[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Monroe 11-28-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 305.
Peddlers and transient sellers — See Ch. 397.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 291, Food-Handling Establishments, adopted 6-15-1959 (Ch. 59 of the 1976 Code), as amended.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the same meaning as defined in the Connecticut Public Health Code: "authorized agent," "catering food service," "Class I, II, III, IV," "designated alternate," "farmers market," "food," "food service establishment," "food service classification," "food store," "itinerant food vendor," "on-site sewage disposal system" (OSDS), "potentially hazardous food," "qualified food operator," "ready-to-eat food," and "temporary food service establishment."
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BOARD OF HEALTH
- The Board of Health for the Town of Monroe.
- COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH
- The Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, State of Connecticut.
- CONNECTICUT PUBLIC HEALTH CODE
- The Connecticut Public Health Code, as may be amended from time to time, established in accordance with Connecticut General Statutes, Chapter 368a, Section 19a-36, as amended.
- DIRECTOR OF HEALTH
- The Director of Health for the Town of Monroe or his/her duly authorized agent.
- FOOD PREPARATION
- The conversion of any food product into a state ready for human consumption.
- FOOD STORE or GROCERY STORE
- Any place which sells or dispenses for sale at wholesale or retail any groceries, prepackaged foods, whole or bulk bakery products, whole vegetables and fruits, raw meat or fish or packaged dairy products.
- IMMINENT HEALTH HAZARD
- A condition which is likely to cause an immediate threat to life or serious risk of damage to the health, safety, and welfare of the public if no immediate action is taken.
- The whole or any part of a certificate of approval, or similar form of permission which may be required of any person or persons by the provisions of these regulations. Said license shall be in writing and shall be issued only by the Director of Health or by his/her duly authorized agent.
- (1) An organization holding a tax exempt status as defined by the United States Internal Revenue Code and which is exempt from local real estate and personal property tax (if owned) under Connecticut General Statute, Section 12-81; or
- (2) Religious groups; or
- (3) Schools; or
- (4) Youth organizations; or
- (5) Agencies funded in whole or in part by tax dollars from federal, state or local government facility.
- Any individual, partnership, association, corporation, company, governmental agency, club or organization of any kind, and includes the plural.
- Any individual, firm, corporation, association, partnership, company, organization, institution, public or municipal body, or other legal entity of any kind including municipal corporations, government agencies, or subdivisions thereof, including the plural, as well as the singular.
- PERSON IN CHARGE
- The owner, designated employee or employee who is the apparent supervisor of the operation at the time of inspection. If no individual employee is the apparent supervisor, then any employee present at the time of inspection may be considered the person in charge.
- PUBLIC PLACE
- Any permanent or temporary place, premises, building or group of buildings which is freely accessible to persons other than employees; or any of the above which is open to the public for the purpose of conducting business or for public gatherings of any character.
- SEASONAL FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT
- A food service establishment which is seasonal in nature and operates for a period of time not to exceed six months in any one year.
The Director of Health shall have the authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
In the event of an imminent health hazard, the Director of Health may take whatever action is deemed necessary to protect public health in accordance with applicable statutes, regulations, codes and rules.
If any provision or application of this chapter is held invalid for any reason, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter.
Where terms are not defined in this Code and are defined in either the Connecticut General Statutes or the building, fire safety or public health codes, they shall have the same meanings ascribed to them as in the Connecticut General Statutes or as in these codes. Where terms are not defined under the provisions of either the Connecticut General Statutes, building, fire safety or public health codes, including this Code, they shall have ascribed to them their ordinarily accepted dictionary meanings of such as the context may herein imply.
The Board of Health may establish reasonable fees to defray the cost of the administration and issuance of permits, licenses, approvals, conducting inspections and other associated activities. The Board of Health shall submit a fee schedule to the Town Council for approval as necessary but not less than annually prior to each fiscal year.
Any person aggrieved by an order issued by the Director of Health may appeal such order, per Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-229.
No person shall operate a food service establishment without a valid license issued by the Director of Health. Only a person who complies with the requirements of this Code shall be entitled to receive or retain such a license.
