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Posted on: September 13, 2022

County Board sets public hearing Oct. 4 to consider revisions to county’s food code ordinance

The Washington County Board of Commissioners set a public hearing for Oct. 4 to consider revisions to the county’s food code ordinance.

The board set the hearing at its meeting Sept. 13. The hearing will be in the Board Room of the Government Center at 14949 N. 62nd St. in Stillwater at approximately 9 a.m. at the beginning of the regular County Board meeting. The public hearing will allow residents or food establishment operators to provide their input to the County Board regarding the proposed changes to the Food Code Ordinance.

An electronic copy of the proposed ordinance can be found on the county website.

A copy of the proposed ordinance is also available for public review during regular business hours at the Washington County Department of Public Health & Environment offices at:

  • 14949 62nd St. N. in Stillwater,
  • 13000 Ravine Parkway S. in Cottage Grove, or
  • 19955 Forest Road N. in Forest Lake.  

Questions or written comments can be directed to Jeff Travis at 651-430-4033, jeff.travis@co.washington.mn.us, or at Department of Public Health & Environment        

14949 62nd St. N., P.O. Box 6, Stillwater, MN 55082-0006.                        

The Washington County Food Code Ordinance specifies regulatory requirements for food establishments to provide for safe food consumption and prevent foodborne illness. The Department of Public Health & Environment is proposing revisions to the Food Code Ordinance to bring it into alignment with the Minnesota Food Code.

The purpose of the county food code is to:

  • meet consumer expectations for the quality and safety of retail food;
  • provide standards for design and construction;
  • provide health and safety standards for operation and maintenance;
  • establish a process for licensing and inspections;
  • establish a process for setting license fees, including late fees;
  • provide enforcement authority for resolving non-compliance; and
  • establish process for considering variances from the ordinance.

Changes in the state food code include changes in terminology, food handling, health and hygiene, and equipment and facilities. The county’s food ordinance was last revised in 2000.

More than 750 food establishments are licensed and inspected by the county’s Department of Public Health & Environment. Many establishments have more than one license type. For example, a hotel with a pool and restaurant will have three licenses. County registered environmental health specialists perform professional food safety services.

After the public hearing, the County Board will consider the new ordinance at its Oct. 18 meeting.

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