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Welcome to the Food Hygiene Program

Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County Environmental Public Health Program

By regulating sanitary practices among food establishments, the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County (DOH – St. Johns) Food Hygiene program is able to aid in the prevention of food-related illness within the community. This program ensures food establishments regulated by DOH – St. Johns are designed, built, equipped and operated in a safe and sanitary manner to minimize the occurrence of food-related illnesses.

Please note that DOH — St. Johns

DOES NOT REGULATE RESTAURANTS.

For more information regarding restaurant inspection and permitting, or to make a complaint against a restaurant or hotel, please contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395.

  • COVID-19 UPDATE (NEW)
  • Establishments Routinely Inspected by DOH-St. Johns
  • Services Available
  • Permit & Service Fees
  • Forms
  • Program Information, Statutes & Administrative Codes
  • Helpful Links

COVID-19 Update

Businesses and employers can prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19.  All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of COVID-19 and lower the impact in their workplace.

Please see the guidance for general food safety and sanitation: 

Best Practices for General Food Safety and Sanitation — PDF

 

According to the CDC, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as an additional safety level.

CLEAN AND SANITIZE

  • Clean and sanitize food contact surfaces after each use.
  • Disinfect non-food contact surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, etc.
  • Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as face masks, gloves, aprons, shoe coverings, or goggles, if needed.
  • Use EPA registered chemicals for sanitizing and disinfecting (i.e. chlorine or quaternary ammonia).

TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS

  • Stay home if you are sick or caring for an ill individual.
  • Wear gloves or use utensils when handling ready to eat foods.
  • Change gloves often.
  • Do not eat or drink from open containers in food preparation areas.
  • Utilize social distancing measures are taken to restrict when and where people can gather to stop or slow the spread of infectious diseases.
  • Cover infected wounds, cuts, or boils with an impermeable bandage or cover. If on the hand or wrist, use an impermeable bandage or cover and disposable glove.

This information has been adapted from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html and the FDA 2013 Food Code: https://www.fda.gov/media/87140/download

Additional information can be found at: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Florida Department of Health –Bureau of Environmental Health

Food Safety & Sanitation Program


Best Practices for Re-opening Food Service Establishments

Prior to Re-Opening

  • Thoroughly clean and sanitize entire facility, including high contact areas such as front desk, cash register keyboards and pads, phones, pens, tables, chairs, beverage stations, doorknobs, bathrooms.
  • Discard all food items that are out of date.
  • Conduct daily health checks (e.g., temperature and symptom screening) of employees.
  • Use disposable or digital menus and single service condiments and serviceware.
  • Consider requiring employees and customer to wear face masks or coverings.
  • Provide physical guides,barriers and signage for social distancing.
  • Restrict the number of employees in shared spaces, including kitchens, break rooms, and offices to maintain at least a six-foot distance between people.
  • Rotate or stagger shifts to limit the number of employees in the workplace at the same time.

Personal Hygiene for Employees

  • Emphasize hand hygiene
    • Hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
      • Especially when removing gloves and handling used food items or trash
    • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Avoid working with unwrapped or exposed foods when using hand sanitizer to clean hands.

Managing Operations

Follow established food safety protocols and best practices for retail food establishments and important COVID-19 recommendations, including the following:

  • Follow the 4 key steps to food safety: Always —Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill.
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces after use.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect floors, counters, and other facility access areas using EPA-registered disinfectants.
  • Follow label instructions for sanitizers and disinfectants.
  • Provide proper training for food employees with new or altered duties and ensure they apply the training according to established procedures.
  • Discontinue salad bars, buffets, and beverage service stations that require customers to use common utensils or dispensers.
    • Discourage customers from bringing pets —except service animals —into stores or waiting areas.
  • Use gloves to avoid direct bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
  • Verify that your ware-washing machines are operating at the required wash and rinse temperatures and with the appropriate detergents and sanitizers.
  • Use touchless payment options as much as possible.Wipe any pens, counters, or hard surfaces between use or customer.
  • Use disposable food service items (utensils, dishes), when feasible.
  • Avoid using food and beverage implements brought in by customers.

Resources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/best-practices-retail-food-stores-restaurants-and-food-pick-updelivery-services-during-covid-19

Florida Department of Health –Bureau of Environmental Health

Food Safety & Sanitation Program

The following establishments are routinely inspected:

  • Schools (public and private)
  • Theaters (that limit their menu to drinks, candy, popcorn, hotdogs and nachos)
  • Detention facilities
  • Civic and fraternal organizations
  • Group Care Establishments
  • Bars/Lounges that DO NOT serve food

DOH – St. Johns DOES NOT REGULATE:

**No state or federal regulatory agency licenses food operations from your home.**


For more information regarding restaurant inspection and permitting, or to make a complaint against a restaurant or hotel, please contact the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395.

Most grocery stores and convenience stores in The State of Florida are regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services . If you have a complaint regarding food safety and hygiene at a facility please call 800-435-7352.

Contact Information

We are here to help!

Contact DOH-St. Johns Environmental Health.

DOH-St. Johns offers the following Food Hygiene Program Services:

  • Review of Permit Applications for regulated food establishment
  • Regular Environmental Health inspections
  • Investigation of food illness complaints
  • Investigation of sanitary nuisances
Contact Information

We are here to help!

Contact DOH-St. Johns Environmental Health.

Information on Permit & Service Fee’s is available by calling DOH-St. Johns Environmental Health.
Contact Information

We are here to help!

Contact DOH-St. Johns Environmental Health.

Sanitation Certificates for Department of Health-regulated food hygiene facilities are issued by the County Health Department in the county where the facility is located.

Program Forms:

When Applying for a Sanitation Certificate the fee is based on the type of facility you are planning — DOH-St. Johns can help you calculate the correct amount.

Additional information about Hygiene Codes and Standards is available at the The Florida Department of Health – Food Hygiene Codes and Standards.

Contact Information

We are here to help!

Contact DOH-St. Johns Environmental Health.

* Effective  September 26, 2018, Chapter 64E-11, Florida Administrative Code, "Food Hygiene" has been revised.* 

**You may find the updated version using the following link: Updated Chapter 64E-11, Florida Administrative Code **               


For more general information on the Florida Department of Health Food Hygiene Program, recent rule changes and other hot topics related to this program, please visit the Florida Department of Health: Food Safety and Sanitation Program.

To view the related Florida Statutes, please visit the Florida Legislature website.

To view the related Florida Administrative Code, please click on the following link: State Food Hygiene Code – 64E-11, FAC (PDF, <1MB).

Hard copies are also available for review at DOH-St. Johns Environmental Health Office.

Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Adobe Reader may be required to view these files.