Environmental Heatlh

Environmental Health

Food Safety

Frequently Asked Questions

Please read before you call. You may find answers to your questions here.

When do I need to renew my food service permit?
All food service permits expire on June 30th of each year. Therefore, your permit must be renewed by paying the invoice received in the mail prior to July 31st.

I’m buying an existing food service establishment. What do I need to do to get a permit for this establishment?
Applications, a proposed menu and current plans of the establishment must be submitted to Environmental Health at least 30 days prior to operating a restaurant.

Do I need a permit to sell food at a fair or festival?
Yes, a temporary food service permit is required to sell food. The event organizer should contact us at least 30 days prior to the event to ensure all forms have been received.

Can I operate a catering business from my home?
Catering must be done in a commercial kitchen. All the requirements of a food service establishment apply. This includes, but is not limited to, a three-compartment sink, a hand wash sink and ANSI certified equipment.

Do you inspect grocery stores?
Grocery stores and convenience stores are regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. They may be reached at 404-363-7646.

Aren’t gloves required for handling all food items? Why is it that I see restaurant operators preparing food without wearing gloves?
The rule states there should be no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods. Other approved methods to prevent this bare hand contact include the use of deli papers, tongs or other utensils. Bare hand contact is allowed for foods which are not ready to eat, such as pizza dough or raw meats.

Can you test my food to see if there is anything wrong with it?
Environmental Health does not routinely perform laboratory testing on food products in the possession of the consumer. If testing is conducted, it is usually done as part of an ongoing investigation. If you would like a product tested for your own information, there are a number of private testing laboratories listed in the telephone directory that have the ability to test food.