[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of East Haddam 10-19-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CERTIFIED AGENT
- One who has been certified by the State of Connecticut for food establishment inspections.
- DIRECTOR OF HEALTH
- The Director of Health for the Town of East Haddam or the Registered Sanitarian, who is his/her authorized agent, who shall enforce this chapter.
- Any raw, cooked or processed edible substance, drink or ingredient, including ice, used or intended for use, in whole or in part, or otherwise handled for human consumption.
- FOOD ESTABLISHMENT
- Any place, fixed or mobile, where food intended for human consumption is manufactured, prepared, stored, offered for sale, sold, served or given to the public or handled in any other manner for public use, regardless of whether consumption is on or off the premises or whether there is a charge for the food. The term does not include private homes where food is prepared for individual family consumption.
- FOOD VENDING MACHINE
- A device automatically operated to supply food without the direct supervision of a human being.
- HAZARD ANALYSIS
- An evaluation of food handling operations to identify points of potential product contamination and assess the adequacy of hot processing and hot and cold storage methods of foods.
- SEASONAL ESTABLISHMENT
- A food establishment which is seasonal in nature, i.e., not to exceed a six-month duration in any given year.
- TEMPORARY FOOD SERVICE ESTABLISHMENTS
- Food establishments that may operate in the Town of East Haddam at fixed locations for periods not to exceed 14 days in any thirty-day period, in connection with a carnival, circus, public exhibition, festival, or similar transitory gathering.
The Director of Health or his/her authorized agent shall classify each food service establishment at the time of licensure, license renewal or other registration with the Director of Health.
The food service establishment classification shall be reviewed during each inspection, and in no case less than annually, and the establishment shall be placed into the highest classification that describes any of the food operations conducted. No food service establishment shall change operations to a different classification without prior written approval by the Director of Health or his/her authorized agent.
The classes of food service are as follows:
Class I is a food service establishment with commercially prepackaged foods and/or hot or cold beverages only. No preparation, cooking or hot-holding of potentially hazardous foods is included, except that commercially packaged precooked foods may be heated and served in the original package within four hours.
Class II is a food service establishment using cold or ready-to-eat commercially processed food requiring no further heat treatment and/or hot or cold beverages. No cooking, heating or hot-holding of potentially hazardous foods is included, except that commercially packaged precooked foods may be heated and served in the original package within four hours, and commercially precooked hot dogs, kielbasa and soups may be heated if transferred directly out of the original package and served within four hours.
Class III is a food service establishment having on the premises exposed potentially hazardous foods that are prepared by hot processes and consumed by the public within four hours of preparation.
Class IV is a food service establishment having on the premises exposed potentially hazardous foods that are prepared by hot processes and held for more than four hours prior to consumption by the public.
No person shall operate a food establishment who does not have a valid license issued to him/her by the Director of Health or certified agent who has been duly authorized. Only a person who complies with the requirements of this chapter and the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut shall be entitled to receive or retain such a license. Food service licenses are not transferable between or to another owner(s) or principal operator. Change of ownership or principal operator(s) shall immediately cause a reinspection and classification of the establishment, together with the application for a new food service license and payment of the appropriate fee. A valid license shall be posted prominently in plain view in every food establishment. Licenses for temporary food service establishments shall be issued for a period of time not to exceed 14 consecutive days.
New license. Any person desiring to operate a food establishment shall make a written application for a license on forms provided by the Town Department of Health. Such application shall include the name and address of the owner, principal operator, and the designated qualified food operator (QFO), the location and type of the proposed food establishment, and the signature of all applicants. If the application is for a temporary food establishment, it shall also include the date(s) of the proposed operation. Prior to approval of an application for license, the Director of Health or his/her agent shall inspect the proposed food establishment to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the Connecticut Public Health Code. Following this inspection, payment of fee, and a review that the proposed food establishment complies with the requirements of this chapter and the Connecticut Public Health Code and any other applicable statutes, ordinances or rules and regulations, the Director of Health shall issue a license to the applicant.
License renewal. All food service licenses shall expire on December 31 of each year and may be renewed by the same owner or operator for another year upon application approval and payment of the annual fee. Licenses not renewed by February 15 following shall be considered lapsed and expired, and any subsequent application for renewal shall trigger reinspection of the establishment. Seasonal food establishments must complete the license renewal procedure no less than 45 days prior to the scheduled annual opening of operations to the public.
The Director of Health or Registered Sanitarian may, without prior warning, notice, or hearing, suspend any license to operate a food establishment if the license holder does not comply with requirements of this chapter or the Connecticut Public Health Code, or if the operation of the food establishment otherwise constitutes a substantial hazard to public health, or for serious or repeated code violations, or for interference with the Director of Health, Registered Sanitarian or certified agent in the performance of their duties.
