Food Protection Program

Inspection Scores

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Applications

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Fee Schedules

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​Environmental Health Specialists in the Food Protection Program promote public health through education, mandated inspections and enforcement of state public health laws, rules and regulations of food, lodging and institutional facilities.  In addition, staff members in this program review plans, issue permits and respond to complaints to help protect the residents and guests of regulated establishments in Brunswick County.

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Food Establishments

Food Establishment Resources:

  1. N.C. Food Code Manual
  2. Rules Governing the Protection and Sanitation of Food Establishments 15A NCAC 18A .2600
  3. Food Service Plan Review Application
  4. Employee Health Policy  (English, Spanish, Chinese)
  5. Vomit & Diarrhea Clean-up Procedure (English) (Spanish) (Chinese)
  6. Allergen Awareness
  7. Food Safety Handouts and Training Materials

Inspections of food service establishments are required from one to four times per year, based on a risk assessment, and a grade is issued.  Grade cards must be posted where they may be readily observed by the public upon entering a food service establishment and/or purchasing food through a delivery window.  Follow-up visits and calls are made when complaints are received.  Program staff aim to educate and work with facility operators through all interactions in an effort to create safer food service environments and help prevent foodborne illness.

Planning to open a restaurant or buy an existing establishment?  A plan review application packet must be submitted for new and renovated food service establishments.  When ownership changes or an existing food service establishment is leased a plan review application requesting a transitional permit must be submitted.  Please contact our office at 910-253-2150 if you have questions or need additional assistance with the application process.

*Certain baked goods and other non-potentially hazardous food items may be produced in a home kitchen but this is not regulated by the health department.  Contact the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 984-236-4850 or visit their website for more information.

Fairs, Festivals and Events

Temporary Food Establishment (TFE) Resources:

  1. TFE Event Coordinator Application
  2. TFE Food Vendor Application
  3. TFE Vendor Information Packet
  4. Handwashing Station Set-Up
  5. Employee Health Policy  (English, Spanish, Chinese)
  6. 3-Basin Dishwashing Set-Up
  7. Backflow Preventor Set-Up
  8. Cooling Log
  9. Reciprocity Form (Food preparation in an adjacent state requires prior approval from this office)
  10. NC Food Code Manual
  11. Rules Governing the Protection and Sanitation of Food Establishments, 15A NCAC 18A .2600

 

Who needs a permit?  Vendors preparing and selling food and drink items at an event are typically required to obtain a Temporary Food Establishment (TFE) permit from the local health department.  Vendors who meet certain exemptions or who serve only non-potentially hazardous beverages and/or items such as dip ice cream, popcorn, candied apples, cotton candy and Italian ice are not required to obtain a TFE permit.  TFE food vendors must be affiliated with and endorsed by a transitory fair, carnival, circus, festival, public exhibition, or agritourism business.  Domestic yard sales and businesses such as auctions and flea markets are not eligible for a TFE permits.

Food Safety and Set-Up Requirements:  Preparing and serving food in an outdoor environment can be challenging.  In addition to safe food handling, it is important that the set-up include protection against the weather, pests and even other people attending the event.  Prior to permitting, an evaluation of the set-up will be made by an Environmental Health Specialist and a permit will be issued if all applicable requirements are in place.  TFE permits expire at the end of the event and must be kept posted in a conspicuous place designated by the EHS throughout the event.  See the TFE Vendor Information Packet for set-up and permitting requirements.

Pre-event Food Preparation:  TFE food vendors may not prepare (wash, cut, chop, cook, cool, etc.) food at another location prior to an event unless it is done in a pre-approved, permitted food service establishment or a permitted TFE Commissary.  The TFE Commissary must comply with all TFE requirements but food may not be sold from this location.  The TFE Commissary permit is valid up to 21 consecutive days and the commissary must be permitted no more than 7 days prior to commencement of the event.  Pre-approved reciprocity is required for any food preparation done in a neighboring state prior to an event in NC.

PLEASE NOTE:  TFE vendor applications must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the event.  Event coordinators must also submit an application that provides food vendor and site specific amenity information.  Please contact our office at 910-253-2150 if you plan hold an event with food vendors or plan to sell food at an upcoming event in Brunswick County and have questions or need any additional assistance with these requirements.

Pushcarts and Mobile Food Units

Pushcart and Mobile Food Unit Resources:

  1. Pushcart and Mobile Food Unit Application
  2. Pushcart and Mobile Food Unit Commissary Agreement
  3. Rules Governing the Protection and Sanitation of Food Establishments, 15A NCAC 18A .2600
  4. NC Food Code Manual

What Is A Pushcart?  A pushcart is defined as a mobile piece of equipment or vehicle used to vend food. Only hot dogs and associated condiments, pre-packaged drinks and snacks and food which has been prepared, pre-portioned, and individually pre-wrapped at a food establishment or commissary may be served from a pushcart.

What Is A Mobile Food Unit?  A mobile food unit is defined as a food establishment or pushcart designed to be readily moved and vend food.  Approval of the proposed menu is directly proportional to the space and presence of mandatory equipment on the mobile food unit and/or at the affiliated commissary.

Due to their small size and transitory set up, pushcarts and most mobile food units must operate in conjunction with a permitted commissary and report at least daily to the commissary for supplies, cleaning, and servicing.  If your commissary is in Brunswick County, submit a plan review application packet to our office for review prior to beginning construction.  Proposed commissaries are evaluated to ensure adequate facilities are available and a signed Commissary Agreement must accompany the plan review application.  Mobile Food Units which apply to operate without a commissary must provide an approved servicing area, and submit a plan review application for a food service establishment.   Minimum requirements for pushcarts and mobile food units are found in sections .2670, .2671 and .2672 of the NC Rules Governing the Food Protection and Sanitation of Food Establishments, 15A NCAC 18A .2600.  Specific information regarding finish (floors, walls and ceilings) and water system requirements can be found in Chapter 6 and Parts 5-3 and 5-4 of the NC Food Code Manual.