The food service license shall be posted in a location easily observed by consumers.
Licenses shall be valid until the expiration date indicated on the license unless suspended or revoked by the Director of Health, or until such time as the facility changes owners, closes, or goes out-of-business. The food service establishment licensing year begins on April 1 and ends on March 31 of the next year. Licenses issued after April 1 in any licensing year are valid until March 31 or the specific date indicated for seasonal food establishments, temporary food events or itinerant vendors.
Changes in menu or operations may result in a reclassification of the establishment as determined by the Director of Health. No food service establishment shall change operations to a different classification without prior written approval from the Director of Health. Any operation that fails to comply may be subject to suspension or immediate closure.
Application and issuance of license.
Any person desiring to operate a food service establishment shall make written application for a new license on forms provided by the Director of Health. Such application shall be submitted and approved prior to the start of construction, substantive remodeling, converting, or taking ownership of a food service establishment. A plan review will be required as part of the license application process whenever an establishment is being constructed or substantially remodeled, or when there is a change of owner or menu. The application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee.
Prior to the issuance of final approval for licensure, the Director of Health shall conduct preoperational inspection(s) of the food service to determine compliance with the provisions of this code, the Connecticut Public Health Code, and other applicable codes, regulations or statutes.
The Director of Health shall issue a new license to the applicant if the inspection reveals that the food service complies with the requirements of this chapter, the Connecticut Public Health Code and any other applicable codes, regulations or statutes, and the licensing fee has been paid.
Any person who does not make application for renewal of his food service license before the expiration date of such license shall be required to pay a late fee for each day beyond the expiration date of his license in addition to the regular license fee and/or any other penalties.
Whenever a qualified food operator is required by the Connecticut Public Health Code, such individual must possess a non-expired certificate from a State-approved testing organization as defined by the Connecticut Public Health Code.
The owner or manager of the food service establishment shall designate an alternate person who has the specific elements of knowledge and competence specified in the Connecticut Public Health Code to be in charge at all times when the qualified food operator cannot be present. A signed statement by the owner or manager attesting that the designated alternate has the specific elements of knowledge and competence specified in the Connecticut Public Health Code must be kept at the food service establishment.
The Director of Health or his/her authorized agent shall be permitted, after proper identification, to enter at any reasonable time any food service establishment for the purpose of making inspections, as deemed necessary by the Director of Health, to determine compliance with this code, the Connecticut Public Health Code, and any other applicable codes, regulations or statutes.
The Director of Health may examine records of the establishment to obtain information pertaining to food and/or beverages and supplies purchased, received or used, persons employed, employee training records, qualified food operator training certification certificates, designated alternate records, but not including financial records.
Refusal to allow entry to inspect shall result in a presumption that the establishment presents an immediate and substantial hazard to the public health. The Director of Health shall issue a notice of immediate suspension of food operations and immediate closure of the food service establishment.
When it comes to the attention of the Director of Health that a food facility is operating without a valid license, the Director of Health shall order such food service establishment to close and to cease all food operations immediately.
In the event that the Director of Health or his duly authorized representative finds unsanitary or other conditions in the operation of the food service establishment which in his judgment constitutes a violation of this chapter, the Connecticut Public Health Code or any other applicable code, regulation or statute, the Director of Health may issue a written notice of intent to suspend the license to the license holder or operator citing such conditions, specifying the corrective action to be taken and specifying the time period within which such action shall be taken and, if deemed necessary, order immediate correction. Except for conditions that constitute an imminent, or immediate and substantial hazard to public health as provided herein, the time period for which such corrective actions shall be taken shall be no less than 48 hours.
If correction is not made in the stated time, the license may be suspended and a written order issued to the owner or operator to cease the operation of the food service establishment. Food service operations shall immediately cease upon receipt of the order.
The food service establishment shall not resume operations until written approval of re-instatement of the license has been issued by the Director of Health. A suspended license shall be removed from the premises by the Director of Health.
