FOOD SAFETY PROGRAM

The Vineland Health Department, Division of Environmental Health, is responsible for the food safety aspects of about 400 retail food establishments in Vineland plus vending machines.

The goal of the program is to assure safe food to the public through efforts such as increasing awareness about safe food handling with food handlers, owners, and managers; routine inspections with mandated corrections; and legal enforcement and/or closure when all other efforts fail. We view food safety as a partnership between retail food establishments and this department.

While we look at all aspects of the operation, our concentration is on the 5 major risk factors identified by the Center for Disease Control. These risk factors are the aspects of food handling that directly cause foodborne illnesses most often. They are:

• Poor personal hygiene

• Inadequate cooking temperatures

• Improper holding temperatures

• Unclean food contact surfaces

• Unsafe food sources

Increased knowledge has shown to improve the practices of food handlers and thus, reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Our educational efforts occur not only during routine inspections but also in classroom settings and newsletters. (See “classes” for details of any current offerings. See “newsletters” to download recent issues.)

Inspections are conducted based on the New Jersey State Code (NJAC 8:24-et al). This regulation can be viewed or printed from this website. Our retail food establishments are all placed in a “risk type” from 1 to 4. Please see details about this in the following:

• Risk type explanation
• Risk Factors Quick Guide

Ratings are given at the conclusion of each routine inspection as follows:

1. “Satisfactory“: The establishment is found to be operating in substantial compliance with this chapter and food service personnel have demonstrated that they are aware of and are practicing sanitation and food safety principles as outlined in this chapter;

2. “Conditionally Satisfactory“: At the time of the inspection the establishment was found not to be operating in substantial compliance with this chapter and was in violation of one or more provisions of this chapter. Due to the nature of these violations, a rein-spection shall be scheduled. The rein-spection shall be conducted at an unannounced time. A full inspection shall be conducted. Opportunity for rein-spection shall be offered within a reasonable time and shall be determined by the nature of the violation; or

3. “Unsatisfactory“: Whenever a retail food establishment is operating in violation of this chapter, with one or more violations that constitute gross insanitary or unsafe conditions, which pose an imminent health hazard, the health authority shall issue an unsatisfactory evaluation. The health authority shall immediately request the person in charge to voluntarily cease operation until it is shown on rein-spection that conditions which warrant an unsatisfactory evaluation no longer exists. The health authority shall institute necessary measures provided by law to assure that the establishment does not prepare or serve food until the establishment is reevaluated. These measures may include embargo, condemnation and injunctive relief.

The most recent placard must be posted in public view near the public entrance. The public also has the right to view the most recent inspection report upon request to the manager/owner.

The Vineland Health Department goes beyond the minimum required by the State in the area of food safety. These efforts include:

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