Your menu will dictate minimum food preparation and holding equipment required.  Except for toasters, mixers, microwave ovens, water heaters, and hoods, food equipment must be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s intended use and certified or classified for sanitation by an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited certification program.  If the equipment is not certified or classified for sanitation, the equipment shall comply with Parts 4-1 and 4-2 of the NC Food Code Manual.  All used equipment must be in new or like new condition.

As a safety provision, an LP-gas piping inspection should be completed by NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services before a permit is issued.  See https://www.ncmhtd.com/NCDACS/Standards/FoodTruck

Sanitation inspections are conducted, and grade cards are posted on mobile food units and pushcarts.  Previous inspections are available for review on our Inspection Scores page.

PLEASE NOTE:  In addition to a permit from this office, pushcarts and mobile food units must meet all requirements of the county or local jurisdiction(s) for all proposed operating location(s).  We strongly recommend you contact the applicable zoning office to discuss requirements and restrictions prior to beginning this process.

Food Safety Training

Chapter 2 of the NC Food Code Manual requires food service establishments to have a designated Person in Charge (PIC) during all hours of operation.  A point may be deducted on a sanitation inspection if the PIC is not a Certified Food Protection Manager who has passed a test  that is part of an accredited program.  New establishments have 210 days from permitting to comply with this requirement.  Congregant Sites and Risk Category I food establishments are exempt from the CFPM requirement.   An additional point may be deducted if there is no PIC on site, if the PIC is unable to demonstrate required knowledge and does not maintain active managerial control of key food safety processes.

It is important for the PIC to provide adequate training for all staff to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.  From the time food is delivered to the time it is given to the customer, safety measures can be taken to make sure it is as safe as possible.  These measures include:

  1. Serving food from an approved source
  2. Monitoring delivery temperatures and conditions
  3. Monitoring storage conditions, order and temperatures
  4. Using safe preparation practices
  5. Monitoring temperature parameters for cooking, holding, cooling and reheating
  6. Monitoring employee health and hygiene practices
  7. Maintaining a clean, sanitary environment

Please visit the Food Safety Information page for handouts you may find helpful for use in your employee training program.  Contact our office 910-253-2150 with any questions or to enquire about scheduling an informal food safety training in your establishment.

Golden A Program

Brunswick County Environmental Health Services adopted the Golden A award program in 1999.  This award is presented to food service establishments receiving a sanitation grade of 95 or above for each required inspection from the previous year.  A Platinum A is presented to food establishments which have received a Golden A for at least five consecutive years.  An annual ceremony is held to recognize recipients and present Golden A and Platinum A certificates.  These establishments demonstrate consistent excellence in food safety and sanitation practices during unannounced inspections.

2021 Golden A Recipients

2021 Platinum A Recipients

Lodging Establishments

Lodging Resources:

  1. Lodging Establishment Plan Review Application
  2. Rules Governing the Sanitation of Lodging Establishments, 15A NCAC 18A .1800
  3. N.C. Food Code Manual
  4. Bed Bug Information

Lodging establishments regulated by this program include hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfast homes, bed and breakfast inns and other places providing lodging accommodations for pay.  Lodging establishments which meet certain exemptions, as specified by law, are not permitted or inspected by the local health department.  This typically includes Airbnb and Vrbo accommodations.  The operation of permitted lodging  establishments must comply with the N.C. Rules Governing the Sanitation of Lodging Establishments and all applicable sections of the N.C. Food Code Manual.

Bed and Breakfast Inns are inspected twice a year and all other lodging establishments are inspected once a year.  Following an inspection, the Environmental Health Specialist is required to post a grade card in a conspicuous place where it can be readily observed by the public upon entering the lodging establishment.  Previous inspections are available for review on our Inspection Scores page.

Institutions

Institution Resources:

  1. EH Services Plan Review Application
  2. Rules Governing the Sanitation of Hospitals, Nursing Homes, Adult Care Homes and Other Institutions, 15A NCAC 18A .1300
  3. Rules Governing the Sanitation of Residential Care Facilities, 15A NCAC 18A .1600
  4. Rules Governing the Sanitation of Adult Day Service Facilities, 15A NCAC 18A .3300
  5. Rules Governing the Sanitation of Local Confinement Facilities, 15A NCAC 18A .1500
  6. NC Division of Health Service Regulation

Establishments regulated by this program include hospitals, nursing homes, adult care homes, residential care facilities, adult day service facilities and local confinement facilities.  These facilities are licensed, certified and/or inspected by the N.C. Division of Health Service Regulation.  In addition to any requirements from this Division, N.C. General Statutes require plan review and sanitation inspections by local health departments.

Hospitals, nursing home and adult care homes are inspected at least twice a year.  Residential care facilities, adult day service facilities and local confinement facilities are inspected at least once a year.  Grade cards or sanitation classification cards are posted by the EHS at the entrance of hospitals, nursing homes, adult care homes and adult day service facilities.  If an inspection shows conditions that are dangerous to the health of the public, program participants, patients and/or residents of hospitals, nursing homes, adult care homes or adult day service facilities, the licensing or certifying agency is notified within 24 hours.  Previous inspections are available for review on our Inspection Scores page.

BUILDING A

Contact

25 COURTHOUSE DRIVE
BUILDING A

(910) 253-2150
env-health@brunswickcountync.gov
open mon-fri:
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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