Food Establishment Inspections

The Henry & Stark County Health Department's food protection program follows a risk-based inspection approach, with an emphasis on eliminating Foodborne Illness Risk Factors - the violations which are more likely to lead to consumers getting sick. Environmental Health staff follow the conditions outlined in the Illinois Food Code and the County Ordinance to determine compliance with best practices and to educate food establishment employees during routine, unannounced inspections. Food Establishments with a higher relative risk of causing foodborne illness (based on the large number of food handling operations, vulnerable populations served, or special processes conducted) are inspected more frequently than food establishments with a lower relative risk of causing foodborne illness. Additional information on violations and inspection look-up are found below.

Click Here To View Routine Food Establishment Inspections 

Please be advised that inspections only provide a snapshot of a food establishment's practices, as they are based on what is seen at the time of the inspection. If an establishment does not do well during an inspection, Health Department Staff work to educate the food establishment workers to assist with preventing repeat violations.

Compliance and follow-up (recheck) inspections are conducted as needed in addition to the routine inspections. During any type of inspection, Health Department Staff work to educate food establishment employees as to why certain practices are not acceptable and how these practices can contribute to food-borne illness.


There are 58 items or categories under which violations may be written when conducting a food inspection. These violation categories are divided into Foodborne Illness Risk Factors and Good Retail Practices.

Foodborne Illness Risk Factors are those violations which have a higher likelihood of contributing to a foodborne illness such as improper cooking and hot/cold holding temperatures and poor employee hygiene.

Good Retail Practices are violations of basic operational and sanitation conditions such as leaking faucets, missing light shields, etc.

Risk Factor violations and Good Retail Practice violations are also divided into three categories: Priority, Priority Foundation, and Core.

Priority items are violations that can contribute directly to foodborne illness if not controlled. For instance, not cooking chicken to 165 degrees.

Priority Foundation items are violations that could contribute to Priority violations if not controlled such as not having a calibrated metal stem thermometer to take the temperature of the chicken.

Core violations relate to general sanitation, operational controls, sanitation standard operating procedures (SSOPs), facilities or structures, equipment design, or general maintenance. For instance, the floor that an employee is standing on to take the temperature of the chicken is dirty.

There is no score. Food Establishments will be given the number of Risk Factor Violations and Risk Factor Repeat Violations.