The Division of Hotels and Restaurants conducts regular inspections of public food service and lodging establishments to assure compliance with all state sanitation and safety laws. For more information, please see below.

Transition to the 2017 FDA Food Code

Effective November 1, 2019, the Division of Hotels and Restaurants has adopted the 2017 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code, which establishes practical, science-based guidance and enforceable provisions for reducing risk factors known to cause or contribute to foodborne illness. There are some major changes food service operators licensed by the Division should carefully review to ensure they are in compliance. Industry bulletins linked below summarize these changes, also provided is the 2017 FDA Food Code.

2017 Food Code Resources

  • Industry Bulletin – Adoption of 2017 Food Code – 2019-02 (pdf)
  • Industry Bulletin – Adoption of 2017 Food Code – Special Processes – 2019-03 (pdf)
  • As adopted 2017 FDA Food Code – 2017 (pdf)

A copy of the entire 2017 Food Code can found on the Statutes & Rules page.

Risk Based Inspections

You may have heard the term “risk-based” inspection – but what exactly does that mean? A “risk-based inspection” is an inspection with a focus based on a priority system. Because not all violations are of equal importance, a risk-based approach allows an inspector to spend more time on the most important items that, if not controlled, can very quickly result in foodborne illness or injury to customers.

The Food Code clearly identifies the major risk factors – food from unsafe sources, inadequate cooking (includes cooling), improper hot and cold holding, poor personal hygiene (includes handwashing) and contaminated equipment (includes cross contamination, soiled food-contact surfaces and inadequate sanitization). Retail food safety managers must implement control measures in their establishments to prevent the occurrence of these risk factors. In other words, they must exert “active managerial control” in order to monitor those practices and procedures that are likely to lead to out-of-control risk factors.

Risk Based Inspection Frequency 

In order to accommodate the different risks posed by the different processes that occur within a food service establishment, the division has enacted a risk-based inspection frequency program that bases the frequency of inspections for each establishment on the risk the establishment poses.

All public food service establishments regulated by the division are required to have between 1-4 unannounced inspections each year. The number of inspections is based on risk factors and includes the type of food utilized, food preparation methods, and inspection and compliance history. Each of these items have proven to have a direct connection to the occurrence of foodborne illnesses.

The following table shows the risk-based categorization of food service establishments utilized by the division. Keep in mind that additional inspections may be conducted in response to a complaint and/or to ensure compliance. In addition, the division re-evaluates the risk-based category for establishments as needed.

Risk-Based Category Description Inspections Required
Level 1 Temporary public food service establishments, Vending machines, Public food service establishments that:

  • Do not cook raw animal food; or
  • Cook raw animal food, but do not cool any cooked/heated foods.
1
Level 2 Public food service establishments that:

  • Cook raw animal food and cool any cooked/heated food; or
  • Conduct a special process as defined in 3‐11 or 3‐502.12, 2009 FDA Food Code; or
  • Serve a raw or undercooked animal food that requires a consumer advisory.
2
Level 3 Public food service establishments that:

  • Have a history of non‐compliance (the division has taken three or more disciplinary actions over a two‐year period) or
  • Serve a highly susceptible population (HSP).
3
Level 4 Public food service establishments that have been identified by the Florida Department of Health in a confirmed foodborne illness. 4

Violation Classification Definitions

High Priority Violations are those which could contribute directly to a foodborne illness or injury. High Priority lodging violations are those which could pose a direct or significant threat to the public health, safety, or welfare.

