Restaurant Inspections and Food Safety

Information for Food Establishments

Guidance for handwashing/sanitizing and disinfectants

 

The goal of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Food Safety program is to ensure the proper handling of food served to the public by working with restaurant operators to reduce risk factors involved in foodborne illnesses. VDH collaborates with food establishments to provide safe and satisfying food service to the people of the Commonwealth. The PDSSHD works with restaurants, mobile food units, temporary food event vendors and other persons or facilities involved in providing food to the public. If you have questions related to food handling and safety, contact us at environmentalhealthPDHD@vdh.virginia.gov.

Restaurants

Environmental Health Specialists inspect places that prepare food for public consumption. This includes restaurants, school cafeterias, day-care centers, hospitals and more. We also inspect temporary food service vendors at local festivals. Check out the latest inspections of your favorite restaurant at http://healthspace.com/Clients/VDH/VDH/web.nsf/home.xsp.

Permitting Foodservice Establishments

Before opening a new or remodeled foodservice facility or transferring ownership, the foodservice operator must complete the following:

  1. Submit a completed Foodservice Plan Review Document to the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District for approval along with payment of $40.00. This document may also be submitted via email at environmentalhealthPDHD@vdh.virginia.gov .
  2. Make any modifications to plans if necessary for approval.
  3. Once the plans are approved, an operator shall submit a completed Application for a Department of Health Food Establishment Permit to the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District along with payment of $40.00 at least 30 days prior to opening for approval.
  4. Once the complete application is submitted to the Health Department, the operator shall request an inspection of the facility from the Health Department prior to opening.
  5. Contact your local health department with any questions related to this process. Please contact your local office or email us at environmentalhealthPDHD@vdh.virginia.gov.

The Food Establishment Permit will be issued when the facility is complete and the inspection is in compliance with the Virginia Department of Health Food Regulations. For additional information contact your local office or email us at environmentalhealthPDHD@vdh.virginia.gov.

Mobile Food Units

Before opening a Mobile Food Unit, review the Mobile Food Unit Guidance document to assist you in ensuring compliance with the Virginia Food Regulations and follow these steps:

  1. Submit a completed Foodservice Plan Review Document to the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District for approval along with payment of $40.00. This document may also be submitted via email at environmentalhealthPDHD@vdh.virginia.gov .
  2. Make any modifications to plans if necessary for approval.
  3. Once the plans are approved,
  4. an operator shall submit a completed Application for a Department of Health Food Establishment Permit to the Pittsylvania-Danville Health District along with payment of $40.00 at least 30 days prior to opening for approval.
  5. Once the complete application is submitted to the Health Department, the operator shall request an inspection of the mobile food unit from the Health Department prior to opening.

Temporary Food Events (TFE)

A temporary event is considered a coordinated activity or gathering that is seasonal in nature and is less than 14 consecutive days. These events may operate at a fixed location such as a farmers market or at various locations, including but not limited to festivals, community fairs, carnivals, bazaars, sporting events, and other public gatherings. These events may take place under conditions where limited resources may be available (water, electricity, waste disposal) and these situations must be considered when applying for a permit to participate. To serve food at an event, a person or entity must apply for and be eligible to obtain a Temporary Food Event permit.

TFE applications must be received at least 10 days prior to the event. Applications received with less than 10 days prior to the event will be denied. This 10 day requirement is to provide adequate time to process the application, including but not limited to, discussing the event and food processing with the applicant, troubleshooting issues, answering questions and possibly inspecting TFE setup plans and equipment.

For more information regarding TFEs, visit the state website.

Frequently asked questions related to TFEs can be ACCESSED HERE.

To obtain a TFE, please review and complete the Temporary Food Establishment Application.

Temporary Event Coordinators

Event coordinators often provide temporary infrastructure that includes portable toilets and hand washing stations for temporary food establishments. An Event Coordinator Application may be used to alert the local health department as to the dates and times of a proposed event, the number of food vendors, and important resources such as the provision of potable water and wastewater disposal. We ask that event coordinators submit the application at least 30 calendar days before the event in order to assist in the review of the individual temporary food establishment applications. If you are an event organizer and need a coordinator’s packet, please review and complete the Event Organizer Application to Operate Temporary Event.

Others

A letter to our Breweries/Wineries/Distilleries