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(Visite la página web Evanston en Español para obtener las últimas actualizaciones.)



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Unknown or Unsafe Source

All food served or for sale at a licensed facility must come from an approved source such as a grocery store or other facility that is inspected. Only non potentially hazardous foods allowed to be cooked at home are those licensed under the Cottage Food Law.

Food that is sold commercially must be properly labeled with contents and ingredients. Labeling, contents and ingredients must be in English.

If a food product has been recalled by the Food and Drug Administration, the Illinois Department of Public Health or any other Regulatory Authority, the food is removed from sale and considered to be unsafe.


A food that requires time/temperature control to limit pathogenic microorganism growth or toxin formation. 


Time/ Date Labeled

Any potentially hazardous foods prepared and then cooled for later serving must be labeled with the time and date that they were made. This is to ensure that food is cooling properly in order to prevent bacteria from multiplying rapidly.

Proper Temperatures


clip_image003_0003The following are the Minimum Internal Cooking Temperatures* for specific foods

  • Shell Eggs 145°F
  • Pork and Fish 145°F
  • Beef Steak, Veal and Lamb 145°F
  • Ground Meat 155°F
  • Poultry and Stuffed Meat 165°F
  • Leftovers 165°F

*Minimum Internal Cooking Temperatures are measured by pushing a probe stem thermometer into the middle of the food. This is the part of the food that takes the longest to reach the required temperature.

**Facilities are required to post the Consumer Advisory, if the customer orders undercooked foods (example: eggs over easy, rare steak)


All potentially hazardous foods that are cooked thoroughly to the above temperatures, must be cooled from 140°F to 70°F in 2 hours and from 70°F to 41°F or below in four more hours.


All foods must be reheated to 165°F or above before being served


All cold foods are to be stored at 41°F or below


All frozen temperatures are to maintain a temperature of 0°F

Hot Holding

All hot food must be held at 140°F

Proper Thawing

Potentially hazardous frozen foods (chicken, pork, fish, etc.) must be thawed either in a refrigerator or under cold running water at a sink designated for food. Food may also be thawed in the microwave provided that the thawing occurs as part of the cooking process.

Cross Contamination

clip_image004Cross Contamination happens when food is exposed to a contaminant from another source.

In this photograph, bacteria from the raw chicken juice is contaminating the cut tomato & cucumber. 

Improper Storage of Employee Drinks

clip_image007Employees may have drinks in the kitchen as long as the drinks are covered and have straws. If the drinks are missing covers or straws, employees can contaminate their hands by touching the area on the cup or glass where their mouth touched.

(Coffee Cup is improperly stored over food contact surface with no lid or straw)

Employees Smoking in Food Preparation Areas

Smoking in food preparation areas is not allowed

Food Contact Surfaces

Surfaces that come into direct contact with food, examples include cutting boards, knives, and other utensils, these surfaces must be kept clean at all times.

Non-Food Contact Surfaces

Surfaces that do not come into direct contact with food, examples include doors to coolers and shelving. These also need to be kept clean at all times as anytime they are soiled they have the ability to spread bacteria.

Three Compartment Sink

clip_image012The three compartment sink is an essential piece of equipment in a food facility. This sink must be used to wash, rinse, and sanitize all equipment and utensils.

This image shows a 3 compartment sink used for the thawing of foods. Sink is only permitted to wash, rinse, & sanitize equipment

Test Kits

Food facilities commonly use products containing chlorine, quaternary ammonia, iodine, or heat, to sanitize their equipment. Each facility is responsible for having test kits onsite to ensure that surfaces and equipment are being sanitized correctly.


Food facilities must have probe stem thermometers on site in order to ensure that food is reaching proper temperatures during cooking, cooling, storage, preparation, and delivery.


Some chemicals (chlorine, iodine, quaternary ammonia) are used in food facilities in order to sanitize surfaces and equipment. They must be used in the correct concentrations in order to be effective, too low a concentration and the bacteria won’t be killed, too high and customers may taste the chemical or have a reaction to the chemical residues.

clip_image007_0000Sanitizer Solution

Wiping cloths, used to clean and sanitize surfaces in the facility must be stored in a solution of water and chemical sanitizer (chlorine, iodine, quaternary ammonia) at the correct concentration. If cloths are not stored in this solution, bacteria will be picked up from one area and transported to another.

The green wiping cloth in this image must be stored in a bucket of sanitizer solution between uses.

Single Use Item Storage

Disposable cups, forks, spoons, knives, sporks and any other materials for one-time use must be stored so that employee’s bare hands do not contact areas that will contact the customer’s mouth.

Incorrect Sewage Disposal

All wastewater created at the facility must be disposed of by a public sewage system. This only occurs in facilities that are served by private septic systems. This is not permitted in the City of Evanston.

Plumbing incorrectly installed or poorly maintained

All plumbing must meet the requirements of the Illinois State Plumbing Code, pipes should be in good condition, without breaks or leaks.


Three-Compartment Sinks, Food Preparation Sinks, Ice Making Machines, Ice Cream Dipper Wells, Refrigeration Condensation Lines and other similar items that when in use create wastewater must be indirectly connected to the sewer. In the illustration below the three compartment sink is directly connected to the sewer, and the sewer is backing up. In this situation plates have been left in the first compartment overnight. The sewage backs up onto the plates and utensils.


Example of Backflow. Three-Compartment sink directly connected to the sewer

In the second example we look at the same sink that has the correct backflow prevention. In this case, by making an air gap, the sewage runs onto the floor and does not contaminate food contact surfaces.


Light Shield Missing

All lights found in areas where food is handled or stored must be protected by plastic shielding or must be shatterproof. This is to eliminate the possibility of a light shattering and glass falling into food product.

Adequate Lighting

The Illinois Food Service Sanitation Code (1998) requires that a food facility have adequate lighting, to aid in cleaning, prevent accidental mixing of toxic substances with food, and to avoid serving unsafe or spoiled food to the customer

Chemical Containers Not Labeled Properly

All chemical containers must be approved for use in a commercial food facility or manufacturing setting. All chemical containers must be clearly labeled with their contents and the contents must match the labels.

Mops and other cleaning materials not properly stored

Mops, brooms, squeegees, and other cleaning materials must be stored separately (below and away) from food. Mops must be hung up so that they drip dry above a mop sink. This is to prevent food contamination, and conditions that encourage pests in the facility.





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.