|Restaurant Sanitation Ratings|
Ensuring proper sanitation in food service establishments is important to public health and the prevention of food-borne illness. The Food and Lodging section enforces the state rules in the permitting and inspections of food handling establishments. The frequency of inspections varies for each establishment depending on the risk factors and how food is processed in the facility.
Establishments can be inspected one to four times a year depending on this risk-based inspection category. Please visit this web page for the most recent updates to Restaurant Sanitation Ratings.
- Poor personal hygiene
- Inadequate cooking
- Improper food temperatures
- Cross contamination
- Food from unapproved sources
|Food Service Facilities Inspection|
The types of food service facilities inspected by this department include:
- Food stands
- Delis and meat markets
- Public and private school cafeterias
- Mobile food units and push carts
- Elderly nutrition sites and institutional kitchens
- Limited food service establishments
- Temporary food service establishments
|Application and Checklist|
All food vendors wishing to sell potentially hazardous foods at an event in Sampson County must complete an application and return it to our office with the required fee prior to the date of operation. The event sponsor must also notify the department prior to the event and complete all necessary forms from this office. Forms should be submitted to this office at least 15 days before the event date. To complete a form, please click on the icon of the desired form below:
- Food Service Plan Review Application
- Temporary Event Organizer Application
- Temporary Food Service Establishment Application
Foods that do not require a permit include:
- Popcorn or kettle corn
- Pies, cakes, and cookies
- Desserts or fried desserts
- Ice cream
- Funnel cakes or elephant ears
- Candy apples
- Ice and beverages such as coffee, teas, and lemonade
- Whole raw fruits and vegetables
Limited Food Service Establishments are those that prepare or serve food in conjunction with amateur athletic events. These include concession stands.
Smoke-free North Carolina
Since January 2, 2010, nearly all restaurants and bars in North Carolina, and many lodging establishments, have been smoke-free, thanks to N.C. General Statute 130A-497, otherwise known as North Carolina’s Smoke-Free Restaurants and Bars Law. Click here to find more information on this law.
Constructing or Buying a Restaurant
All food service establishments must have a valid permit from this office in order to operate. Prior to the construction of a new establishment, plans must be submitted and approved by the Environmental Health Office and other regulatory agencies, such as Building Inspections. An existing permit is not transferable from one owner to another. When an establishment changes ownership, our office must be contacted to conduct an evaluation of the establishment prior to opening in order for a transitional permit to be issued to the new owner. The transitional permit allows the new operator 180 days to repair all non-compliant items found during the initial evaluation.
Organizations that are "bona-fide" not-for-profit can claim a two-day exemption from having to receive a permit. The two-day exemption can only be used once per month for two consecutive days. Non-profit vendors must submit documentation to this office showing their non-profit status.
General Guidelines for Mobile Food Units
A mobile food unit is a fully enclosed food service establishment that is vehicle-mounted and readily moved, simply stated is a restaurant on wheels. A pushcart is a small, unenclosed mobile piece of equipment that is designed to serve hot dogs only. Both types of units are required to be permitted through this office and shall operate in conjunction with a permitted restaurant or commissary. The owner or operator of the restaurant or commissary must complete the required Agreement form from this office. All requirements for push carts and mobile food units are found in the Rules Governing the Sanitation of Food Service Establishments, sections .2670 to .2672.
General Guidelines for Push Carts