Food Protection

The types of inspection conducted by the Environmental Sanitarian include: school cafeterias, restaurants, taverns, retail grocery, senior nutrition centers, summer feeding, embargo activities, food related truck wrecks or fires, and food complaints.

How often are establishments inspected?

Frequency of inspections is determined by a public health priority based on the Food Establishment Public Health Priority Assessment Worksheet.  Every establishment in the county is scored on this assessment sheet and assigned a risk category of High, Medium, or Low Priority.

  • High Priority establishments are inspected at least once every six months.
  • Medium Priority establishments are inspected at least once every twelve months.
  • Low Priority establishments are inspected at least once every eighteen months

Additional inspections, field visits or monitoring of food establishments may take place due to inspection history, repeated or uncorrected violations, changes in the establishment service and/or product, change of ownership, public complaints, food borne illness investigation, and food or equipment recalls.

Physical Facility Requirements

  1. The facility must have hot and cold running water under adequate pressure. 
  2. The facility must provide hot and cold running water through mixing faucets. 
  3. The facility must be equipped in the food preparation area, with a conveniently located hand sink that is supplied with hot and cold running water, dispensed through a mixing faucet. This hand sink must have hand soap and disposable towels and/or a sanitary hand-drying device.
  4. The facility must be equipped with a mop sink or curbed floor drain. 
  5. Sinks in the facility, which hold food or utensils, shall be equipped with air gaps or back-flow prevention. 
  6. The facility shall have a conveniently located employee rest room, adequately ventilated, equipped with a self-closing door; a properly equipped hand sink, and a covered trash can. 
  7. The facility shall have walls, floors and ceiling surfaces constructed of smooth durable materials that are easily cleanable. 
  8. The facility floors and wall junctures shall be sealed as with baseboards or coved. 
  9. The facility shall have all lights shielded or Teflon coated in areas where there is exposed food, clean equipment, utensils, and linens or unwrapped single service and single-use articles. 
  10. The facility HVAC devices shall be installed in such a way as to not contaminate food prep areas. 
  11. The facility shall have all outer openings protected against the entrance of rodents and insects.
  12. The facility perimeter walls and roofs shall be constructed to protect against weather, rodents and insects.
  13. The facility out-door areas such as parking lots, dumpster pads, walk ways and driving areas shall be graded to drain and constructed to prevent dust, mud and water accumulation. 
  14. The facility shall have no carpeting in food prep areas. 
  15. Carpet in dinning areas shall be tightly woven and easily cleanable. 
  16. The facility shall not have insect protection devices installed in such a way as to contaminate a food prep or storage area.
  17. The facility shall not have exposed studs, joists or rafters. 
  18. The facility shall have no exposed utility pipes, service lines and any horizontal pipes and service lines on the floor. 
  19. The facility shall have adequate ventilation. 
  20. The facility shall have an adequate maintenance equipment storage area. 
  21. The facility shall have an area, separate from the food preparation area for employees to eat, drink and smoke, if smoking is permitted. 
  22. The facility shall be equipped with an area for employees to store their personal belongings. 
  23. The facility shall be maintained in a clean state, free of unnecessary liter, used equipment and rodent/insect harborage. 
  24. The facility shall have a toxic storage area, located so as not to contaminate food or single service items. 
  25. The facility shall have a dry, insect and rodent proof storage area for dry goods, canned goods and paper products. 
  26. Plumbing shall have no cross connections.

Equipment Requirements:

  1. Facilities preparing food must be equipped with a commercial dishwasher or a three compartment sink, (of sufficient depth and equipped with drain boards), using chemical or heat sanitization. Chemical test devices must be available to check sanitizer levels 
  2. Food preparation areas must have an accessible, conveniently located, well-equipped hand sinks, separate from a prep, mop or 3-compartment sink. 
  3. Facilities must have a conveniently located, well-equipped, employee restroom. 
  4. Facilities must have adequate storage, free from humidity and temperature extremes and protected against the entry of insects and rodents. 
  5. Facilities must have adequate refrigeration and freezer capacity 
  6. Facilities must have adequate reheating capacity. 
  7. Facilities must have adequate hot and cold holding capacity. 
  8. All heating and cooling devices must be equipped with permanently affixed thermometers accurate to +or- 2 degrees F. 
  9. Facilities must have equipment to provide adequate protection during storage and display of food. 
  10. Food preparation equipment must be safe, durable and easily cleanable and resistant to pitting. 
  11. Food preparation utensils must be safe, durable and easily cleanable and resistant to pitting. 
  12. Food preparation surfaces must be safe, durable and easily cleanable and resistant to pitting. 
  13. The food preparation area must be provided with and adequate number of accurate food thermometers or thermocouples. 
  14. Ice machines must be installed so that bins are sloped to drain, with no cross connections and no cold plates in direct contact with ice and equipped with an ice scoop, properly stored. 


This list is designed to serve as a general guideline for individuals attempting to open a food service or retail food operation. It is not intended as an in-depth work and does not represent the complete and total requirements of the Food Code. The Food Code contains details regarding food service and retail food operation, health and safety issues, personnel, sanitation and equipment standards as well as storage requirements for food, paper and toxic items. It is an adaptation of the Missouri Food Code and the 1999 Federal Food Code.

To REQUEST a copy of the Food Code contact 1-(573) -751-6095 or call toll free at 1-866-628-9891