Restaurants keepin’ in code in Summit County
March 30, 2012
From a humble hotdog stand to a bustling bistro, every eatery owner in Summit County will end up meeting Leslie Freeman, who oversees food inspections for the county health department. The steps to follow to get a restaurant humming with business, all the while in proper code, means keeping current on a few simple steps.
"We review the plans and when the business is ready to open they call us in for pre-opening inspection," Freeman said.
Every six months the department checks in to make sure things are in order, but gives any new restaurant a few weeks after the pre-inspection to work out the kinks and find a rhythm before inspections regularly start.
Investigations the departments has had to conduct have been, few and in between. In 2012, Freeman only had to investigate 12 reported food-borne related illnesses for the entire county. Complaints were even fewer, with only 10 reported in total.
"If only one person complains, we usually don’t do much," Freeman said. "We’re typically looking to have two different people from two different households to verify any kind of food-borne illness. If we receive more complaints, then we launch an investigation."
In almost 10 years, the time she’s spent with the Summit County Health Department, she’s only conducted four "full blown investigations of outbreaks."
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Freeman said she feels she has a good working relationship with almost every restaurant in the county.
"If you consider all of Summit County, including institutions like schools, there are 257 full-time, year-round establishments and 29 seasonal restaurants," she said.
"I do feel like I have really good relationship with the restaurants in the county," Freeman added.
Gina Barker, The Park Record
Summit County requirements for new restuarants:
Submit a Food Service Application with applicable permit fee and pre-opening fee to the Health Dept.
Submit properly prepared plans and specifications for review and approval before:
A. Construction of the food service establishment
B. Conversion of an existing structure for use as a food establishment
Remodeling of a food establishment.
Please allow at least 2 weeks for plan review.
In addition to the plans the following information must be provided:
Anticipated volume of food to be stored, prepared, and sold
Proposed layout, mechanical schematics, construction materials, finish schedules.
Every establishment must have a certified food safety manager before opening- see attached flyer and all employees must obtain a food handler permit issued by the Health Dept. before opening.
You will need to contact Synderville Basin Water Reclamation District for information about your grease trap.