Ask a Health Inspector: Non-Profits, Service Dogs and Cleaning Practices

Another great batch of questions for our Friendly Health Inspector! Have a question? Ask away – click here!



Question: In the State of Indiana, not for profit kitchens do not require inspections. Many in my area offer consistent fundraisers, such as fish frys or pancake breakfasts. Even though no inspection is required, what are some of the most important regulations they should be following? Cleanliness (of course), signage, temperatures, equipment, etc?

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Answer: Handwashing and bare hand contact with ready to eat foods are two of the most important food safety practices.  As well as some basic food safety training since non-profits tend to have a lot of volunteers working to help prepare the food.  Some other things to remind them about is not letting people bring food from home if possible.  It is difficult to monitor food safety practices in everyone’s home that might be bringing food to the event.  Also monitoring temperatures and the amount of time food is left out of temperature control are all very important.As I am sure you are aware, while non-profits in your area may not be required to be inspected…bacteria, virus, and other contaminates that can make people sick don’t care if you are a non-profit so it is important to make sure everyone follows good food handling practices all the time.
Question: I am a chef at for a church, we prepare and serve meals for our weekly dinners and special events. One of our customer has a service dog which they bring to the dinners. They tell me it’s a service dog and there’s nothing I can do or say because of the American Disabilities Act. They have dog on a retractable Leash and let the dog run lose. What is the health code for service dogs and what can I do. The kitchen is health department certified and we get inspected.

Ask Shelly - the Friendly Health Inspector - service dogs

Answer: That is a great question and most local public health agencies don’t allow animals in food establishments at all except for service animals.  Unfortunately, the ADA trumps all public health regulations and this can be a difficult issue for food establishments.  I can’t give legal advice, but I would hope that if the animal is not being well behaved that you could at least ask them to control their animal.  Good luck.
Question: Need to create an SOP for cleaning Cambro beverage dispensers without 3 compartment sink and no dish machine.Any thoughts?

Ask Shelly - Cleaning Camtainers

Answer: The FDA food code has a whole section on cleaning in place (CIP).  In addition, most beverage dispensers come with manufactures instructions on how to clean the units.  The most common methods are to empty the until of product then run water through it until it runs clear.  Then run a soap mixture through the unit.  Then run clean water and finish with a sanitizing solution.

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