The Division of Food Control is responsible for ensuring that food prepared and served in Harford County food service facilities is safe, wholesome and free from adulterants. The Division endeavors to protect and improve public health through education and enforcement of food safety codes, policies, and laws.
Food Safety and Food Facility Inspections
- Inspects and licenses food service facilities-restaurants, schools, churches, and various other non-profit organizations
- Inspects and licenses special food service facilities-mobile units and temporary events (fairs, carnivals, outdoor coverts)
- Evaluates food service facility menus (HACCP) to assess hazards
- Provides consumer education materials to the public
- Investigates consumer complaints related to food and food service facilities
- Investigates foodbourne and waterbourne illnesses related to food service facilities
- Reviews and approvesplans for new and remodeled food service facilities
- Conducts pre-opening inspections for new food service facilities
- Coordinates release of building permits and use and occupancy permits with other county and local agencies
- Conducts change of ownership inspections for food service facilities
Food Regulations, COMAR 10.15.03 (New)
These State regulations govern all food service facilities in Harford County. In addition to COMAR 10.15.03, the Food Control program utilizes State Laws, State and Local Health Department policies, and interpretive memos in the enforcement of the food regulations. Copies of COMAR 10.15.03 are available at the Health Department for a cost.
Food Service Facility Licenses
Any operator of a food service facility that sells or provides food to the public must possess a valid Food Service Facility License. Some exemptions are granted to bona fide non-profit organizations (see Non-Profit Facility Exemptions). Licenses must be displayed in a conspicuous location within the food service facility. Licenses are divided into seven (7) groupings based on the type of operation. Licenses are valid for up to one year, with the exception of temporary seasonal license, and notification is sent automatically to the operator prior to renewal. Licenses are not transferable from person to person or place to place. Additional information on licensing may be found in COMAR 10.15.03.28.
The Health Department also issues temporary facility licenses in conjuction with special events. These licenses are for a limited time and for specific events.
Change of Ownership Inspections
There are several steps that need to be taken when licensed food service facilities undergo a change in ownership. Remember that licenses are not transferable from person to person, so the change of ownership process must be completed prior to selling or buying a food service facility.