Food & Lodging
The primary responsibility of the food and Lodging section is to educate and protect public health through the enforcement of state government regulations. This section is responsible for sanitation inspections of public facilities, which provide food and/or lodging accommodations. Other responsibilities include: complaint investigations, childhood lead poisoning investigations, food borne outbreak investigations, and plan review for new establishments. Administrative rules can be found at https://ehs.ncpublichealth.com/rules.htm.
Sanitation Inspections: Duplin Environmental Health is responsible for the sanitation grading of Restaurants, Food stands, Meat Markets, School Lunchrooms, Rest Homes, Nursing Homes, Hospitals, Childcare Centers and Lodging Facilities. Environmental Health Specialists are required to enforce North Carolina Rules and Regulations that govern the sanitation of these establishments. During the inspection of a food handling establishment, there is an emphasis placed on factors that increase the chance of developing food borne illness. These critical risk factors are:
- Poor personal hygiene/employee health
- Food from unsafe sources
- Contaminated equipment/cross contamination
- Inadequate cooking temperatures
- Improper hot and cold holding temperatures, improper reheating, and improper cooling
Additionally, routine inspections check sewage disposal, water supply, restroom facilities, pest control, cleaning, lighting and ventilation, construction of floors, walls and ceilings and garbage disposal. Once an inspection is complete, the findings and results of the inspection are documented, reviewed with the owner / operator, and a letter grade card is posted. Sanitation grade cards are posted where they may be readily observed by the public upon entering the establishment. All establishments are required by law to keep their grade card posted. The sanitation grade is based on a 10 point scale and is as follows: Grade A: 90- 100% Grade B: 80- 89.5%> Grade C: 70- 79.5% Any establishment failing to score at least 70% will have its permit revoked immediately. Click the link for a current list of grades. View WRAL Restaurants Listing for Duplin County.
Child Care Centers: Childcare centers are inspected once every six month period by an Environmental Health Specialist. Additional inspections may be conducted at any child care facility as often as necessary to ensure compliance with applicable sanitation standards. Temperatures, handling, and preparation of food are checked during inspections. Additionally, the following items are checked regularly during inspections: diapering and diaper changing facilities, furniture, toys, beds, cots, linen, hand washing of staff and children, lighting and thermal environment, and hot water temperatures at sinks that are accessible to children. The classification rating is posted in the facility in a conspicuous place designated by the Environmental Health Specialist. Child care centers are rated Superior, Approved, Provisional, or Disapproved based on a demerit-score grading system. The degree of the facility’s compliance with sanitation standards are indicated by the total demerit-point score. The demerit- score point system is as follows: Superior 0-15 Demerits Approved 16-30 Demerits Provisional 31-45 Demerits Disapproved 46 or more. When a center receives a provisional rating, another inspection is conducted within 7 days to determine if the critical item has been corrected. Critical items that constitute a six point deduction include, but are not limited to: a violation of hot water temperatures for children, improper diapering methods, unapproved diaper changing facilities, improper storage of chemicals and medications, and wastewater disposal. Owners / administrators of child care centers may request a re-inspection for the purpose of raising their classification rating at any time. Child Care Centers Plan Review Application (PDF Version)
Certified Food Protection Manager Food service establishments are now required to have a Certified Food Protection Manager who has passed an accredited ANSI food safety exam. This person(s) must be onsite at any time the operation is in use. There are four different ANSI accredited food safety training programs that offer approved food safety exams. Information regarding each of these programs can be found by clicking on this link. Each of these programs provide information on their websites about upcoming classes and/or exams offered in specific areas.
Temporary Food Establishments: Temporary Food Establishments are required by North Carolina state law to obtain permits from this department prior to selling food. A temporary food establishment is an individual or organization that serves food or drink in connection with a fair, carnival, circus public exhibition, or other similar gathering. Event coordinators and vendors can download permit applications. Simply download the form here and either email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it with all required attachments to our office at PO Box 948 Kenansville, NC 28349. Event Coordinator Application (PDF Version) | Temporary Food Service Application (PDF Version) | Temporary Food Service Supplemental Documents for Vendors (PDF Version) | Non-profit Exempt Form (PDF Version) | Mobile Food Unit Application (PDF Version) |Pushcart Application (PDF Version)
Plan Review: Plans, drawn to scale, and specifications, including the proposed menu, for new food service establishments must be submitted for review and approval to the local health department prior to initiating construction. The fee for this service is $240. Any changes in the dimensions of food preparation areas, seating capacity, or the addition of rooms to existing food service establishments must also be approved prior to renovating. Plan Review Application (PDF Version).
Complaint Investigations: The food & lodging section is responsible for investigating complaints received from the public against food and / or lodging establishments. To register a complaint or concern, you may call (910) 296-2126.
Lead Investigations: Lead poisoning investigations are conducted when a child under six years of age has an elevated blood lead level. Blood lead testing is recommended for all children under six years of age for early detection. Investigations are used to attempt to find the source of lead in the child’s environment. Several residences may be involved. When a source of lead is found, our department is responsible for monitoring remediation and/or abatement activities.
Food Borne Disease Outbreak Investigations: Some diseases can be caused by improper food handling and storage. Diseases can also be transmitted to food if it is prepared by someone who has a communicable disease such as Hepatitis A, is sick with the Norovirus or other gastrointestinal illness. Environmental health and the communicable disease nurse should be contacted so they may conduct an investigation of any reported food borne illness.