time FSSMC at each establishment. All other food handlers who are not a FSSMC must complete a Food Handler Training Course within 30 days after employment.
Bake sales as fundraisers do not require a food permit from the Health Department but are restricted to non-potentially hazardous baked goods. A person who produces or packages a non-potentially hazardous baked good in their home for sale by a religious, charitable or nonprofit organization for fundraising purposes is allowed.
Cottage Food Operators are required to register annually with the Health Department before selling products (restricted to a few specific non-potentially hazardous foods) to the public only at farmers markets. Cottage Food Operators must follow regulations outlined in the Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act.
Home Kitchen Operations are NOT permitted by the Clinton County Health Department. Any person cooking and preparing food or baked goods in their home for retail sale or food service to the public is in violation of the County and State Food Service Sanitation Codes and should be reported to the Health Department. Municipalities that have adopted and enforce an ordinance authorizing home kitchen operations may allow for the preparation and sale of only non-potentially hazardous baked goods directly to consumers.
*Single day events and celebrations are not required to obtain a Temporary Food Permit. Instead, food safety education materials and guidelines from the Health Department should be obtained and followed.
*Food Service Establishments are required to renew their Food Permits annually before May 30th.
First Time Food Permit Applications
- Application for Permit to Operate a Food Service Establishment
- Online Application for Permit to Operate a Temporary Food Service Establishment
- Application for Permit to Operate a Temporary Food Service Establishment
Food Permit Renewal Application with Online Payment
- Application for Food Service Establishment Construction Plan Review
- Application for Cottage Food Operator Registration
- Sanitary Guidelines for Temporary Food Service Establishments
- Sanitary Guidelines for Farmers Markets
- Guidelines for Bake Sales as Fundraisers
- Restaurant Guidelines for Boil Order or Interrupted Water Service
- Restaurant Guidelines for Food Safety During a Power Outage
- CDC, Norovirus: Facts for Food Handlers
- CDC, Clean-up and Disinfection for Norovirus
- IDPH, Hand Washing Poster
- IDPH, Hand Washing Poster (Spanish)
- CDC, Wash Your Hands! (poster for young childred)
- IDPH, Food Temperature Requirements for Retail Food Establishments
- IDPH, Frequently Asked Questions for Food Handler Training in Illinois
- Local Food Service Manager, Food Handler and Allergen Awareness Courses
- FDA, Food Service Employee Health and Personal Hygiene Handbook
- FDA, Safe Food Handling at Home, What You Need to Know
- FDA, Food and Water Safety at Home, During Power Outages and Floods
Partnership for Food Safety Education, School Curricula & Activities
Illinois Department of Public Health, Food Safety
US Food and Drug Administration, Educational Materials for Retail Food Employees
US Food and Drug Administration, Retail and Food Service HACCP
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Preventing Norovirus Outbreaks
Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code
Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act
Clinton County Food Service Sanitation Code
County’s Ordinances, Chapter 18, Article II