A GUIDE TO FOOD SAFETY PRACTICES

Our mission is to protect the health of all foodservice customers. This website offers an opportunity to share information which may assist you in being a well-informed foodservice consumer.

A person who wishes to serve food to the public is required by law to first obtain a permit from the health department. These permits are issued following a review of facility plans/menu and assuring compliance with West Virginia's 2005 Food Code. Routine inspections during the operation of the food service assess the operator's success in assuring that routine practices are conducted in a safe and sanitary manner.

Keep in mind that any inspection report is a "snapshot" of the day and time of the inspection. On any given day, a restaurant could have fewer or more violations than noted in the report. An inspection may not be representative of the overall compliance of the facility.

INSPECTION PROCESS

  • Inspection Frequency: Restaurant inspections are conducted¬† at least two times per year, depending on the complexity of the menu, and how much is made in advance rather than cooked-to-order (i.e. a restaurant that makes chili in bulk and serves for a couple days).

  • Violations (Two types of violations may be cited):
    • Critical Violations: Violations of the Food Regulations, which, if left uncorrected, are more likely than other violations to directly contribute to food contamination or illness. Examples include poor temperature control of food, improper cooking, cooling, refrigeration or reheating temperatures. Such problems can create environments that cause germs to grow and thrive, which puts the consumer at risk for food-borne illness.
    • Non-Critical Violations: Violations not directly related to the cause of food-borne illness, however if uncorrected, could affect the operation of the restaurant and lead to critical violations. Examples include a lack of facility cleanliness and maintenance or improper cleaning of equipment and utensils.

  • Types of Inspections
    • Routine: This inspection is unannounced to the restaurant. An inspector will conduct a complete inspection covering all items in the regulations for compliance.
    • Follow-up Inspection: This is an inspection for the specific purpose of re-inspecting items that were not in compliance at the time of the routine inspection. These inspections are scheduled.
    • Complaint: This is an unannounced inspection conducted as a result of a complaint received by the health department. The specifics of the complaint will be evaluated and discussed with the person in charge.