Whenever a license is suspended, the license holder or person in charge shall be notified in writing that the license is, upon service of the notice, immediately suspended and that an opportunity for an appeal is provided if a written request for an appeal is filed with the Director of Health by the license holder within 48 hours. If no request for an appeal is filed within 48 hours, the suspension becomes final. The Director of Health or Registered Sanitarian may end the suspension at any time if the reasons for the suspension no longer exist.
Revocation of license. The Director of Health may, after providing opportunity for an appeal, revoke a license for refusal to comply with an order of suspension or serious or repeated violations of any of the requirements of this chapter or of the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut. 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 a request for an appeal is filed with the Director of Health by the license holder within 48 hours. If no request for an appeal is filed within 48 hours, the revocation of the license becomes final.
Reapplication for licensure. Whenever a suspension or revocation of a license has become final, the holder of the suspended or revoked license may make written application for reinstatement of the license or for a new license. Such request for reinstatement of license must contain a signed statement that the cited violations have been corrected. A license holder or establishment that has had its license revoked shall not be eligible for consideration for a new or renewed food establishment license until 30 days have elapsed after the correction of all defects and violations noted in prior inspection reports and notices of violations.
Each person owning, operating or managing a food service establishment designated as Class III or Class IV shall be a qualified food operator (QFO) or shall employ on site at least one qualified food operator who is in a supervisory position at said establishment. Documentation for said QFO shall be maintained on file at the food service establishment and provided to the local Director of Health or his/her agent on request. Whenever the qualified food operator terminates employment, is terminated or is transferred, the person owning, operating or managing the food service establishment shall immediately notify the local health department in writing. A replacement qualified food operator shall be employed within 30 days from the date of termination or transfer of the qualified food operator. Exempt from this QFO requirement (but from no other food service regulations) are temporary food service establishments and special events sponsored by nonprofit civic organizations such as, but not limited to, school sporting events, little league food booths, church suppers and fairs.
All food service establishments shall be inspected by the Director of Health, registered sanitarian, or an authorized agent of the Director of Health. Such authorized inspectors from the Town or state health department shall be permitted to enter, at any reasonable time, any food service establishment for the purpose of making inspections to determine compliance with this section and the Connecticut Public Health Code. All food service establishments are in four classes, as designated by the Connecticut Public Health Code, including so-called temporary, itinerant, seasonal/part-time, caterer, and vending/vendor.
Classified food service establishments.
Class I food service establishments shall be inspected at intervals not to exceed 360 days.
Class II service establishments shall be inspected at intervals not to exceed 180 days.
Class III food service establishments shall be inspected at intervals not to exceed 120 days.
Class IV food service establishments shall be inspected at intervals not to exceed 90 days, except that an interval not to exceed 120 days may be allowed where one of the annual inspections is hazard analysis inspection.
Temporary food service establishments, itinerants, and mobile caterers (not to exceed 14 business days of operation in any thirty-day period) shall be licensed and inspected at the start of each term of business; said operator, vendors and caterers must present verification of licensure and inspection from their town of origin as well as meet all East Haddam codes and regulations.
Enforcement and reinspections.
All inspections shall be conducted according to the regulations and procedures as stipulated in the Connecticut food protection codes. Every food service establishment shall maintain a rating score of 80 or higher and shall not have one or more four-demerit-point items in violation, regardless of the total rating score. If the establishment fails this stipulation, the Director of Health or his/her agent shall order correction of the items in violation within two weeks. After the two weeks, the Director of Health or his/her agent shall make a reinspection and determine the new rating score; all reinspections are complete, not partial, inspections.
If at the time of reinspection the rating score is below 80 or there is one or more four-demerit-point items, the Director of Health shall take immediate steps to have the food service establishment closed.
Unsanitary conditions. If there are unsanitary or other conditions in the operation of a food service establishment which, in the judgment of the Director of Health, constitute an immediate and substantial hazard to the public health, he/she may immediately issue a written notice to the permit holder or operator citing such conditions, specifying the corrective action to be taken, and the time period within which such action shall be taken, and, if deemed necessary, ordering immediate correction. If correction is not made in the stated time, a written order shall be issued to close the food service establishment.
Hearings and appeals.
Hearings. An owner or operator may request a hearing to appeal an order for license suspension or revocation. The hearing provided for in this chapter shall be conducted by the Director of Health at a time and place designated by the Director of Health. Based upon the recorded evidence of such hearing, the Director of Health shall make a final finding, and may vacate, modify or affirm any notice or order considered in the appeal. A written report of the hearing decision shall be furnished to the license holder by the Director of Health.
