Food Establishment Inspections

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The Evanston Health & Human Services Department licenses and inspects all Evanston facilities that prepare, process, serve, sell and store food that will be consumed by the public, even if that is not the principal use of the facility.

This includes restaurants, food stores, bakeries, gas station convenience stores, schools, daycare centers, religious institutions, food processors and more. The inspections for those licensed facilities - more than 400- are available online for review!

Starting in June, 2018, as mandated by the State of Illinois, the City of Evanston Health and Human Services will start using the current FDA Code for inspections and enforcement.

If you have questions about major changes regarding the Code, please dial 3-1-1 or 847-448-4311 to speak to one of the Environmental Health Practitioners.  View data for Food Establishment on the City's Open Data Portal.

The Inspection Schedule

  • Licensed establishments received unannounced routine inspections 1, 2 or 3 times a year.
  • The number of inspections is determined by the establishment’s risk category.

Risk Category

  • Risk Category 1 establishments are inspected at least 3 times per year
    • Have extensive menus and complex food processes that include preparing (washing, cutting), cooking, cooling, and reheating of food.
  • Risk Category 2 establishments are inspected at least 2 times per year
    • Food is typically delivered frozen or refrigerated; is made per order; is not cooled or reheated.
  • Risk Category 3 establishments are inspected at least 1 time per year.
    • Food is prepackaged, not handled or cooked.

Scoring

  • Only routine, not follow-up, complaint-driven or licensing inspections are scored. Violations noted are always recorded.
  • 100 represents a perfect score, meaning no violations were noted.
  • Violations have a point value of 0 – 5 points.
    • Critical violations have 4 and 5 point values.
    • Non-critical violations have 1, 2 and 3 point values.
    • The requirement to have a certified food service sanitation manager on site or employed has a 0 point value but is considered a critical violation.
  • Critical violations receive a specific timeframe for correction (24 hours, and follow-up (on site or by documentation) is confirmed by the inspector.

Closing A Business

The conditions of the food establishment, rather than the score, determine closure. If the food handling practices greatly increase the risk of a food-borne illness, the establishment is closed immediately. There are situations when a food establishment is closed immediately regardless of the score, including:

  • Fire
  • Loss of Electricity
  • Pest Infestation
  • No Water or no Hot Water
  • Sewage Backup

When a food establishment is closed, it must be inspected by the Health & Human Services Department before it can re-open. In some cases (i.e., fires, water shutoff, loss of electricity), other departments may need to inspect and approve as well.

To view restaurant health scores, food inspection dates, and violations click on yelp: 

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 Reporting A Concern

If, during a visit to an establishment, you observe practices that are unsanitary, you can file a complaint with the Health & Human Services Department. All complaints are investigated within one working day of receiving the complaint. Those who file a complaint are kept anonymous. Call (847) 448-4311 or email safefood@cityofevanston.org.

Report unsanitary restaurant conditions  OR  Sickness caused by restaurant food  OR Report general concerns

 

 

 

After Hours Communication

For after hours communicable disease or bioterrorism emergencies, please call 847-448-4311 and stay on the line to be connected to someone immediately.