The Food, Lodging & Pools unit regulates and routinely inspects all food service establishments in the City of Minneapolis including restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, caterers, groceries and confectionary stores, meat markets, farmers markets, short term events involving food dispensing, vending machines, indoor food carts, and ice-cream and mobile vendors.
Scroll down for food safety self-checklists, cooling and temperature logs, and other resources.
Ingredient and allergen labeling
Ingredient lists and food labeling are important to customers who must avoid a specific ingredient for medical or religious reasons. MN Food Code requires establishments to provide customers with information on ingredients and allergens on all foods served.
This includes the following:
- Keep the ingredient list from the label of food items purchased in a package, bag, box, can or bottle. Examples: packaged buns from a bakery, boxed pasta, prepared sauces, etc.
- Keep recipes in a centralized location to be able to answer ingredient and allergen questions from your customers.
- Properly label all food items prepared and packaged by your restaurant that are available for self -service. Food is packaged if the food establishment bottles, cans, cartons, wraps or bags the product and makes it available for self-service.
The label on a food package tells consumers exactly what is inside the package. Food package label information must be written in English. There are five parts of a food label:
- Identity (name of food)
- Net Quantity of Contents
- Ingredient List, including Major Food Allergens*
- Business Name and Address
- Nutrition Facts
*List all ingredients by their common or usual name.
- List all ingredients in descending order (most to least) by weight. If less than 2% by weight, an ingredient can be mentioned at the end of the list, stating "contains 2% or less of ____."
- Include all sub-ingredients. Example: Flour (bleached wheat flour, malt barley, flour, niacin, iron, potassium thiamine, riboflavin).
- Include chemical preservatives and food coloring in descending order (most to least) by weight.
Major food allergens
Allergen labeling is required for packaged food products that contain any of the eight major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy.
Identify by name any major food allergens in the product, as part of the ingredient list. This must include protein derived from a major food allergen.
Use one of the following options:
- List the common or usual name of the food source, followed by the name of the allergen in parentheses. Example: flour (wheat), whey (milk).
- After the ingredient list, place the word “Contains:” followed by the food allergen. Example: Contains: wheat, milk.
For tree nuts, declare the specific type of nut. Examples: almonds, coconut, pecans. For fish or crustacean shellfish, declare the species. Examples: walleye, shrimp, lobster.
Find more labeling information http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/food/fs/labeling.pdf and
Food Safety Savvy
The recent confirmed outbreaks of food borne illnesses are a good reminder to review your establishment's food handling practices to minimize the risk of a food borne illness.
The five main risk factors for food borne illnesses are:
- Improper hot and cold holding of food
- Not cooking foods to proper temperatures
- Cross-contaminating food
- Poor personal hygiene
- Purchasing food from unsafe sources
To reduce food borne illness risks:
- Keep cold foods below 41 degrees.
- Keep hot foods above 140 degrees. When holding hot foods, check the temperature every two hours. Reheat if needed to maintain a safe holding temperature.
- Prep raw meat, poultry, seafood and ready to eat ingredients separately. Use separate cutting boards, equipment and utensils or clean and sanitize all equipment and utensils after working with each ingredient.
- All employees handling food should practice good personal hygiene. This includes proper handwashing, glove use and avoiding bare hand contact with ready to eat foods. Employees may not work when ill. Businesses are required to keep an employee illness log.
- Purchase food from approved, reputable suppliers. Know your suppliers and their food safety practices.
Scroll down for helpful videos, self-inspection logs and other materials.
For more information visit the Minnesota Department of Health website here. Full URL: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/food/fs/index.html
Avoid seafood fraud
Are you a victim of seafood fraud? Seafood fraud can occur anywhere along the supply chain. Mislabeling, species substittion and short weighting are the most common fraud issues.
(article courtesy of the MN Restaurant Association)
Many seafood lovers enjoy eating raw oysters. However, eating raw oysters can cause consumers to be infected with Vibrio, a waterborne bacterium. Vibrio naturally occurs in water where oysters are raised.
A healthy person who is exposed to Vibrio may experience vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain. People with compromised immune systems and pregnant women are at much greater risk.
Are you prepared if any of your customers become ill with Vibrio? Does your menu have the correct Consumer Warning? Are shellstock tags kept with the containers? After an oyster container is emptied, are tags kept for 90 days, and filed according to date?
