Food Safety

The goal of the Environmental Health Division’s Food Program is to protect the public from unsafe food and foodborne illness. The Michigan Food Law of 2000 and Modified FDA Code provide the guidance to accomplish this task.

St. Clair County has over 500 establishments that are inspected on a risk-based schedule. The types of food served, the food preparation processes used, the volume of food, and population served along with the facility's compliance history all have a bearing on the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors in foodservice establishments. Inspections assess compliance with the five most common foodborne illness risk factors and active managerial control of the facility and its processes. Enforcement actions are taken as necessary to minimize or eliminate the threat to public health.

St. Clair County restaurant inspections may be found online at: https://healthspace.com

Services provided by our Food Program staff:
  • License and inspect commercial food establishments such as bars, restaurants, caterers, STFU’s, and mobile units
  • License and inspect temporary food events
  • Review plans for new or remodeled facilities
  • Investigate food safety and foodborne illness complaints

Michigan Cottage Food Law
Under the Cottage Food Law, food may be prepared in a home kitchen in a single-family residence, condo or apartment, as long as it is a single-family dwelling and not a group or communal home. Foods that have been approved under this law do not require time or temperature control for safety, such as baked goods like cookies, cakes and pies. Pies that require refrigeration (banana cream, pumpkin or lemon meringue) are not allowed under the law. The only home-canned products that are allowed are jams and jellies in glass jars that can be stored at room temperature. No pickled products can be sold under this law.

Another key component of this law is the product labeling requirement. All cottage-food products must be labeled with the statement Made in a home kitchen not inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and include the following: name and address of cottage food operation, name of product, ingredients listing in descending order of predominance by weight, net weight or new volume of the product, and allergen labeling as specified in federal labeling requirements.

Visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture website for Michigan Cottage Foods information.

Serve Safe Logo Food Manager Certification/Allergen Course
ServSafe certification is the official program of the National Restaurant Association and valid for five years. Certification fulfills the Food Law requirement that one manager per food establishment has completed a Food Safety Certification Course. The St. Clair County Health Department periodically offers ServSafe certification classes throughout the year.

Contact Ashley Castello in Environmental Health at (810) 987-5306 or by E-mail.

Foodborne Illness Complaints
Many food-related illnesses go unreported due to the mistaken belief that it is the 24 hour flu. Common foodborne illness symptoms consist of nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and on average last 24-48 hours. The onset of symptoms often takes more than 12 hours, so the last meal you ate is not necessarily the one that made you ill. When reporting a foodborne illness, Health Department staff will need a 72-hour meal history along with your symptoms and time of illness onset to identify a suspect food item.

To report a foodborne illness, contact the Environmental Health Division at (810) 987-5306 or by E-mail.

Resources
Important hepatitis A Information for Food Workers- Poster
Date Marking Fact Sheet
Food Service FAQ
Food and Drug Administration - Recalls, Withdrawals, & Safety Alerts
The Plan Review Application
Michigan Food Law, Act 92
1999 FDA Food Code
Emergency Action Plans for Food Service Establishments