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Consumer’s FAQs

1. What types of food establishments does the Englewood Health Department inspect? 
There are over 269 food establishments in Englewood. Of these, over 103 are restaurants. The others include food courts, supermarkets, school cafeterias, convenience store operations, hot dog carts, coffee shops, farmer's markets, hospitals, nursing homes, and day care centers.

2. What types of inspections does the Englewood Health Department conduct? 
There are six types of inspections that may be performed: 
1) routine, 
2) follow-up, 
3) complaint investigation, 
4) critical procedures, 
5) pre-opening, or 
6) training.

Routine: unannounced, comprehensive inspection of the entire physical establishment and all aspects of safe food handling practices.

Follow-up: unannounced inspection conducted for the purpose of re-inspecting items that were not in compliance at the time of a routine, critical procedures or complaint inspection.

Complaint investigation: unannounced inspection performed in response to a complaint received by the health department.

Critical procedures: unannounced inspection during which foodborne illness risk factors are evaluated to determine compliance with critical sections of the regulations.

Pre-opening: scheduled inspection to approve a newly constructed or remodeled establishment (or installation of new equipment) prior to a permit being issued and an establishment beginning operation.

Training: scheduled inspection during which formal food safety training is provided to employees of a food establishment. This can also be a mock  inspection.

3. Who conducts the inspections? 
Public Health Inspectors, also known as Registered Environmental Health Specialists (REHS), conduct inspections in Englewood. Health Inspectors are professionals who receive specialized training in the area of food safety and sanitation. All Public Health Inspectors must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher with at least 30 hours of course work in the physical sciences. In addition, inspectors must pass the New Jersey REHS licensure examination and maintain continuing education credits annually.

4. How often are food establishments inspected? 
Foodborne illness can occur in any type of food establishment. However, it is more likely to occur in facilities where many different kinds of perishable foods are handled and prepared. For this reason, Englewood uses a risk-based inspection program. This determines the frequency of inspections. Level of risk is determined by the types of food served, complexity of preparation steps that food requires, population served, volume of food served, and previous compliance history.

A food establishment may routinely be inspected from one to four times during a 12-month period. For example, a full-service restaurant or hospital cafeteria will have more frequent routine inspections than a convenience store or coffee shop.

5. What do Public Health Inspectors look for in a routine inspection? 
Public Health Inspectors look for any conditions or practices that might result in a foodborne illness. This includes things such as food temperature control, worker hygiene, cross contamination concerns, food handling practices, food protection practices, and equipment maintenance. Public Health Inspectors use the New Jersey Sanitary Code (found at NJAC 8:24-1 and entitled “Chapter 24 Sanitation in Retail Food Establishments and Food and Beverage Vending Machines” as guidance. You can access the Sanitary Code here.

6. What happens when a violation is found? 
This depends on the type of violation. If an imminent health hazard* is identified, the establishment is closed immediately. For other violations, inspectors work with establishment and property owners to correct the violations. Some may be corrected immediately and others may require a timeline for corrections. Repeat, uncorrected violations may also result in a permit being revoked and/or fines.

*An imminent health hazard is a significant threat or danger to health that is considered to exist when there is evidence sufficient to show that a product, practice, circumstance, or event creates a situation that requires immediate correction or cessation of operation to prevent injury based on:(1) The number of potential injuries, and (2) The nature, severity, and duration of the anticipated injury.

7. How are restaurants rated by the Public Health Inspectors? 
Satisfactory - the establishment is operating in substantial compliance with Chapter 24. Food service personnel demonstrate that they are aware of and are practicing the required sanitation and food safety principles.

Conditionally Satisfactory - at time of inspection, the establishment was found not to be operating in substantial compliance with Chapter 24 and in violation of one or more required provisions. Due to the nature of these violations, an unannounced full re-inspection will be scheduled. Opportunity for re-inspection is offered within a reasonable time determined by the severity of the violation.

Unsatisfactory - whenever a retail food establishment is operating in violation of Chapter 24, with one or more violations constituting gross insanitary or unsafe conditions posing imminent health hazards, the Health Authority immediately requests the establishment's manager to voluntarily cease operation until re-inspection verifies that conditions warranting unsatisfactory evaluation no longer exist. Meanwhile, the health authority institutes necessary measures provided by law to assure that the establishment does not prepare or serve food until re-inspection validates that conditions now meet health standards.

8. How can I access restaurant inspections? 
Restaurant inspections are public documents. You can access inspection reports of Englewood restaurants and other retail food establishments on this page.

9. I got sick at an Englewood restaurant. What should I do? 
If you are severely ill or if your symptoms persist, you should contact your physician. You may also wish to contact the restaurant and advise them of your concerns. In addition, you may file a report with the health department. You can submit a report by calling 201-568-3450 during office hours Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You will be asked for the following information: name and address of restaurant; time and date of visit; list of all foods eaten in the 72 hours prior to when you got sick; list of all food items eaten at restaurant; list of symptoms - when did they start? when did they end?

If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact the Health Inspectors Priscilla Lewis at 201-871-6510 or Jennifer Galarza at 201-871-6514. In case neither Health Inspector is available, please contact Mr. James M. Fedorko, Health Officer, at 201-871-6501.