[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Selectmen of the Town of Bethel 6-25-1976. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH
- The State of Connecticut Commissioner of Health.
- DIRECTOR OF HEALTH
- The Director of Health of the Town of Bethel.
- Any raw, cooked or processed edible substance, beverage or ingredient, including ice, used or intended for use, in whole or in part, for human consumption.
No person, firm or corporation shall operate or maintain within the Town an itinerant food vending business serving food or drink from any establishment or conveyance without fixed location and without connections to water supply and sewage disposal systems, except after compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
No person, firm or corporation shall operate or maintain within the Town a catering food service, which involves the sale or distribution of food and drink prepared in bulk at one geographic location for service in individual portions at another public or private premises not under the ownership or control of the operator of such service except after compliance with the requirements of this chapter.
A temporary establishment serving food or drink shall comply with all provisions of this chapter which are applicable to its operation. The local Director of Health may augment such requirements when needed to assure the service of safe food, may prohibit the sale of potentially hazardous food or drink consisting in whole or in part of milk or milk products, eggs, meat, poultry, fish, shellfish or other ingredients capable of supporting the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms or may modify specific requirements of physical facilities when, in his opinion, no health hazard will result.
It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a food establishment within the Town of Bethel without the possession of a valid license issued to him by the Director of Health. Only a person who complies with the requirements of the Public Health Code of the State of Connecticut shall be entitled to receive and retain such a license. Licenses shall not be transferable from one person to another person or from one location to another. Licenses will be issued yearly and shall expire on June 30 of each year. Permits for temporary food service establishments shall be issued for a period not to exceed 14 days. The owner or proprietor of a food establishment or food vending machine shall keep a valid license posted in a conspicuous public location, visible to the patrons of the establishment and protected against defacement or damage at all times.
The following are exempt from the provisions of this chapter:
Any person desiring to operate a food establishment must, at least 10 days prior to the operating or change of ownership of such establishment, make a written application for a license on forms provided by the Director of Health. Such application shall include the applicant's full name, telephone number and post office address; and if such applicant is a firm, corporation or partnership, the names of all officers or partners, together with their telephone numbers and addresses, shall be included. The location and type of proposed food establishment and signature of the applicants shall also be included.
Upon receipt of an application, the Director of Health or his representative shall make an inspection of the food establishment to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter. When inspection reveals that the establishment complies with the requirements of this chapter, a license shall be issued by the Director of Health, upon receipt of the required fee.
The regulations and standards of the Connecticut State Department of Health and the Department of Consumer Protection, as may be amended, are herein incorporated into this chapter.
At least once every three months the Director of Health, registered sanitarian or authorized agent who has been certified by the Commissioner shall inspect each food-service establishment and shall make as many additional inspections and reinspections as are necessary for the enforcement of this chapter. Certification of each person conducting such inspections shall be renewed every three years by the Commissioner.
Access to establishments. The Director of Health, registered sanitarian or authorized agent, after proper identification, shall be permitted to enter, at any reasonable time, any food-service establishment for the purpose of making inspections to determine compliance with this chapter. He shall be permitted to examine the records of the establishment to obtain information pertaining to food and supplies purchased, received or used and persons employed, but not including financial records.
Inspection records; weighted values; rating scores. Whenever the Director of Health, registered sanitarian or authorized agent makes an inspection of a food-service establishment, he shall record his findings on an inspection report form and shall furnish a copy of such inspection report form to the owner or operator. Such form shall summarize the requirements of this chapter and shall set forth weighted point values for each such requirement. Upon completion of an inspection, the Director of Health, registered sanitarian or authorized agent shall total the weighted point values for all requirements in compliance, such total becoming the rating score for the establishment. The total weighted point value shall be scored for each item in violation.
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 rating score. The four-demerit-point items include food from an approved source, wholesome and unadulterated; potentially hazardous food meets temperature requirements during storage, preparation, display, service and transportation; unwrapped and potentially hazardous food not re-served; toxic material properly stored, labeled and used; personnel with infections restricted; personnel's hands washed; clean water source; adequate, safe sewage disposal approved; no nuisance; no cross-connection, backsiphonage, backflow; and adequate toilet and handwashing facilities, conveniently and accessibly designed and installed. If the rating score is below 80 or if there is one or more four-demerit-point items in violation at the time of inspection, the Director of Health, registered sanitarian or authorized agent shall order correction of the items in violation within two weeks. After the two weeks, the Director of Health, registered sanitarian or authorized agent shall make a reinspection and determine the new rating score.
