Food Establishment Inspection Program
The Environmental Health Division conducts unannounced routine inspections an complaint investigations of over 250 food service establishments and retail food stores to verify compliance with the Illinois Department of Public Health Food Service Sanitation Code and Retail Food Store Code (Food Code) as adopted by the Palatine Code of Ordinances. Our inspection staff consists of two full-time Sanitarians and a Field Director who are licensed by the State of Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation as Environmental Health Practitioners.
During food establishment inspections, the following items are addressed:
· Source and condition of food products
· Temperature control of potentially hazardous foods
· Potential for cross-contamination
· Employee hygienic practices
· Maintenance of food service equipment
· Safe and adequate water, sewage and plumbing facilities
· Insect and rodent control
· Garbage and refuse disposal
· General maintenance of establishment
To report a food borne illness, please contact the Cook County Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Control Unit at (708)836-8699.
Food Establishment Inspection Postings
While dining out at your favorite restaurant or shopping at the grocery store in Palatine you may have noticed the food inspection scores posted by the Environmental Health Division. Palatine food establishments are required to display the results of their last three routine inspections near the business entrance. A perfect food establishment routine inspection score is 100 points. Each violation found during a routine inspection is itemized and has a corresponding value which is deducted from the 100 point score. These scores represent the conditions found at the time of inspection.
Inspections are conducted to verify that the establishments are operating in compliance with the requirements of the Food Code. The most recent routine inspection scores for Palatine’s food establishments can be found by clicking here
Food Establishment Inspection Frequencies and Categories
There are three food establishment categories as defined by the Food Code. Please see the information below which further defines each category. The following is a schedule of the annual routine inspections which is based on the category.
- Category I Facilities are inspected 3X per year.
- Category II Facilities are inspected 2X per year
- Category III Facilities are inspected 1X per year.
Category I Facilities
Category I facility means a food establishment that presents a high relative risk of causing food-borne illness, based on the large number of food handling operations typically implicated in food-borne outbreaks and/or the type of population served by the facility. Category I facilities include those where the following operations occur:
- Potentially hazardous foods are cooled, as part of the food handling operation at the facility.
- Potentially hazardous foods are prepared hot or cold and held hot or cold for more than 12 hours before serving.
- Potentially hazardous cooked and cooled foods must be reheated.
- Potentially hazardous foods are prepared for off-premises serving for which time-temperature requirements during transportation, holding and service are relevant.
- Complex preparation of foods or extensive handling of raw ingredients with hand contact for ready-to-eat foods occurs as part of the food handling operations at the facility.
- Vacuum packaging and/or other forms of reduced oxygen packaging are performed at the retail level.
- Immunocompromised individuals such as the elderly, young children under age four and pregnant women are served, where these individuals compose the majority of the consuming population.
Category II Facilities
Category II facility means a food establishment that presents a medium relative risk of causing food-borne illness, based upon few food handling operations typically implicated in food-borne illness outbreaks. Category II facilities include those where the following operations occur:
- Hot or cold foods are held at required temperatures for no more than 12 hours and are restricted to same-day services.
- Foods are prepared from raw ingredients, using only minimal assembly.
- Foods that require complex preparation (whether canned, frozen or fresh prepared) are obtained from approved food-processing plants, high-risk food service establishments or retail food stores.
Category III Facilities
Category III facility means a food establishment that presents a low relative risk of causing food-borne illness, based upon few or no food handling operations typically implicated in food-borne illness outbreaks. Category III facilities include those where the following operations occur:
- Only pre-packaged foods are available or served in the facility, and any potentially hazardous foods available are commercially pre-packaged in an approved processing plant.
- Only limited preparation of non-potentially hazardous foods and beverages, such as snack foods and carbonated beverages, occurs at the facility.
- Only beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) are served at the facility.
For more information on the food establishment inspection program or inspection postings, please contact the Environmental Health Division at (847) 359-9090.