Restaurant Sanitation

The Pitt County Environmental Health Division, a Division of the Pitt County Health Department, is responsible for inspecting food and lodging establishments within the County as required by North Carolina law and for the purpose of protecting the health and well-being of the patrons and employees. The inspections are performed by Registered Environmental Health Specialists.

Frequency


The complexity of the menu and/or the type of clientele served by an establishment determines the frequency of inspection for each facility. There are four categories. The assigned category determines the number of inspections required per year.
  • A Category 4 establishment would be inspected four times per year.
  • A Category 3 establishment would be inspected three times per year.
  • A Category 2 establishment inspected two times per year.
  • A Category 1 establishment inspected once per year.

Category 4


A Category 4 facility generally has a large menu, offering foods cooked a variety of ways. A facility might also be a Category 4 due to the clientele that it serves such as nursing home patients, hospital patients, or elementary school children. These establishments are a category 4 due to the population served which are at a higher risk of food borne illness due to their age and/or compromised immune system.

Process


  1. Inspections of establishments are performed without advance notice.
  2. Establishments are inspected for cleanliness, appropriate storage of food and supplies, and food handling practices.
  3. Upon completion of each inspection, the establishment is provided a grade and score. The establishment is required to post this grade in a location that is visible to the public.
  4. When an establishment is in violation of a critical item, a return visit must be made within 10 days to insure the violation has been corrected.

Critical Items


Critical items are those items which meet the criteria of the Center for Disease Control’s five risk factors for food borne illness. The five factors are:
  • Cross-contamination and contamination of food contact surfaces
  • Food from unapproved sources
  • Improper hot and cold holding, cooling or reheating of potentially hazardous foods
  • Inadequate cooking
  • Poor personal hygiene of food handlers

Grade & Score


The sanitation grade and score of an establishment is determined according to the rules and regulations set forth by the State. The Environmental Health Specialist explains his or her findings to the manager on duty at the conclusion of each inspection. Letter grades, "A","B", or "C", are calculated on a ten-point scale. An inspection resulting in a score below 70% results in an automatic revocation of the establishment's permit.