One copy of the order to cease food service operations shall be posted by the owner upon the inner surface of the window of the front entrance door of the food service establishment or upon the nearest window thereto in such a manner as to be clearly visible to the general public from the exterior of such establishment. Said order to cease operations shall not be defaced or removed by any person except the Director of Health.
The Director of Health may immediately suspend, without warning, prior notice or hearing, any license or other permit to operate a food service establishment if the operation constitutes an imminent, or immediate and substantial hazard to public health which shall include but is not limited to:
A lack of equipment capable of maintaining the product temperature as required by the Connecticut Public Health Code.
A food-borne illness outbreak reasonability connected to the food service establishment.
The absence of potable water, supplied under pressure, in a quantity which, in the opinion of the Director of Health, is capable of meeting the needs of the facility.
A backup of sewage into the facility or a sewage overflow on the premises.
An infestation of vermin.
A lack of facilities to wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact surfaces, equipment, and utensils.
If there is a failure to correct a substantial violation that is continually found and reported on the inspection form.
If the owner, operator or person in charge has interfered with the performance of the Director of Health's duties.
If a qualified food operator (with an unexpired training certificate from a state-approved testing organization) is not employed on site, except as provided by the qualified food operator replacement provision in the Connecticut Public Health Code, Section 10-13-B42(s)(7), the food service establishment has 30 days to comply. If correction has not been made after 30 days, the Director of Health shall take immediate steps to close the food service establishment.
Suspension shall be effective immediately upon delivery of written order to the license holder or person in charge of the food service establishment by the Director of Health. The operators shall not resume until written approval of re-instatement of the license has been issued by the Director of Health. A suspended license shall be removed from the premises by the Director of Health.
The Director of Health may, after providing opportunity for hearing and appeal, revoke a license for imminent health hazards or repeated violations of any of the requirements of this chapter, the Connecticut Public Health Code, other applicable codes, regulations or ordinances, or for repeated interference with the Director of Health in the performance of his/her duties or for cases where the license to operate has been obtained through nondisclosure, misrepresentation or intentional misstatement of a material fact. Prior to revocation, the Director of Health shall notify the license holder or person in charge, in writing, of the reasons for which the license is subject to revocation and that the license shall be revoked at the end of 10 days following service of such notice unless an appeal is filed with the Director of Health by the license holder within 72 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Town holidays) of receipt of the notice. If no appeal is filed within these 72 hours, the revocation of the license becomes final.
The Director of Health shall conduct hearings provided for in this chapter at a designated place and time. The Director of Health shall make a final finding based upon the complete hearing record, and shall affirm, modify or rescind any notice or order considered in the hearing. The Director of Health shall furnish a copy of the written report of the hearing decision to the license holder within 10 calendar days of the hearing date.
The owner or operator of a food service establishment aggrieved by any written notice or order may, within 48 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Town holidays) after the receipt of such notice and/or order, appeal to the Director of Health who shall thereupon immediately examine the merits of such case and may vacate, modify, or affirm, such written notice or order. The owner or operator of a food service establishment who is aggrieved by such action of the Director of Health may, no later than 72 hours (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and Town holidays) after the date of receipt of such appeal to the State of Connecticut Commissioner of Health as provided by the Connecticut General Statutes and the Connecticut Public Health Code.
Subsequent to suspension: Whenever a license has been suspended, the holder of the suspended license may request a hearing with the Director of Health for license reinstatement within five working days following the receipt of a written request, including a statement signed by the applicant that, in his opinion, the conditions causing the suspension have been corrected, the Director of Health shall make a reinspection. If the Director of Health determines that the applicant has complied with the requirements of this Code and the Connecticut Public Health Code, the license shall be reinstated and returned to the license holder upon receipt of the reinstatement fee.
Subsequent to revocation: After a period of 60 days from the date of revocation, a written application may be made for the issuance of a new license. Procedures delineated in this chapter for obtaining a new license shall be followed.
Written notices and orders provided for in this chapter shall be deemed to have been properly served when a copy of the notice or order has been delivered personally or sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner, license holder or person in charge of the food service establishment. Such written notices and orders shall also be deemed to have been properly served provided it has been posted on the front entrance door of the food service establishment or upon the nearest window thereto in such a manner as to be clearly visible to the general public from the exterior of the establishment. Said notice shall not be defaced or removed by any person except the Director of Health or his authorized agent. A copy of any such notice or order shall be filed in the records of the Director of Health.
