Links to Codes


  1. Do the restaurants know when you are coming to inspect them?
    Routine inspections of restaurants, grocery stores, and convenience stores are not scheduled.  The operator does not know when we are coming.  We want to see how the establishment is truly being run.
  2. Do you “shut restaurants down” if they have a violation?
    The focus during food inspections is compliance with the Ohio Uniform Food Code to assure food is stored, prepared, and served safe to the customer.  The inspector (Sanitarian) works with the operator through education (why the violation is a problem) and how to comply (there are usually several alternative solutions).  Follow-up inspections are made to assure correction.  There are sometimes emergency situations that warrant an establishment to close immediately such as a backed up sewer drain or a power outage.  This type of closing is usually voluntary and temporary until the situation is corrected.  Some closings are permanent and forced by the Williams County Board of Health by the revocation of an operation’s license.  Closing an establishment down is the final step when other attempts to work toward compliance have failed.
  3. I want to sell food for a fund raiser.  What must I do?
    Any person or organization wishing to sell food must obtain a Temporary Food Service Permit from the Environmental Public Health Division.  There are a few exceptions to this rule.  Contact a sanitarian at 419.485.3141.  Depending on what you are wanting to sell and the location may qualify you for an exemption.
  4. I want to open/purchase a restaurant.  What do I need to do?
    Contact the Environmental Public Health Division before you sign a purchase agreement.  A plan review is required of all food service operations (restaurants) and retail food establishments (grocery and convenience stores) before the business can operate.  Up to 30 days should be allotted for our Division to review the plans.  You can obtain a “new operation or change of ownership packet” by contacting a Sanitarian at 419.485.3141.  Licenses are not transferable.
  5. I think I have food poisoning.  What should I do?
    If you believe you have food poisoning, time is critical!  Contact the Environmental Public Health Division as soon as possible at 419.485.3141.  A Sanitarian will collect information from you.  A food poisoning investigation begins when two or more unrelated individuals have consumed the same food.  Stool and vomit samples usually are necessary from persons who are ill along with food samples from the suspect meal.  You may also wish to contact you family doctor for information.



Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code OAC 3717 (Updated January 1, 2013)

Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-21 Food Service Operations

Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 901:3-4 Retail Food Establishments


Ohio Department of Health Food Safety