Food Service High Priority Violation Category List
  • 01a       Food obtained from approved source
  • 01b       Food safe and unadulterated; sound condition
  • 01d       Parasite destruction for raw/undercooked fish
  • 02b       Consumer advisory for other raw/undercooked animal products (except oysters)
  • 02c       Date marking ready-to-eat (RTE) potentially hazardous/time/temperature control for safety foods (PH/TCS)
  • 03a       Receiving and holding PH/TCS foods cold
  • 03b       Receiving and holding PH/TCS foods hot
  • 03c       Cooking raw animal foods and plant foods; non-continuous cooking of raw animal foods
  • 03d       Cooling PH/TCS foods; proper cooling methods
  • 03e       Reheating PH/TCS foods for hot holding
  • 03f        Time as a Public Health Control
  • 03g       Reduced oxygen packaging (ROP) and other Special Processes
  • 07         Unwrapped or PH/TCS food not re-served
  • 08a       Separating raw animal foods from: each other, RTE foods and unwashed produce
  • 08b       Food protection during preparation, storage and display
  • 09         Bare hand contact with RTE food; Alternative Operating Procedure (AOP)
  • 10         In-use food dispensing utensils properly stored
  • 11         Employee health knowledge; ill/symptomatic employee present
  • 12a       Hands clean and washed properly; use of hand antiseptic if use of AOP
  • 14         Food-contact and nonfood-contact surfaces designed, constructed, maintained, installed, located
  • 16         Dishwashing facilities; chemical test kit(s); gauges
  • 22         Food-contact surfaces clean and sanitized
  • 25         Single-service and single-use items
  • 27         Water source safe, hot (100 degrees F) and cold under pressure
  • 28         Sewage and waste water disposed properly
  • 29         Plumbing installed and maintained; mop sink; water filters; backflow prevention
  • 35a       No presence or breeding of insects/rodents/pests; no live animals
  • 41         Chemicals/toxic substances
  • 43         Complete separation from living/sleeping area/private premise; kitchen restricted – no unauthorized personnel
  • 50         Current license, properly displayed
Lodging High Priority Violation Category List
  • 02   Fire hazards
  • 05   Hearing impaired smoke detectors
  • 08   Boiler, boiler room
  • 10   Adequate heating
  • 12   Balcony: railing safety, certification
  • 14   Proper locking devices
  • 16   Water source safe; hot/cold provided
  • 19   Plumbing
  • 21   Toxics: storage, use
  • 22   Ice protection
  • 23   Glassware; tableware; utensils sanitized
  • 24   Vermin control
  • 27   Sewage and waste water disposal
  • 33   Unethical business practices; overbooking
  • 34   Licensee: criminal conduct
  • 38   Current license: displayed, available upon request
  • 40   Other conditions: safe, sanitary

Intermediate Violations are those which, if not addressed, could lead to risk factors that contribute to foodborne illness or injury. Intermediate lodging violations are those which relate to specific actions, equipment or procedures that contribute to the occurrence of a high priority violation if left unaddressed.

Food Service Intermediate Violation Category List
  • 01b       Food safe and unadulterated; sound condition
  • 01c       Shellstock tags; commingling
  • 01d       Parasite destruction for raw/undercooked fish
  • 02a       Consumer advisory for raw/undercooked oysters
  • 02b       Consumer advisory for other raw/undercooked animal products
  • 02c       Date marking ready-to-eat (RTE) potentially hazardous/time/temperature control for safety foods (PH/TCS)
  • 02d       Food items properly labeled; original container
  • 03a       Receiving and holding PH/TCS foods cold
  • 03c       Cooking raw animal foods and plant foods; non-continuous cooking of raw animal foods
  • 03d       Cooling PH/TCS foods; proper cooling methods
  • 03f        Time as a Public Health Control
  • 03g       Reduced oxygen packaging (ROP) and other Special Processes
  • 04         Facilities to maintain PH/TCS foods at the proper temperature
  • 05         Food and food equipment thermometers provided and accurate
  • 08a       Separating raw animal foods from: each other, RTE foods and unwashed produce
  • 08b       Food protection during preparation, storage and display
  • 09         Bare hand contact with RTE food; Alternative Operating Procedure (AOP)
  • 11        Employee health knowledge; ill/symptomatic employee present
  • 12a       Hands clean and washed properly; use of hand antiseptic if use of AOP
  • 12b       Employee eating, drinking, tasting food, smoking
  • 13         Clean clothes; hair restraints; jewelry; painted/artificial fingernails
  • 14         Food-contact and nonfood-contact surfaces designed, constructed, maintained, installed, located
  • 16         Dishwashing facilities; chemical test kit(s); gauges
  • 22         Food-contact surfaces clean and sanitized
  • 24         Storage/handling of clean equipment, utensils; air drying
  • 25         Single-service and single-use items
  • 27         Water source safe, hot (100°F) and cold under pressure
  • 28         Sewage and waste water disposed properly
  • 29         Plumbing installed and maintained; mop sink; water filters; backflow prevention
  • 31a       Handwash sink(s) installed, accessible, not used for other purposes
  • 31b       Handwashing supplies and handwash sign provided
  • 32         Bathrooms
  • 35a       No presence or breeding of insects/rodents/pests; no live animals
  • 41         Chemicals/toxic substances
  • 43         Complete separation from living/sleeping area/private premise; kitchen restriction – no unauthorized personnel
  • 51        Other conditions sanitary and safe operation
  • 52        Misrepresentation; misbranding
  • 53a      Food manager certification; knowledge/active managerial control (except employee health)
  • 53b       State approved food handler training; employee duty specific training/knowledge
Lodging Intermediate Violation Category List
  • 19   Plumbing
  • 21   Toxics: storage, use
  • 23   Glassware; tableware; utensils sanitized

Basic Violations are those which are considered best practices to implement.

