North Central Health District


Food Service Program

Food Service

Ensuring Your Meals are Safe to Eat

The goal of the food service program is to reduce the risk of food-borne illness associated with the improper storage, preparation and cooking of food. The EH Section permits facilities and conducts food service inspections at a minimum of twice per year. The EH Section also provides education, investigates complaints, and assists the Epidemiology Section with Food-borne Illness Investigations. Environmental Health Specialists operate under the auspices of the Georgia Rules and Regulations governing Food Service, Chapter 290-5-14. All restaurant inspection scores must be made available to the public and can be found on the DPH Health Inspection page.

Information for Owners/Operators

All restaurants, food trucks, caterers, bars and temporary food services are required to have a food service permit issued by the local health department. Non-profit organizations must also acquire a permit for any event where food is served.

Do you plan to open a restaurant, bar or other business that sells food? Following the steps below will help speed up the process. Remember to allow enough time to complete everything before you open the business.

  • Contact the local health department’s Environmental Health Office.
  • Complete the application they provide and pay any fees required
  • Provide a set of construction plans if you are building or remodeling; provide the entire set of plans, not just the layout of equipment.
  • Have a complete list of the equipment that you are purchasing. Only commercial ANSI Approved equipment is allowed. No home-style equipment is permitted. Make sure to submit this list before purchasing equipment – we will verify that equipment is allowed.
  • Become familiar with the Georgia Rules and Regulations for food service.
  • Contact all county agencies that may be involved in the opening of your business.

ServSafe® Manager Training

Are you responsible for preventing food-borne illnesses and upholding requirements of the FDA Food Code? Through the ServSafe® Manager Training course, you can improve your food safety and sanitation skills through our nationally recognized course. Learn more on our ServSafe Manager Training page.

Non-profit Temporary Food Service Vendor Training

Each year in Georgia, communities around the state have various events, fairs, and festivals sponsored by non-profit organizations involving the service of food. The practices surrounding the service of this food is different than that of a traditional food service establishment.  Non-profit food vendors who participate in non-profit temporary food events (those sponsored by a county, municipality, or a proven non-profit organization) have the opportunity to attend educational trainings in any of our 13 counties and receive a certificate of completion at the end of the training.  The certificate will show that they have taken the extra-step to learn more about food safety and protecting the public from foodborne illness.  These certificates may be displayed at any non-profit event for up to two years at which time we recommend the vendors return to learn about any changes to the law and gain additional knowledge and skills.

The following training dates have been scheduled at each health department:

  • Baldwin County:  Second Wednesday of each month at 10:00 a.m.
  • Crawford County:  5:30 p.m. on March 10, June 9, September 8, & December 8
  • Hancock County:  5:30 p.m. on March 6, June 5, September 4, and December 4
  • Houston County:  Last Friday of each month at 6:00 p.m.
  • Jasper County:  5:30 p.m. on March 3, June 2, September 1, and December 1
  • Jones County:  6:00p.m. on February 20, April 10, July 10, and October 9
  • Macon-Bibb County:  Third Thursday of each month at 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
  • Monroe County:  5:30 p.m. on March 4, June 3, September 2 and December 2
  • Peach County: 5:00 p.m. on April 11, July 11, and October 10
  • Putnam County: 7:00 p.m. on April 8, July 8, and October 14
  • Twiggs County: Third Wednesday of each month March – November at 9:00 a.m.
  • Washington County:  5:00 p.m. on May 12, August 11, and November 10
  • Wilkinson County:  Third Tuesday of each month March – November at 9:00 a.m.

Find additional training at the ANSI Accredited Training page.

Contact Your Local Environmental Health Office

Call your nearest health department to ask with any questions or concerns!


Learn about our related health services:

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