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Cerro Gordo Health Department investigates unlicensed food facilities


This news story was published on January 20, 2019.
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MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health has recently investigated cases where food has been prepared illegally and sold to the public for consumption.

These cases have all revolved around individuals preparing and selling food out of their home without the required license. Some of these products have been advertised for sale on Facebook Marketplace. Many laws and rules relate to this issue. In general, the Iowa Code Chapter 137F says that a person cannot operate a food establishment until the appropriate license has been obtained from the regulatory authority (Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health or the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals). It also notes that a person cannot operate a food establishment until an inspection has been completed, and a license has been issued by the regulatory authority. Individuals who operate a food establishment without a license are subject to a penalty of up to twice the amount of the maximum annual license fee ($800). Further action resulting in civil penalties can also be assessed.

To clarify, a private home or a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting food preparation or establishment operations.

“It is important that people purchase their food from a licensed facility. This applies to all food sales including door-to-door and internet food sales,” said Brian Hanft, Environmental Health Service Manager with the Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health. “We do our best to monitor food safety in Cerro Gordo County so our residents are protected from food-borne illnesses.”

The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is available and willing to help individuals interested in selling food product or opening a food establishment to ensure they abide by the Iowa Food Code. For concerns as to whether an individual is operating with a proper license or to view facilities past inspections, visit our website at www.cghealth.com or call 641-421-9300.

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3 Responses to Cerro Gordo Health Department investigates unlicensed food facilities

  1. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 22, 2019 at 8:50 am

    How about the vendor trucks – used to be a Mexican guy come around with mex food -actually quite good and I never had any health problems ? OH well -so much for trying to make a living when your not a pubic servant.

  2. Avatar

    ‘Nonymus Reply Report comment

    January 21, 2019 at 8:14 am

    These food nazis have ruined every potluck dinner benefit in town. Food prepared in household kitchens that are cleaner than any operating room at Mercy have now been outlawed, yet restaurants with kitchens that look like a landfill are given warnings and six months to fix violations (for years and years) and never actually cited or fined is a great misuse of power! Get back to your real jobs enforcing your regulations on the “for profit” greasepits and leave Grandma alone!

  3. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 21, 2019 at 6:36 am

    I have had food poisoning at a well known mason city restaurant, and at clear lake. The health department and the restaurants were not interested in checking into it.

    I have never had problems with food items purchased at bake sales, but I suppose they are illegal now.