Appeals. The owner or operator of an establishment who is aggrieved by such action of the Director of Health may, within 48 hours after the making of such decision, appeal to the Connecticut Commissioner of Public Health, who shall thereupon immediately notify the authority from whose order the appeal was taken and examine the merits of such case and may vacate, modify or affirm such action. The appeal to the Commissioner must be delivered by hand or by mail to the office of the Commissioner within the 48 hours or a telephone call must be made to the office of the Commissioner within 48 hours with notification of the intent to appeal followed by a letter of appeal.
At the time of licensure or other registration with the Director of Health, or at the time of annual license renewal, all food service establishments shall pay an annual fee to the Town of East Haddam. Fees or renewal of annual licensure shall be paid and delivered to the Building Department at Town Hall on or before February 15 of each year. Unpaid fees shall cause the food service license to immediately expire.
Annual fees are calendar-based and set as follows:
Class I: $75 per year.
Class II: $100 per year.
Class III: $150 per year.
Class IV: $200 per year.
Temporary license: $35 per registration, to a maximum of $350 per calendar year; license valid for 14 consecutive days.
Vending machines owned by one vendor, per location: $25.
Religious, civic, and philanthropic organizations: $5 for Class I and II; $15 for Class III and Class IV.
Seasonal (less than 180 aggregate days of operation per year): 50% fee, each classification.
Reinspection fee, each occurrence: $45. The imposition of this fee or its payment shall not be deemed to excuse any violation found pursuant to this chapter or to prevent the imposition of any penalty prescribed by the chapter or other provision of law.
Whenever a food establishment is constructed or remodeled and whenever an existing structure is converted to use as food establishment, or when a change is made in the menu requiring a change in equipment or operation of an existing food establishment, properly prepared plans and specifications for such construction, remodeling or alteration or change shall be submitted to the Director of Health or certified agent for review and approval before construction, remodeling or alteration is begun. The plans shall indicate the proposed layout, construction materials, arrangement of work and storage areas, location, size, model and type of fixed or movable equipment and facilities which must be NSF-approved or its equal. The menu, service expectations and any other information necessary to evaluate the proposed construction or alteration may be required for submission and evaluation.
The Director of Health or certified agent shall approve the plans and specifications if they meet the requirements of this chapter and the Connecticut Public Health Code. No food establishment shall be constructed, remodeled or altered except in accordance with plans and specifications approved by the Director of Health or certified agent. Upon change of ownership of existing food establishments, upgrading of present facilities and equipment as deemed appropriate for effective maintenance and satisfactory operation may be required by the Director of Health or certified agent.
Preoperational inspections. Whenever plans and specifications are required by this chapter to be submitted to the Director of Health or certified agent, the Director of Health, Registered Sanitarian or his/her certified agent shall inspect the food establishment as may be necessary prior to its beginning operation to determine compliance with the approved plans and specifications, and with the requirements of this chapter and the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut.
Food may be examined by the Director of Health, Registered Sanitarian or certified agent as often as necessary for enforcement of this chapter or the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut. The Director of Health or certified agent may condemn food or other related substances which have been subjected to fire, smoke, flooding, sewage contamination, loss of refrigeration, improper temperature requirements for potentially hazardous foods or other serious mistreatment. An itemized list of such destroyed items as required by the Director of Health or certified agent is to be kept on record, a copy of which shall be made available to the license holder upon request.
The Director of Health or certified agent, without prior written notice, may at his/her discretion place a hold order on any food which he/she believes is in violation of the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut or any section of this chapter. Confirmation of such action shall be by written notice to the license holder by means of an inspection report or notice of violation or his/her certified 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 a request for hearing may be filed with the Director of Health within 48 hours, and that if no hearing is requested, the food shall be destroyed. The Director of Health shall hold a hearing, if so requested, and on the basis of evidence produced at the 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.
Food from a food establishment outside the jurisdiction of the Director of Health of the Town of East Haddam may be sold within the Town of East Haddam if such food establishments conform to the provisions of this chapter or to substantially equivalent provisions. The Director of Health or certified agent may accept reports from responsible authorities in other jurisdictions where such food establishments are located.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter and/or the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100. In addition thereto, such persons may be enjoined from continuing such violation. Each day upon which such a violation occurs shall constitute a separate violation.
A notice provided for in this chapter is properly served when it is delivered or left with the license holder or person in charge by means of an inspection report or other written notice or when it is sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the license holder. A copy of any notice shall be filed in the records of the Director of Health.