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Food Safety and Hygiene

Environmental Health

Florida Department of Health in Indian River County (DOH-Indian River) works with owners of food service facilities, as defined by Section 381.0072 Florida Statute, to help ensure their products are not a source of foodborne illness. These may include food service operations in institutional settings in schools, assisted living facilities, detention facilities, civic and fraternal organizations, bars and lounges that don't prepare foods, and theaters that limit their food service to items customarily served at theaters not having expanded menus. For more information on food safety, please visit the Florida Department of Health’s Food Safety and Sanitation webpage.

Temporary Events
A temporary event is any event offering food service on the premises of a food service establishment under the licensing authority of the Department of Health. These events are at a fixed location for a temporary period of time not to exceed any combination of 18 days within a calendar year and in conjunction with a single event or celebration. For you convenience, please review the Guidelines for Temporary Events to help you and your volunteers have a safe and healthy event.

Temporary events held on properties not regulated by DOH-Indian River are typically regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation who can be contacted at 850-487-1395 and you can visit their Division of Hotels and Restaurant's Guide to Temporary Food Service Events webpage.

Filing Food Complaints

  1. Who do I call if I got sick at a restaurant or from food prepared at a grocery store?
    Report local incidents of food related illnesses to the DOH-Indian River at 772-794-7440 or online at the Florida Department of Health Online Food and Waterborne Illness Complaint Form webpage.

    Although the Department of Health is no longer the permitting and inspecting agency of restaurants or grocery stores, our department would conduct an investigation along with regulating agency when one of the following occurs:

    a. When one or more individuals have a confirmed diagnosis from a doctor of a food related illness
    b. When the department receives reports of two or more unrelated cases of food related illness
    c. When three or more cases from the same family are reported
  2. Where do I report unsafe or unsanitary conditions in a restaurant, caterer, or mobile food vendor?
    Phone the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395 or submit a complaint online on their Complaint Filing webpage.
  3. Where do I report unsafe or unsanitary conditions in a grocery store, convenience store, bakery, or food processor?
    Phone the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at 850-245-5520 or 1-800-435-7352 or visit their Food Safety webpage for additional information.
  4. Where do I report unsafe or unsanitary conditions in a school, assisted living facility, correctional facility, civic and fraternal organization, bar not serving food, or movie theatre?
    Contact the DOH-Indian River at 772-794-7440 or email us at zzzzFB_CHD31EH@flhealth.gov.
  5. Where do I report unsafe or unsanitary conditions in a childcare facility?
    Contact the local licensing office in Fort Pierce at 772-467-4184 as the Florida Department of Health no longer inspects these facilities. Contact the Florida Abuse Hotline at 1-800-96ABUSE (800-962-2873) if you suspect abuse or neglect. More information can be found online at the Florida Department of Children and Families Child Care Contacts webpage.
  6. Where do I report unsafe or unsanitary conditions in a hospital, nursing home or medical facility?
    Phone the Florida Department of Health Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) at 888-419-3456. Press Option Number 1 or contact the local field office in your area. You can find your area office by selecting your county on their Health Quality Assurance Field Offices webpage.
  7. Where do I report a food product complaint regarding seafood, meat, poultry or egg products?
    Phone the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) meat and poultry hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). For online reporting visit the USDA Report a Problem with Food webpage.
  8. Where do I report a food product complaint that does not regard seafood, meat, poultry or egg products?
    Phone the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) main emergency number at 301-443-1240 or phone the Consumer Complaint Coordinator for your state or area. For details, see the FDA's Report a Problem webpage.


Plan Review Guideline
The Food Service Establishment Guide requests and contains information for obtaining a food establishment plan review approval and a Florida Department of Health Sanitation Certificate for establishments under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Health in Indian River County (DOH-Indian River). Your establishment must meet all requirements of Chapter 64E-11, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.) and Section 381.0072, Florida Statutes (F.S.).

If you have questions, or need clarification, please contact the Environmental Health section Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Appointments are available. Please know whether the facility is served by public utilities or onsite utilities such as a well or septic system as these can be limiting factors. Plan review approval and the issuance of a Sanitation Certificate satisfy state government requirements for operating a food establishment for DOH-Indian River; however, it is very important to contact local officials regarding any city and county requirements.

For questions regarding the opening or modification of a restaurant, please call 850-487-1395.


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