Food Service Establishments
Department of Health:
Responsible for Public and Private Schools, Assisted Living Facilities, Civic and Fraternal Organizations, Detention Facilities, Bars and Lounges that do not prepare food, and theaters with limited food service items, such as hot dogs, popcorn, nachos, and drinks.
The Environmental Health Division of the Polk County Health Department permits and inspects over 400 facilities in the county that prepare and serve food. All aspects of the facility’s operation are examined, including personnel and equipment. Extra attention is paid to safe handling, preparation and storage of food. The environmental specialists use the routine inspections as an opportunity to teach and train food service workers safe food preparation, handling and storage techniques. The division works closely with the other state agencies that are involved in food safety. Our environmental specialists will conduct joint inspections with these agencies in any facility involved in a potential foodborne illness outbreak.
Who to Contact
The following six agencies have various responsibilities for proper food handling practices in Florida:
Department of Business and Professional Regulations (opens in new window):
Responsible for most restaurants located in Florida.
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (opens in new window):
Responsible for most grocery and retail stores.
Agency for Health Care Administration (opens in new window):
Responsible for hospitals and nursing homes.
Department of Children and Families (opens in new window):
Responsible for child care centers.
Agency for Persons with Disabilities (opens in new window):
Responsible for group homes that serve persons with disabilities.