The Ridgefield Health Department licenses and inspects and all food service facilities in town in accordance with local ordinances and Section 19-13-B42 of the Connecticut Public Health Code. Our department also reviews plans for new and remodeled food establishments, investigates complaints and conducts food borne illness investigations.
The following establishments are regulated by the Connecticut Public Health Code:
|Food Stores:||Section 19-13-B40|
|Food Service Establishments:||Section 19-13-B42|
The Compliance Guide for the Food Service Inspection form is a useful reference for all types of food service establishments in that it provides technical standards based on specific regulations in an easier to read format. Please note that this guide is not all-inclusive.
Click here to access the Compliance Guide.
To access the State of Connecticut Food Protection Regulations click here
To access the Town of Ridgefield Food Establishment Ordinance click here.
Licenses and Permits
Food Service Establishment Application
To apply to build a new or remodel a food service establishment, you must submit a "Food Service Establishment Plan Review", as per Ridgefield's Sec. 7-14 Foodservice Establishment Ordinance. The applicant must create the online application and attach a hard copy of the FSE Plan review. Click here for the hard copy that must be filled out, hand signed and uploaded to the online application, which the applicant creates here, using the email and password once registered.
Food License Renewal and New
Licenses are valid for the calendar year and expire on December 31st. Licenses are not transferable.
In November, a renewal email will be sent to all existing Food Service license holders based on emails registered in the prior year's online application. If you do not receive a renewal email, contact Nancy at 203-431-2745 to advise your new email.
If you are a new establishment, contact Nancy at 203-431-2745 to get obtain information on how to apply for a new Food Service License.
Temporary Food Permits
Temporary permits are issued to establishments or individuals holding events where food will be served to the public for 2 weeks or less. For a temporary food permit, see the Compliance Guide for Temporary Food Permits. Click here for the hard copy that has to be filled out, hand signed and uploaded to the online application, which you create here using the email and password you've registered..
Qualified Food Operators (QFOs)
According to Connecticut Public Health Code Sections 19-13B-42(S)(4), B48(j)(3), B49(t)(3) all Class 3 and 4 Food Service Establishments in Connecticut are required to have at least 1 Qualified Food Operators (QFO) on staff (plus an alternate). The purpose of a QFO is to insure that the establishment practices safe food handling techniques.
To become a QFO, one must pass a state approved examination and receive a Food Manager certificate. To comply with state regulations, the QFO must be a full-time employee (at least 30 hours per week) in a supervisory position at the establishment. They cannot work at another establishment period. At least one QFO must be on premises at all times when the establishment is open for business.
For information on becoming a QFO, click here.
Grease Trap Information
Ridgefield WPCA -- Fats, Oils, and Greases (FOG) at Food Service Establishments
The Town of Ridgefield WPCA is beginning the process of compiling information from all Food Service Establishments to ensure compliance with the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection General Permit for the Discharge of Wastewater Associated with Food Preparation Establishments.
This General permit regulates the discharge of wastewaters to a sanitary sewer from food preparation establishments that are classified as Class III or Class IV food service establishments as defined in the CT Public health code. This includes but is not limited to, restaurants, school kitchens, bars, cafes, bakeries, and church kitchens.
The General Permit requires any new regulated food preparation establishment initiating a discharge after the date of the permit issuance comply with the permit requirement immediately. All regulated food preparation establishments existing at the date of permit issuance shall comply no later than July 1, 2011.
There are three conditions that will require earlier compliance for existing Food Preparation Establishments. These are a change in ownership, a renovation of the facility or the municipality designating an area of the sewer system as a problem area.
The uncontrolled and/or inadequately controlled discharge of fats, oils and grease into municipal sanitary sewage systems have resulted in blockages within the collection system, posing hazards to public health and resulting in increased cost to the users of the system. The principle of pollution prevention is that control of a pollutant at its source is a preferred strategy.
The permit requires that establishments install either an exterior 1,000 gallon passive grease interceptor or an internal automatic grease recovery unit (AGRU) in accordance with technical requirements specified in the general permit. Kitchen fixtures and drains as specified in the general permit shall be connected to the grease interceptor or AGRU.
Pollution prevention/best management practices are also required of the permittee including quarterly inspections of the equipment and pump-outs of the passive interceptors at least every three months. Permittes are also required to keep a maintenance log on site recording all maintenance done to the passive interceptors or AGRUs.
It is the intention of the Ridgefield WPCA and the Health Department to assist all Food Service Establishments in complying with the General Permit. Should you have any questions please contact either WPCA Administrator, Diana Van Ness, at 431-2734, or Director of Health, Edward Briggs at 431-2746. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.
Visit the Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) for additional information.
Useful Information for Food Service Establishments
Procedure for Washing, Rinsing, and Sanitizing food contact surfaces:
1. WASH dishes, utensils, cookware, cutting boards, appliances, and
cooking surfaces with HOT, SOAPY WATER to remove visible soil.
2. Thoroughly RINSE OFF soap and film
3. SANITIZE to kill germs with chlorine or another approved sanitizer.
To use regular chlorine bleach as a sanitizer, dilute with water:
Pour one tablepoon of bleach for every 2 gallons of water
Any chlorine bleach that is used for making a sanitizing solution must be of sufficient purity to be categorized as a “food grade” substance. Some commercially available household chlorine bleaches contain fragrances, thickeners and/or other additives not approved for food use. These products are not suitable for making sanitizing solutions. Check the label on the bleach to make sure it is suitable for use on food contact surfaces.
Keep in mind that chlorine loses its effectiveness quickly in the presence of oil, dirt and organic material. Wash water should be changed when it becomes dirty. Chlorine test kits are available to test the level of active chlorine present in a solution. These commonly involve a color change. Most tests employ strips of paper treated with chemicals that change color based on the chlorine concentration. The resulting color is compared to a standard chart to give a measure of active chlorine present in solution. These test kits are available from restaurant supply houses and/or sanitizer supply companies.
Soak food contact equipment in the bleach solution for at least 2 minutes and then air dry.
DO NOT TOWEL DRY!
*Chlorine sanitizing solution can also be used to sanitize wiping cloths in between uses.