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Food Overview

Any person, partnership, association or corporation that establishes a food operation, manufactures, offer for sale, store, distribute or sell food within the Environmental Health Consortium (EHC) must obtain a food license from the Environmental Health Specialist (EHS).  These licenses are issued following a pre-license inspection by the EHS to ensure the operation conforms to food safety standards which are referenced in the Wisconsin Food Code and adopted by local ordinance. 

Routine inspections by the EHS during subsequent operation of the facility assesses the establishment owner’s ability to ensure that day to day operations are conducted in a safe and sanitary manner as defined by the Wisconsin Food Code.  The EHS conducts routine and investigative inspections of all EHC food establishments at least once a year. The EHS works with the establishment owners and managers to keep your food safe and ensure good retail practices are being followed.

Keep in mind that any inspection report is a “snapshot” of conditions found on the date and time of the inspection.  An inspection conducted on any given day may not be representative of the overall, long-term operation of an establishment.  On a given day, a licensed facility could have fewer or more violations than noted in the inspection report. 

Routine Inspections are conducted using a risk based inspection approach.  The risk based inspection is conducted using the following processes:

  1. Following the flow of food throughout the food facility.
  2. Observation and verification of proper food safety practices and procedures.
  3. Discussion and dialogue with the food service employees and management.

The inspection is focused on identifying risk factors and good retail practices in addition to providing education and information on proper food safety practices.

Risk Factors are defined as the improper practices or procedures identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the contributing factors of foodborne illness or injury.  Foodborne illness risk factors include:

  1. Poor personal hygiene;
  2. Food from unsafe source;
  3. Inadequate cooking;
  4. Improper holding temperatures; and
  5. Contaminated equipment.

Good Retail Practices are defined as the practices or procedures that focus on general sanitation in the food establishment.

If violations are observed during a routine or investigative inspection, they are described in an inspection report with reference to a relevant section of the Wisconsin Food Code.  Violations that result in immediate health hazards to the general public are corrected immediately, other orders are given an appropriate amount of time to be corrected.   Follow-ups of the establishments are conducted until all violations have been corrected.  Enforcement action may be pursued on excessive CDC risk factor violations and or repetitive Good Retail Practice violations from past inspections.