Many of the reported cases of foodborne illness are caused by bacteria or by the toxins (poisons) produced by bacteria. Bacteria multiply extremely fast when food is kept at an unsafe temperature (above 41 and below 140 degrees Fahrenheit). Factors that can contribute to foodborne illnesses are:
In Florida, three agencies share responsibilities for ensuring that only safe, and wholesome food is provided to the public. Those agencies are the The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) , the Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR), and the Department of Health.
The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services conducts inspection on grocery stores, food processing plants, food storage and distribution points. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation licenses and inspects restaurants, mobile food vehicles, and caterers.
The Department of Health is responsible for working with food service establishments that include institutions, schools, civic or fraternal organizations, bars and lounges, and theaters that serve traditional theater foods (such as soft drinks, popcorn, hot dogs, etc.) The Department of Health also addresses temporary food events, mobile food units, and vending machines that operate at or through any of these facilities. County Health Departments inspect and issue food certificates to these facilities. Unless exempted, these food operations need to comply with food manager certification requirements.
You can download Chapter Chapter 64E-11 F.A.C. (164 KB PDF) rules, the Plan Review Document (pdf <1mb) and the Application for a Department of Health Food Certificate (12 KB PDF) by clicking on the respective title. All of these files are in pdf format. Once the application and the plan review documents are completed, submit them to your local county health department's environmental health section with a set of plans drawn to scale, accompanied with the applicable plan review and permit fees. If you cannot read pdf files, you can download Adobe Acrobat Reader, at no charge, from the Adobe Internet site at http://www.adobe.com. Florida Statute 381.0072 is available from the Florida Legislature's web site. Selecting this link will open the statute from their site in a new browser window
The food hygiene inspection form is DH 4023 (652 KB PDF file opens in new window). This form is completed during an inspection by the local county health department inspector. To request a more accessible version of this file please contact the Facility Programs Section, 4052 Capital Circle SE, BIN A08, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-1710, or call (850) 245-4277.
The Department has developed a training pamphlet called "Preventing Food Contamination". It is available four ways: as an Adobe Acrobat pdf file download (470 KB PDF), as an online html training guide, as a printed pamphlet and on a 3.5 inch disk. To order the printed pamphlet or disk version at no charge, please include your name and address in your email request. The printed pamphlet is also available from many county health departments. Ask for publication DH 150-111, 10/99.
Here are some consumer links that discuss foodborne illness and its prevention. Selecting on these links will open a new window:
Apply for a Sanitation Certificate
Sanitation certificates for Department of Health-regulated food hygiene facilities are issued by the County Health Department in the county where the facility is located.
Submit a completed Application for Sanitation Certificate (12 KB PDF) to your county health department along with the appropriate permit fee. The fee is based on the type of facility you are planning - your county health department can help you calculate the correct amount.
Rules regarding DOH-regulated food facilities can be found in Chapter 64E-11 F.A.C. (164 KB PDF)
If you have any general questions about Department of Health food hygiene facility sanitation certificates, contact Ric Mathis or Vakesha Brown-Timley at the Facility Programs Section of Environmental Health, 4052 Capital Circle SE, BIN A08, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399-1710, (850) 245-4277.