If the rating score at the time of the reinspection is below 80 or if there is one or more four-demerit-point items in violation, the Director of Health shall take immediate steps to have the food-service establishment closed.
However, if there are insanitary 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 may immediately issue a written notice to the permit 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. If correction is not made in the stated time, a written order shall be issued to close the food-service establishment.
If the rating score is 80 or above, the Director of Health, registered sanitarian or authorized agent shall order correction of any violations and specify time for correction.
The owner or operator of any establishment may at any time request an inspection for the purpose of improving the rating score of the establishment. Within 10 days following receipt of a request, including a signed statement that the violations have, in the applicant's opinion, been corrected, the Director of Health, registered sanitarian or authorized agent shall make an inspection and thereafter as many additional inspections as he may deem necessary to assure himself that the applicant is complying with the requirements of this section.
A license may be temporarily suspended by the Director of Health upon violations by the holder of any of the requirements of this chapter for any condition that may be deemed an imminent public health hazard, for serious or repeated violations or for interference with the Director of Health or his representative in the performance of his duties.
If the license is suspended, one copy of the notice of violation shall be posted upon the window of the front entrance door of the food 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 notice of violation shall not be defaced or removed by any person except the Director of Health or his representative.
Any person whose license has been suspended must immediately discontinue all food-service operations and may, at any time, make application for a reinspection for the purpose of reinstatement of the license. Within one week after receipt of a written request, accompanied by a signed statement that the conditions responsible for the suspension have been corrected, the Director of Health or his representative shall make a reinspection and any additional reinspections deemed necessary, and if findings indicate satisfactory correction, the license shall be reinstated by the Director of Health.
A license may be permanently revoked by the Director of Health if three suspensions of such license are ordered within any thirty-six-month period. The permanent revocation of a license shall preclude any renewal of said license or the granting of a new license to the former holder or another person for the food establishment formerly licensed so long as the former holder maintains an interest therein.
The owner or operator of an establishment aggrieved by an order, within 48 hours after such order, may appeal to the Director of Health, who shall thereupon immediately examine the merits of such case and may vacate, modify or affirm such order. 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 Commissioner of 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.
When the Director of Health or his representative has probable cause to believe a food or foodstuffs to be unwholesome or otherwise unfit for human consumption, he shall take such samples as necessary for laboratory examination. He will issue a receipt indicating the types and amounts of such samples upon request.
If it is deemed necessary, the Director of Health may, upon written notice to the owner or agent of a food establishment, place a hold order or embargo on any food which he has probable cause to believe to be unwholesome or otherwise unfit for human consumption.
It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or alter a hold order, notice or tag placed upon such food, and neither shall such food containers thereof be altered, disposed of, destroyed or opened, without written permission of the Director of Health.
Whenever the Director of Health shall find meats, fish, vegetables, dairy products or perishable foods exposed, offered or intended for sale in violation of any provisions of this chapter or in a state of degradation which renders it, in his opinion, unwholesome or unfit for use as human food, he shall condemn the same and cause it to be destroyed and disposed of in such a manner as to make it impossible to be used thereafter as a human food.
When food establishments are hereafter constructed or remodeled, or when existing structures are converted for use as food establishments, properly prepared plans and specifications of the types of fixed equipment and sanitary food-service facilities as specified in the State of Connecticut Health Code shall be submitted to the Director of Health or his representative for approval prior to the issuance of a building permit. This review shall be completed within 30 days after filing. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for a building or part thereof which has been constructed or remodeled for a food establishment until the Director of Health has certified that relevant aspects of such construction or remodeling have been carried out in accordance with approved plans.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, in addition to any other penalties provided herein, be subject to a fine of up to $100 for each offense, and each day an offense continues shall be considered a separate offense.
The granting of a license or permit hereunder shall not absolve the applicant from meeting the requirements of any other applicable code or regulation.