What is the Food Handler class?

The Food Handler class is a certification required by all Illinois food establishment employees that handle food (ie: cooks, waiters/waitresses). The class goes over major safe food practices and is good for 3 years. Cost and duration range depending on where you take the class. The Mason County Health Department offers the Food Handler Certification, and it is offered online. Please follow this link for a list of approved online courses: Food Handler Training Certificate Program

What is the Food Service Sanitation Manager Certificate (FSSMC)?

The FSSMC requires students to attend an 8 hour class with an exam to follow. Whether or not employees are required to have this certification depends on the needs of the food establishment in which they are employed. The FSSMC is good for 5 years. The Mason County Health Department currently does not offer this class. Several other health departments and companies offer the FSSMC class. For more information on where you can take the class, please don’t hesitate to contact MCHD.

What is a Temporary Food Permit and when is it required for me to get one?

A Temporary Food Permit is a permit that is good for a maximum of 14 days. It allows for groups to cook potentially hazardous food at an event. A Temporary Food Permit is required whenever the public is going to be served food. Closed events (invitation only) do not require a temporary food permit. The applications are available on our website and at the office. The fee for a non-profit organization is waived. Temporary Food Events are inspected by the Health Department whenever they exceed one day.

What are the requirements to hold a bake sale?

To hold a bake sale, a Bake Sale Registration Form needs to be filled out. Only non-potentially hazardous food items (i.e.: cookies, breads, cakes, brownies, fruit pies) can be sold at a bake sale. For detailed information on items that can and cannot be sold at a bake sale, please go to the Bake Sale section of our website or contact the MCHD. Furthermore, all food sold at a bake sale should have a label with major ingredients listed along with a list of allergens the item could contain. There is no charge to hold a bake sale.

What do I need to do to open a new Food Establishment in Mason County?

Any time a restaurant is opened, remodeled, or goes under new ownership, a Plan Review is required. A plan review packet should be completed and returned to the MCHD for review. The first page of the packet details the process of the Plan Review. It is important to submit a Plan Review Application before construction begins on any new food establishment. The goal is to have built in sanitation to ensure that food is kept safe. Part of the plan review process includes a preoperational inspection. This inspection must be done before a facility can operate. After the preoperational inspection, a food permit is issue. All food establishments operating in Mason County must have an Annual Food and Drink permit. If you have any questions contact MCHD.

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