Health Inspectors are seeing establishments that do not properly keep shellstock tags and records as required by the MN Food code.
If your shellstock tags are in order, Vibrio outbreaks can be investigated quickly. Oyster beds can be tested. If needed, oyster beds can be closed until conditions are less favorable for Vibrio.
Visit the Center for Disease Control's website for more information on Vibrio: http://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/vibriop.html
Certified Food Manager
Food Safety Videos
Food safety videos educate viewers about commercial kitchen food safety. The videos are intended provide education to management and staff of commercial kitchens through the most important steps of conducting a food audit so that restaurants will easily pass their food safety inspections.
Video topics are: Be Your Own Food Safety Inspector, Times and Temperatures, Safe Facilities and Equipment, Employee Health and Hygiene, and Protection from Contamination. All videos are subtitiled in English. Videos were produced by the City of Minneapolis Health Department.
Mandarin Chinese - All videos in Mandarin Chinese
Self Inspections and Temperature Logs
Self inspections and logging temperatures create internal peer to peer learning, strengthen training efforts by the person in charge, change facility standards and make businesses safer and more successful. Materials are available in multiple languages.
Time as a Public Health Control
English - Time as a Public Health Control form
Spanish - Tiempo como control de salud pública
Vietnamese - Thời Gian là một hình thức Kiểm Soát Y Tế Công
Poster: Be a germ-buster, Wash your hands
This poster shows the six steps to cleaner hands. The poster is available for download (links to the MN Department of Health website).
Visit the MN Department of Health website for posters in Arabic, Bengali, Cambodian, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Nepalese, Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
MDH adapted the poster with permission from the Washington State Department of Health.
Employee Illness Log
Download the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) employee illness log here. Full URL: http://www.health.state.mn.us/foodsafety/dwi/empillog.pdf
Food Protection Self-Audit Picture Guide and Poster Set
This picture guide and poster set can be paired with the self inspection and temperature logs above. It can be especially useful for staff training where language or literacy barriers exist. Click on the image below.
Each link contains both the handbook for Food Managers and the handbook for Food Workers.
Emergency Readiness for Food Managers
This handbook offers step-by-step guidance for maintaining food safety in the face of 10 emergencies that can realistically occur and significantly impact any food establishment. It also outlines a series of standard food safety and security practices and provides useful templates/tools to aid in their implementation.
Emergency Readiness for Food Workers
This set of photo lessons and its companion discussion Guide for Food Managers mirror the topics in the handbook for food managers but are geared for staff training. The photo lessons also can be used to guide worker activities during actual emergencies. To open a book, click on the photo of the cover.
Norovirus Information: The 'gift' nobody wants, but many get
Norovirus infection is the leading cause of foodborne illness and is very contagious.
Protect yourself and others with proper handwashing.
Prevent norovirus by following important steps:
- Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds:
- After using the bathroom
- After changing diapers
- Before preparing foods
- Before eating
- Wash your hands more often when someone in your household is sick.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces with a household bleach solution immediately after vomiting or diarrheal accidents.
- Steam oysters before eating them.
- Avoid preparing food while you have symptoms and for at least three days after you recover.
Articles and Reports
Interesting read shared by the Minnesota Department of Health. If you serve raw or undercooked meat products, know the risks and menu requirements.
The Minneapolis Health Department recently released the results of a focus group research study about food safety and cultural norms among Latino and Somali residents of the metropolitan area. The study focused on the cultural aspects of meat consumption from live animal markets and other meat suppliers; food safety practices related to purchasing, transporting, storing and preparation of meat; and residents’ responses to food poisoning and food-borne illness incidents.
Botulism - Scarier than Halloween
This is not your grandmother's canned tomatoes!
Improper thawing of vacuum packed (Reduced Oxygen packaging - ROP) frozen fish is a breeding ground for botulism. The correct way to thaw frozen (ROP) fish is:
- Cut or peel open the packaging. This step is critical. Botulism spores can form if the packaging is not opened.
- Thaw in the refridgerator, under cool running water, or as part of the cooking process.
Health Inspectors are seeing frozen vacuum packed fish thawing in unopened packaging.
Don't put your customers at risk!
Should you require a reasonable accommodation in order to fully participate, or information in an alternative format, please contact 612-673-2301.
Para asistencia 612-673-2700 - Rau kev pab 612-673-2800 - Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500
Last updated Jan 25, 2017