Frequently Asked Questions

Listed below are some frequently asked questions about our food inspection program. Should you need additional information, please contact us at (314) 615-8900 for further assistance.

How often are food service establishments inspected?

Food establishments are inspected using a risk-based inspection system. Based on the complexity of the food preparation and the history of compliance, an establishment may be routinely inspected from one to three times per 12 month period. Other inspections may be conducted as needed.

Are the inspections announced (scheduled)?

No. Virtually all inspections (except for pre-opening inspections and training) are conducted on an unannounced basis.

What is a critical violation?

A "critical item" means a provision of the Code that, if in non-compliance, is more likely than other violations to contribute to food contamination, illness, or environmental health hazard.

How many inspections does the Department of Public Health perform annually?

The Saint Louis County Department of Public Health permits and inspects approximately XXXX food establishments annually. Saint Louis County Revised Ordinances (SLCRO) governing the operation of food establishments is based on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2005 Food Code.

What would cause a Permit to Operate Suspension?

Any time a food service establishment is found to pose an imminent hazard to the public health, the Permit to Operate is suspended until such time as the health hazard is removed.

An imminent health hazard may exist because of an emergency such as:

  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Extended interruption of electrical or water service
  • Sewage backup
  • Misuse of poisonous or toxic materials
  • The onset of an apparent foodborne illness outbreak
  • Unsanitary occurrence or condition or
  • Any circumstance that may endanger public health

How to submit a complaint?

Submit a complaint about a Saint Louis County food establishment by emailing us at Food.DOH@stlouisco.com