Food & Lodging Program Inspection Report—The Scoring Process

The Vermont Department of Health Food and Lodging Program inspects and licenses restaurants, delis, seafood markets, food processors, salvage food stores, hotels, motels, inns, bakeries, school food service facilities, summer camps, and fair stands statewide. Our ultimate goal is to protect the public by preventing food-borne illness. But we also aim to educate establishment owners and operators about safe food handling practices.

Our inspection is based on 44-item checklist. Thirteen of these items are considered “critical” and address areas where there is a high likelihood of illness if left uncorrected. Appropriately, these critical items are weighed heavier in our analysis. The remaining 31 “non-critical” items measure construction and overall cleanliness. Totaled, all 44 checklist items add up to a perfect score of 100.

To pass the inspection, food establishments must have a score of 70 or better and have no critical items in violation. If these criteria are not met, the establishment will be asked to voluntarily close its doors until it can open again in full compliance.

For more information, contact the Food and Lodging Program at (802) 863-7221.

Inspection Checklist items (critical items are in bold.)

  1. The food is in good condition, unadulterated and safe for human consumption.
  2. The food is properly stored and if required, a consumer advisory is posted.
  3. Potentially hazardous food is stored, prepared, displayed, served and transported according to specified time and temperature requirements.
  4. Cross-contamination is prevented.
  5. Proper equipment is used to maintain product temperature, thermometers are available, accurate and within view.
  6. Hazardous food is thawed properly.
  7. Unwrapped, potentially hazardous food has not been (is not?) returned or reused.
  8. Food is protected during storage, preparation, display, service and transportation.
  9. Gloves or utensils are used to minimize handling of food and ice.
  10. Food and ice dispensing utensils and equipment are properly cleaned and stored.
  11. Personnel with infections or communicable diseases are restricted from handling food or excluded from work.
  12. Personnel wash hands and use good hygienic practices, including removing jewelry and trimming nails.
  13. Personnel wear clean clothing, uniforms, aprons and hair restraints.
  14. Food contact surfaces are properly designed, constructed, cleaned and maintained.
  15. Non-food contact surfaces are properly designed, constructed, cleaned and maintained.
  16. Dishwashing facilities are properly designed, constructed, maintained, installed and located.
  17. Accurate thermometers, chemical test kits and pressures gauges are provided.
  18. Single service articles are properly stored, dispensed and handled.
  19. Single service items are not re-used.
  20. Dishes are pre-flushed, scraped and soaked.
  21. Wash and rinse water is clean and at the proper temperature.
  22. Food equipment and utensils are properly sanitized.
  23. Wiping cloths are clean, stored in sanitizing solution and used properly.
  24. Food contact surfaces of equipment and utensils are clean.
  25. Non-food contact surfaces of equipment and utensils are clean and free of contaminants.
  26. Clean equipment and utensils are properly stored and handled.
  27. Hot and cold water is from a safe and approved source.
  28. Sewage and waste disposal is approved and satisfactory.
  29. Plumbing fixtures are properly installed, constructed and maintained.
  30. Plumbing is installed to prevent back siphonage or backflow. There is no direct connection between sewage and the drains involved in food preparation, or equipment and utensil washing.
  31. Adequate, convenient and properly maintained toilet and handwashing facilities are available.
  32. Restrooms are clean, properly maintained, with self-closing doors and hand wash soap and towels or air dryers provided.
  33. Rubbish containers are covered, properly located and clean.
  34. Outside garbage disposal areas are enclosed and clean.
  35. Insects, rodents and other animals are kept out of the restaurant by screens or self-closing doors.
  36. Floors are properly constructed, in good repair, and clean.
  37. Walls and ceilings are properly constructed, in good repair, and clean.
  38. Adequate lighting with proper shielding is provided.
  39. Proper ventilation exists.
  40. Dressing rooms are provided and clean.
  41. Necessary toxic items are properly stored, separated, labeled, and used.
  42. Premises are well maintained and free of unnecessary items.
  43. Living and sleeping quarters and unrelated activities are separate from food preparation areas.
  44. Clean and soiled linens are properly stored and cleaned.