Food may be examined or sampled by the Director of Health or his authorized agent as often as necessary for enforcement of this chapter or the Connecticut Public Health Code.
The Director of Health or his authorized agent may, upon written notice to the owner or person in charge specifying with particularity the reasons therefore, place a hold order on any food or beverage which he believes is unfit for human consumption. The Director of Health or his authorized agent shall tag, label or otherwise identify any food subject to the hold order. No food subject to a hold order shall be used, served or moved from the establishment.
The Director of Health shall permit storage of the food under conditions specified in the hold order unless storage is not possible without risk to the public health, in which case immediate destruction shall be ordered and accomplished. The hold order shall state that an appeal may be filed with the Director of Health within 48 business hours and that if no appeal is filed, the food shall be destroyed. The Director of Health shall hold an appeal hearing, if so requested, and on the basis of evidence produced at that hearing, the hold order may be vacated or the owner or person in charge of the food may be directed, by written order, to denature or destroy such food or to bring it into compliance with the provisions of this chapter or the Connecticut Public Health Code.
Condemnation. Food shall be subject to immediate condemnation by the Director of Health when it is found to be unfit for human consumption by reason of: appearance; odor; decomposition; adulteration; contamination by exposure to fire, water, smoke or heat; lack of proper temperature maintenance; animal or insect contact; or exposure to non-food chemicals. Said action of condemnation shall only be used when, in the opinion of the Director of Health, there is substantial risk that the suspected food would otherwise be used for human consumption, or if the license holder agrees to the grounds for the condemnation.
Food from food service establishments outside the jurisdiction of the Town of Monroe may be sold within the Town if such food service establishments conform to the provisions of the Connecticut Public Health Code or to substantially equivalent provisions. To determine the extent of compliance with such provisions, the Director of Health or his authorized agent may accept reports from local health authorities in jurisdictions where such food service establishments are located.
Food service operators, owners/operators have options for continuous improvement in addition to routine inspections and reinspections.
The owner or operator of any food service establishment may at any time request an inspection for the purpose of improving the rating score of the food service establishment.
When a routine food service inspection is found to be in noncompliance with this code the holder of the license or the person in charge may request an inspection by appointment in advance of the reinspection due date. During this appointment, the Director of Health will work with the holder of the license at the food service establishment to develop a plan to correct the violations from the failed inspection as well as verify that corrections already made are satisfactory. Although not required, the owner/operator of any food service establishment is encouraged to indicate in writing how conditions that constitute violations have been addressed. Once verified, this documentation will be included in the food service establishment's file. Establishments with ongoing violations and a history of continuous failed routine inspections may be required by the Director of Health to participate in the food service establishment improvement program.
The owner/operator of the establishment assigned to the food service establishment improvement plan will receive from the Director of Health, in writing, notification of such assignment after a hearing. The Director of Health will schedule a meeting with the owner and/or manager to develop a list of issues needing improvement. Each plan will be tailored to the individual food service establishment to achieve long term compliance. Short-term voluntary closures may be a necessary first step.
The Director of Health and owner/operator will then collaborate on a schedule for correction. A food service establishment improvement plan may include, but not be limited to:
Development of an employee training program.
Improvement of food handling practices.
Review of structural deficiencies to plan a schedule of improvements.
Equipment upgrade schedule to replace equipment in poor repair.
Development of an integrated pest management program.
Menu review to assess need for: cold storage, hot holding, dry storage and food preparation facilities.
Design and implementation of a cleaning program.
Hazard analysis critical control point inspection. The Director of Health may require a hazard analysis critical control point inspection (HACCP) for establishments with continuous food handling violations. A HACCP inspection is designed to identify food safety hazards and determine the necessary steps that are needed to control the identified hazards. Following a HACCP inspection, the Director of Health will work with the owner/operator to develop procedures to reduce risk factors in the food service establishment.
