Retail Food Establishments
Food sales direct to consumers are considered retail. In Illinois, retail food businesses or operations are called food establishments and must meet the requirements of the Illinois Food Code.
Illinois adopted the 2017 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code to provide uniformity throughout the state and to initiate and to maintain effective food protection programs to prevent foodborne illness. The FDA Food Code is a model for best practices to ensure the safe handling of food in a retail setting.
Retail food establishments in Illinois, including restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and food trucks, are regulated by local health departments serving the jurisdiction where the establishment is located. IDPH provides local health departments and the food industry with a wide range of support activities, including technical assistance and education. IDPH also assists local health departments and federal agencies with foodborne illness investigation or other food-related emergencies.
If you are looking for more information about starting a retail food business, contact the local health department where you intend to operate. Complaints about retail food businesses should be referred to the local health departments where the establishment is located. A directory of local health departments can be found here: https://dph.illinois.gov/about/lhd.html.
Illinois Food Establishment Inspection Report
A uniform inspection report was also adopted and all certified local health departments in Illinois must implement the FDA Food Code and new inspection report in their jurisdiction. The new inspection report promotes a risk-based inspection, where the Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and Public Health Interventions are the primary focus of the inspection.
Each violation is categorized and marked in the FDA Food Code as:
- Priority Item (P): item that contributes directly to the elimination, prevention or reduction to an acceptable level, hazards associated with foodborne illness or injury.
- Priority Foundation Item (Pf): item whose application supports, facilitates or enables one or more Priority items.
- Core Item (C): item that usually relates to general sanitation, operational controls, sanitation standard operating procedures, facilities or structures, equipment design, or general maintenance.
Additional guidance on reading this form and final food inspection reports can be found below.
Laws & Rules
- Retail Food Protection Industry Educational Materials | FDA
- Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards | FDA
- Vomit and Diarrhea Clean Up Procedure Example
- Recommended Guidance for Mobile Food Establishments | Conference-Developed Guides and Documents | Conference for Food Protection