Food Service Basic Violation Category List
  • 01c       Shellstock tags; commingling
  • 02d       Food items properly labeled; original container
  • 03a       Receiving and holding PH/TCS foods cold
  • 03c       Cooking raw animal foods and plant foods; non-continuous cooking of raw animal foods
  • 03e       Reheating PH/TCS foods for hot holding
  • 03f        Time as a Public Health Control
  • 05         Food and food equipment thermometers provided and accurate
  • 06         PH/TCS foods properly thawed
  • 08a       Separating raw animal foods from: each other, RTE foods and unwashed produce
  • 08b       Food protection during preparation, storage and display
  • 09         Bare hand contact with RTE food; Alternative Operating Procedure (AOP)
  • 10         In-use food dispensing utensils properly stored
  • 11         Employee health knowledge; ill/symptomatic employee present
  • 12b       Employee eating, drinking, tasting food, smoking
  • 13         Clean clothes; hair restraints; jewelry; painted/artificial fingernails
  • 14         Food-contact and nonfood-contact surfaces designed, constructed, maintained, installed, located
  • 16         Dishwashing facilities; chemical test kit(s); gauges
  • 21         Wiping cloths; clean and soiled linens; laundry facilities
  • 22         Food-contact surfaces clean and sanitized
  • 23         Nonfood-contact surfaces clean
  • 24         Storage/handling of clean equipment, utensils; air drying
  • 25         Single-service and single-use items
  • 27         Water source safe, hot (100 degrees F) and cold under pressure
  • 28         Sewage and waste water disposed properly
  • 29         Plumbing installed and maintained; mop sink; water filters; backflow prevention
  • 31b       Handwashing supplies and handwash sign provided
  • 32         Bathrooms
  • 33         Garbage and refuse; premises maintained
  • 35b       Outer openings protected from insects/pests, rodent proof
  • 36         Floors, walls, ceilings and attached equipment properly constructed and clean; rooms and equipment properly vented
  • 38         Lighting provided as required; fixtures shielded or bulbs protected
  • 40         Employee personal belongings
  • 41         Chemicals/toxic substances
  • 42         Cleaning and maintenance equipment
  • 43         Complete separation from living/sleeping area/private premise; kitchen restricted – no unauthorized personnel
  • 45         Fire extinguishing equipment (FOR REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY)
  • 46         Exits not blocked or locked (FOR REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY)
  • 47         Electrical wiring/outlets in good repair (FOR REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY)
  • 48         Gas appliances; boiler certificate current/posted (FOR REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY)
  • 49         Flammable/combustible materials (FOR REPORTING PURPOSES ONLY)
  • 50         Current license, properly displayed
  • 51         Other conditions sanitary and safe operation
  • 52         Misrepresentation, misbranding
  • 54         Florida Clean Indoor Air Act
  • 55          Automatic Gratuity Notice
Lodging Basic Violation Category List
  • 09   Lighting: public, guest rooms
  • 11   Appliances properly installed; maintained
  • 13   Building repair
  • 15   Bathrooms: public, guest, supplies
  • 17   Bedding: bed linens, towels
  • 20   Ventilation
  • 23   Glassware; tableware; utensils sanitized
  • 25   Premises maintained
  • 26   Garbage and refuse disposal
  • 29   Guest property: liability, notified
  • 32   Security deposit
  • 34   Licensee: criminal conduct
  • 35   Florida Clean Indoor Air Act
  • 36   Telephone surcharge posted
  • 37   Guest register
  • 38   Current license: displayed, available upon request
  • 39   Housekeeping

To download a complete copy of food service violation classifications, please click here.

Ensuring safe food is an important public health priority for everyone. In order to help improve food safety, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified the food preparation practices and behaviors (risk factors) that increase the chances of foodborne illness outbreaks.

If you are a food service operator and have any additional questions, please call 850-487-1395 or feel free to visit your local District Office.

To download a complete copy of lodging violation classifications, please click here.

Inspection Results

Each inspection report is a “snapshot” of conditions present at the time of the inspection. On any given day, an establishment may have fewer or more violations than noted in their most recent inspection. An inspection conducted on any given day may not be representative of the overall, long-term conditions at the establishment. Because conditions can change rapidly, establishments are not graded or rated.

The results of each inspection visit are recorded at the end of the inspection. These results and dispositions fall into the following categories.

Next Routine Inspection: The inspector has documented violations and requires them to be corrected by the next routine inspection. If a pattern of violations continues, the inspector may request enforcement action and penalties without the benefit of a warning notice.

Warning: The inspector documented violations that must be corrected by a certain date or within a specified number of days from receipt of the inspection report. To speak to the inspector or supervisor before that date, call the Customer Contact Center at 850.487.1395 and leave a message including your license number, inspector name and inspection date.