If any food service establishment loses power, potable water, or is impacted by structural damage, discharge of an ansul system, fire or flooding, it must cease the preparation of food immediately and close the operation. During events that cause loss of power, more than four hours, the food service establishment must receive authorization from the Director of Health prior to restocking and reopening the food service establishment. In order to open following a power outage all food service establishments must have all the critical components for food safety functional. These components include, but are not limited to:
All equipment used in the storage, preparation, holding, display, service and transportation of food shall be commercial-grade and conform to the design and fabrication standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) or equivalent.
If custom-fabricated equipment is proposed, adequate shop drawings depicting elevations must be provided. The fabricator must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director of Health that they are an NSF-approved fabricator for the piece of proposed equipment.
The Director of Health may establish an equipment remediation plan for preexisting food service establishments that lack commercial-grade equipment, not conforming to the design and fabrication standards of the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) or equivalent.
A food preparation sink with a minimum of one drain board shall be provided when the menu is such that:
Fruits/vegetables are processed.
Foods are thawed prior to cooking.
Any other processes within the operation, which in the opinion of the Director of Health requires such a sink for the safe and sanitary handling of the food. Food preparation sinks shall be indirectly-drained.
In certain areas, such as, but not limited to coffee stations or service bars outside of the main food preparation area, a "dump sink" may be approved in place of a food preparation sink.
At least one curbed cleaning facility or mop sink shall be provided and used for cleaning of mops and disposal of mop water or cleaning waste. The sink shall be provided with hot and cold running water. The disposal of mop water and cleaning waste shall not be done at hand wash sinks, food preparation sinks or three-compartment sinks.
In cooking and preparation areas, sufficient equipment must be proposed with casters to facilitate adequate cleaning of floors, walls and sides of equipment.
Grease interceptors. The design, installation, and maintenance of grease interceptors shall comply with the requirements of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Water Pollution Control Authority of the municipality in which the Class III or IV Food Establishment is located and only for those who discharge to a municipal sewer. Food Establishments that discharge to an on-site sewage disposal system must have an external grease trap sized according to the daily design flow. The design, installation, and maintenance shall comply with the Technical Standards for Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems. Automatic grease recovery units can be retrofitted in lieu of an external grease trap for existing buildings if approved by the Director of Health.
Wastewater from all plumbing fixtures shall be discharged into municipal sewers or an approved on-site sewage disposal system (OSDS). OSDS shall comply with the Connecticut Public Health Code On-site Sewage Disposal Regulations and Technical Standards for Subsurface Sewage Disposal Systems.
All new food establishments who are going into an existing building and discharge to an OSDS shall conform to the Connecticut Public Health Code. A flow analysis shall be conducted by a professional engineer to evaluate the existing OSDS and proposed flows. A septic inspection is required by a licensed septic installer and witnessed by the Monroe Health Department before a food license can be issued by the Director of Health.
The water supply shall be adequate, of a safe, sanitary quality, be in conformance with the regulations of Connecticut state agencies and be from an approved source which is in conformance with the regulations of Connecticut state agencies.
A food service establishment utilizing a well for its water supply is required to test for all of the following constituents and include the test results with the license renewal application and fee: bacteria, physical parameters (color, odor, turbidity, nitrate nitrogen, nitrite nitrogen, sodium, lead and copper). Results of water analyses from within the last three months are acceptable providing all of the above-listed parameters are included.
When food service establishments are constructed, substantially remodeled or converted or when an existing establishment changes owner, properly prepared scaled plans detailing equipment layout, equipment specification and finish surfaces shall be submitted.
The plans and specifications shall be submitted along with a proposed menu and completed plan review application which outlines the requirements for the construction or remodeling of the establishment based on a review of the proposed menu. No construction or remodeling shall be performed without the written approval of the Director of Health.
The Director of Health shall have the authority to adopt technical standards to assure the safe operation of food service establishments. Such standards shall not contravene any of the provisions of this chapter or any state or municipal laws, ordinances or regulations, and may be amended or revised as deemed necessary from time to time to reflect updates in industry standards or other information which is deemed to be critical to preserving food safety.