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Food Licensing Information

Food Definitions

Per the Ohio Department of Health food operation rules, all food operations throughout the state are placed into one of four risk classes. Risk is basically defined as the risk of the facility causing a food-borne illness outbreak. Following are the risk categories:

RISK LEVEL 1: Food operations within this level offer for sale the following food items (Self service drinks, prepackaged foods and beverages, prepackaged refrigerated or frozen (TCS) foods , baby food/formula). {Risk Scale: Lowest}

RISK LEVEL 2: Food operations within this level perform risk level one activities with the addition of the following (Handling or preparing non-time/temperature controlled for safety (TCS) foods, Holding or serving time/temperature controlled for safety foods (TCS) at the temperature which they were received, Heating individually packaged, commercially processed TCS foods for immediate service). {Risk Scale: Minimal}

RISK LEVEL 3: Food operations within this level perform numerous food preparation activities including the following (Handling or cutting raw meats, Cutting or slicing ready-to-eat meats and cheeses, Cooking or preparing TCS foods that are immediately served, hot or cold held or cooled, Reheating foods in individual portions only, Heating of food products from hermetically sealed packaging and holding it hot).{Risk Scale: High}

RISK LEVEL 4: Food operations within this level perform all food preparation activities with the addition of one or more of the following (Reheating of bulk quantities of leftover TCS foods more than once every 7 days, Serving high risk clientele, such as nursing homes, Catering) {Risk Scale: Highest}

  • Time/Temperature Controlled for Safety (TCS) Foods are those which require time and temperature controls for proper preparation, storage and service.

  • Non-Time/Temperature Controlled for Safety (TCS) Foods are those that require little to no time and temperature controls for proper preparation, storage, and service and are usually in a ready-to-eat form.

Inspection Information

All food operations are licensed and inspected according to these risk categories. Following are the required inspection frequencies for the four risk levels:

Risk Level 1: One (1) STANDARD inspection.

Risk Level 2: One (1) STANDARD inspection.

Risk Level 3: Two (2) STANDARD inspections.

Risk Level 4: Two (2) STANDARD inspections and two (2) CRITICAL CONTROL POINT inspections.

For clarification of the differing inspections:

A Standard Inspection includes evaluating structural integrity and sanitation of the facility and evaluating all food safety issues including temperature controls, preparation practices, storage procedures, and dish washing procedures.

A Critical Control Point Inspection involves concentrating on the preparation procedures of the facility and evaluating such factors as preparation procedures, temperature controls, hand washing procedures, barrier usage, cooking procedures, cooling procedures, thermometer usage, etc.

During any inspection performed by our department, if a deficiency (violation) is noted it will fall into one of two categories (Critical and Non-Critical).


Critical Violations are those that can contribute directly to possible food contamination or food-borne illness if not corrected. Examples of critical violations include:

  • Improper Temperature Controls

  • Improper Food Storage

  • Improper Cooking & Preparation Practices

Non-Critical Violations are those that do not pose an immediate hazard to food safety, however they could impede restaurant operations if not corrected. Examples of non-critical violation include:

  • Cleaning of non-food contact surfaces

  • Inadequate lighting

  • Structural Repairs (Floors, Walls, Ceilings)

If you are interested in the actual inspection reports, all of our inspection reports are public records and are available to the public during our regular business hours. Although walk-in requests are welcomed, it is best to contact our office prior to coming in to ensure a food inspector is available to assist in answering any questions that may arise during review of the records. Please contact our office if you have any further questions concerning our Food Protection Program.

Food Program Responsibilities

The Hancock Public Health enforces the Ohio Administrative Code 3701, and the Ohio Revised Code 3717, concerning the construction, renovation, operation and sanitation of Food Service Operations (FSO) and Retail Food Establishments (RFE) within our jurisdiction.

Our food protection services include the licensure and inspection of all food operations within our jurisdiction. Some examples of food operations include: restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, vending locations and mobile food operations.

To view the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code which highlights all of the requirements for food operations throughout the state of Ohio, please click on the link to the right of this page which indicates "Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code".



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