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Public Health inspectors, also known as Registered Environmental Health Specialists (REHS), conduct inspections in Englewood. Public Health Inspectors are professionals who receive special training in food safety and sanitation. All Public Health Inspectors must hold a bachelor's degree or higher with at least 30 hours of coursework in the physical sciences. In addition, inspectors must pass the New Jersey REHS licensure examination and maintain continuing education credits annually.
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There are six types of inspections:
Foodborne illness can occur in any food facility. However, it is more likely to occur at food establishments where many different kinds of perishable foods are handled and prepared. For this reason, Englewood uses a risk-based inspection program. The risk category is determined by several factors including the kind of food served, the complexity of preparation steps that food requires, the population served, the volume of food served, and the establishment's previous compliance history. A food hazard assessment or establishment profile is completed for each food establishment when opening or when there is a change of menu or type of operation.
Only pre-opening and training inspections are scheduled. All other inspections are unannounced.
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.
This depends on the type of violation. The establishment is closed immediately if an "imminent health hazard" or a significant threat or danger to health is identified. For other violations, inspectors work with establishment and property owners to correct the violations. Some may be corrected immediately while others may require a timeline for corrections.
Englewood restaurants are rated by the Public Health Inspectors as follows:
There are no fines for initial violations. However, there is an enforcement process for repeat violations which may include being given a written notice of violation, requiring an administrative conference, fines, and possible license revocation.
An establishment is closed if there is a large threat or danger to health. This includes the loss of electrical power or water, sewage backup, fire, flood, the onset of an apparent foodborne illness outbreak, misuse of poisonous or toxic materials, gross unsanitary occurrences or conditions, or other circumstances that may endanger public health.