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It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Food Hygiene

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The Food Hygiene Program is designed to promote, protect and improve the health of the public by monitoring and regulating food handling and sanitary conditions of food service in institutional settings. 
  • After school meal program
  • Adult day care
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Bars and lounges
  • Civic & fraternal organizations
  • Crisis stabilization unit
  • Detention facility
  • Domestic violence shelter
  • Hospice
  • Intermediate care facility for the developmentally disabled
  • Mobile food units
  • Movie theater
  • Prescribed pediatric extended care
  • Recreation camps
  • Residential treatment facility (ACHA)
  • Schools
  • Summer school food service programs
  • Transitional living facility

Inspections Consist of: 

  • Ensuring that food is stored, handled and served in a sanitary manner to prevent cross contamination and the spread of food-borne illness.
  • Utensils and serving equipment are properly cleaned and sanitized.
  • Work areas and equipment are kept clean, safe and sanitized.
  • Sanitary facilities are operational, clean and equipped with hand-washing facilities.

In Florida, five state agencies share responsibilities for ensuring that only safe, and wholesome food is provided to the public. Those agencies are the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) , the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the Agency for Health Care Administration, The Department of Children and Families, and the Department of Health.

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducts inspection and testing programs for the more than 30,000 retail food stores, food processing plants, food storage and distribution points, and other locations in Florida where food is sold to the public.

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation regulates and inspects public food service facilities including restaurants. You can look up a restaurant's last inspection.

The Agency for Health Care Administration regulates the food served at hospitals and nursing homes that they inspect.

The Department of Children and Families inspects food service at the child care facilities they license.

The Department of Health in Charlotte County inspects the operation, issues food certificates, and regulates any type of food service associated with these facilities. Depending on the type of population serviced and the type of food served, these facilities are inspected either one, two, three or four times per year. Unless exempted, these food operations are required to comply with food manager certification requirements.

Rules regarding Department of Health regulated food facilities can be found in Chapter 64E-11 F.A.C. (421 KB PDF)

Sanitation certificates for food service facilities regulated by the Department of Health in Charlotte County are issued by the Department after submitting the permit application and the Food Service Plan Review Guide (87 KB PDF)) with the required fee. The fee is based on the type of food operation. A plan review will also be required. Please contact our office if you are planning on opening a new Department of Health regulated food operation.

Restaurant complaint?
Online: Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR)
or call 850-487-1395

Convenience store or grocery store complaint?
Online: Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
or call 850-488-2221

Online Food and Waterborne Illness Complaint Form
Link to report a possible illness or outbreak from eating and/or drinking a contaminated food or beverage in Florida.