The New FDA Food Code: A Comprehensive Look

The New FDA Food Code: A Comprehensive Look

Comparing the New and Old Codes

A new code based on scientific data.


In preparation for the January 1, 2019 adoption of the FDA Food Code to the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code Will County Health Department food inspectors will be providing information throughout 2018 on the changes food service operations should expect. One significant change is the requirement for a PERSON IN CHARGE (PIC). The Person in Charge shall be the permit holder or designated by the permit holder. The Person in Charge shall be present during all hours of operations. This means that when the permit holder or manager has a day off or leaves the food service establishment they must designate a Person in Charge. The Person in Charge shall demonstrate knowledge of food borne disease prevention, the application of food safety principles and the requirements of the Food Code. Not designating a Person in Charge that is capable of fulfilling the requirements would result in a priority violation that could impact whether the food service establishment will Pass, Pass with Condition or Fail the inspection. During this transition period it is important to obtain training for staff and to implement food safety procedures that all staff are aware of and practice on a routine basis. The permit holder and management team should become familiar with the FDA Food Code. It would be advantageous to create a written standard operating procedure manual. Also, establishing a chain of command to identify the Person(s) in Charge will be one step in ensuring that inspections result with PASS.


Will County Health Department issues a Food Service Newsletter annually. This newsletter is a good resource for trending food service topics. The option to download this newsletter is available at the end of this article.

Food Safety Program

Food Safety Program

Permitting and Inspections of Food Service Establishments by the Department of Health

The Environmental Health Division conducts plan reviews, registers and issues permits for all new and remodeled food service and food store facilities including temporary facilities established for specific events, mobile food service units and registers cottage food operations. Environmental Health Division inspectors also conduct opening and routine food safety inspections of more than 2800 food service/food store facilities throughout the County of Will. 

Food Establishment Safety Inspections

Enforcing Provisions of the of the Food Sanitation Code

In accordance with the provisions of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Food Service Sanitation Code and the Will County Food Service and Retail Food Store Sanitation Ordinance, inspectors from the Environmental Health Division of WCHD carry out food safety inspections at more than 2800 food service/food store facilities throughout the county.

Food Establishment Licensing and Permitting

Submitting Applications and Inspections

Before constructing or remodeling a food service establishment, a proposal shall be submitted to the Division of Environmental Health at the WCHD. Use the Food Establishment checklist to organize all the required documentation for a plan review. Proposals may be hand delivered or mailed. Plan review payments must be made at the time of submission and can be made in person, over the phone or electronically using GovPay, or 1-888-604-7888, use Pay Code Location #7078.

Temporary Food/Drink Event Establishment Permitting

Submitting Applications and Forms for Temporary Food Service

A temporary food service permit is required for outdoor food festivals, pancake breakfasts, and other events where food is served to the public on a temporary basis. In order to obtain a permit, review the Temporary Food and/or Drink Service Establishments Brochure, complete the Application for Temporary Food Events and submit the application form and fee to the WCHD at least 7 days prior to the event. Temporary food service permit payments can be made in person, over the phone or electronically using GovPay, or 1-888-604-7888, use Pay Code Location #7078. 

Applications may be submitted via email at 

Food Recalls Safeguard Public Health

Potentially Harmful Food Products can be removed from the Market by the Food Recall Process

Once a food product is marketed to a wide range of consumers in different markets, unexpected problems can occur. Some common problems include contamination at the processing stage that may leave an organism in the product that could make consumers ill, mislabeling of a product or the discovery of a potential allergen in the product.

Mobile Vending

Movable Food Service Regulations

Mobile vending operations refer to a readily movable truck, trailer, or push cart food service. Food provided by mobile venders comes from a business that is licensed and inspected by a health authority. Mobile units must be serviced and re-supplied from a fixed and licensed commissary to which they return daily. 

Cottage Food Operation

Foods Made in Home Kitchens

The Cottage Food Operation Law allows certain foods made in home kitchens to be sold at Illinois farmers' markets with limited regulation. Operators must register with the health department and obtain the Food Service Sanitation Management Certificate. 

Environmental Health News

Food Handler Training Now Available Through WCHD

Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act

Health Department Offers Safe Food Handling Tips

JOLIET – Did you know that Americans will account for nearly 76 million cases of foodborne illness (FBI), during 2014?  Worse yet, FBIs will hospitalize more than 325,000 by year’s end, and claim 5,000 American lives.

Health Department Warns Of Health Risks Posed By Mexican-Style Cheese From An Unlicensed Source

Statewide Investigation Ongoing

JOLIET – The Will County Health Department is teaming with the Illinois Department of Public Health, and local health jurisdictions across the state to warn consumers of health risks posed by Mexican-style cheese produced from an unlicensed dairy source.

Remember Food Safety During Holiday Meal Planning

Food Safety Tips

JOLIET --  Family dinners take on special significance during the holiday season, and food safety is especially important during those festive holiday gatherings.  The Will County Health Department reminds area residents that simple precautions can help to ensure that foodborne illnesses don’t ruin your holiday feasts. The following food safety tips should help to ensure that your holiday meals are a smashing success.

Health Department Expresses Growing West Nile Virus Concern

Many More Mosquito Samples Test WNV-Positive

More than 20 WNV mosquito samples have been harvested since early September. Personal protection against mosquito bites is strongly advised until first hard frost.
Avoid Possible Exposure to Rabies by Avoiding Bats and Wild Animals

Avoid Possible Exposure to Rabies by Avoiding Bats and Wild Animals

Eight bats test positive for rabies so far this year
West Nile Virus Precaution Makes the News

West Nile Virus Precaution Makes the News

WCHD Staff on CBS2 Monday

Our own Katie Nelson from the Will County Health Department Environmental Health Division explains trapping and collection to Mike Parker of CBS Chicago News during a news segment Monday night. Click to watch the video clip of the news segment.

Debris Management Means Safety

Debris Management Means Safety

Debris Can Cause Serious Pollution Problems

Even after floodwaters recede and the storms have passed debris remains that can cause serious pollution problems and potentially result in ill health effects. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) has developed this fact sheet to outline what you can do to ensure that the waste and debris are disposed of in a safe and environmentally sound manner. Please follow these guidelines to dispose of the debris.



The Will County Health Department urges area homeowners to be aware of radon dangers and test their homes for the presence of an odorless gas with potentially dangerous consequences.
Protect Yourself and Your Family from Potentially Dangerous Mosquito Bites

Protect Yourself and Your Family from Potentially Dangerous Mosquito Bites

Ways in which you can Avoid Being Bitten by Mosquitoes

Here are several ways in which you can avoid being bitten by mosquitos that could carry the West Nile Virus. 

  • When mosquitos are biting, stay indoors during dawn and dusk or in the evening since they are most active during those times.