At the time of the re-inspection, the inspector may issue a time extension if all high priority violations are corrected, significant progress is made on all other violations, and no history of repeated violations exists.

If all violations are not corrected on time and a lack of progress is observed, the inspector may recommend enforcement action.

Inspection Dispositions

Met Inspection Standards during this visit
The inspector determined that any violations found did not warrant subsequent follow-up until the next routine inspection. Dispositions included in this result are:

  • Inspection Completed – No Further Action – Sanitary and safety conditions did not warrant a follow-up visit to ensure correction. Establishment will be inspected again at the next routine interval.
  • Callback – Complied – Return visit from a previous warning found violations to be corrected.
  • Admin. Complaint Callback Complied – Return visit resulting from an administrative complaint found violations to be corrected.
  • Emergency Order Callback Complied – Return visit resulting from a previous facility closure found violations to be corrected.

Follow-Up Inspection Required: Violators require further review, but are not an immediate threat to the public
The inspector determined that violations require further action to ensure the public’s health and safety, but are not severe enough to warrant immediate closure. Dispositions included in this result are:

  • Warning Issued – Sanitary and/or safety conditions require the inspector to return in the near future to ensure corrective action has been taken for violations found.
  • Callback – Extension given, pending – Return visit indicates establishment operator is attempting to comply, but is unable at this time due to circumstances beyond control. An example would be waiting for parts for a hood device or waiting for an appointment with an exterminator. Violations may not be noted again on these inspection reports.
  • Callback – Administrative complaint recommended – The establishment operator has not corrected the violations found in the initial inspection and further action is necessary to ensure compliance.
  • Administrative complaint recommended – Existence of high priority violations found during an inspection require administrative action to ensure compliance.
  • Admin. Complaint Callback Not Complied – Corrections to violations that resulted in an administrative complaint were not completed at the time of inspection. Violations may not be noted again on these inspection reports.
  • Administrative Complaint Time Extension – Return visit indicates establishment operator is attempting to comply, but is unable at this time due to circumstances beyond control. Violations may not be noted again on these inspection reports.
  • Emergency Order Callback Time Extension – Return visit indicates establishment operator is attempting to comply, but is unable at this time due to circumstances beyond control. Violations may not be noted again on these inspection reports.

Facility Temporarily Closed: Operations ordered stopped until violations are corrected
The inspector recommended closing the facility immediately after finding conditions that may endanger the health and safety of the public. Dispositions included in this result are:

  • Emergency Order Recommended – Conditions have been found that endanger the health and safety of the public requiring immediate closure of the establishment.
  • Administrative Determination Recommended – The establishment is operating without a license and action is being taken to ensure proper licensing is completed.
  • Emergency Order Callback Not Complied – Corrections to violations that resulted in an emergency order were not completed at the time of inspection. Violations may not be noted again on these inspection reports.

Enforcement Actions

The following information is provided as a general guide. It is not intended as legal advice. Anyone receiving an Administrative Complaint can choose to seek legal counsel. Applicable statutes or administrative rules supersede the information herein.

The following situations may lead the division to begin a compliance action:

  • Violations which resulted in an Emergency Suspension of License or Emergency Closure.
  • Operating without a required license or certificate.
  • Failing to correct violations by the time given on a warning notice.
  • A history of repeated violations.
  • Interfering with division employees performing their assigned duties.

Administrative Complaints

An Administrative Complaint is a form of legal action taken by the division against licensees. The administrative complaint process must follow the requirements in Chapter 120, Florida Statutes.

Insufficient compliance with a warning, a pattern of repeat violations, or existence of serious conditions that warrant immediate action may result in the division initiating an Administrative Complaint against the establishment. Correcting the violations is important, but penalties may still result from violations corrected after the warning time was over.

If you have received an Administrative Complaint or want to learn about the compliance process, see our What to do if you receive an Administrative Complaint page.

Emergency Closure or Suspension of License

Based on an immediate threat to the public, the Division of Hotels and Restaurants director has determined that the establishment must stop doing business and any division license is suspended to protect the public health, safety or welfare.

A 24-hour callback inspection will be performed after an emergency closure or emergency suspension of license. The establishment may reopen only when a division inspection shows that all high priority violations that caused the suspension are corrected.

Reopening After an Emergency Closure or Suspension

  • The division will perform an inspection within 24 hours of the emergency closure
  • The establishment can request this inspection earlier than 24 hours
  • Establishment may reopen when a division inspection shows all of the violations that cause the emergency closure are corrected

Need Help?

All requests for public records, complaints, forms, and applications for licenses can be obtained by contacting the Customer Contact Center.

Steven von Bodungen, Director

Division of Hotels and Restaurants
2601 Blair Stone Road
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1011

Telephone: 850.487.1395
Email: dhr.info@myfloridalicense.com