Restaurant sinkRestaurant Storage The Food, Lodging and Institutional Sanitation Section is responsible for plan review, permitting and sanitation inspections of food handling establishments; temporary food stands associated with fairs, carnivals or festivals; meat markets; child day care facilities; residential care facilities; rest/nursing home; hospitals; confinement/correctional facilities; schools; school lunchrooms; educational institutions; hotels and motels; bed and breakfast; summer camps; summer feeding sites; mobile food units and pushcarts. The Food and Lodging section also investigates sanitation complaints and complaints of food borne disease outbreaks, product recalls and assist in the teaching of food service education classes.

Foodservice Facilities consist of Restaurants, Food Stands, Meat Markets, Mobile Food Units, Push Carts, Catered Elderly Nutrition Sites, School Lunchrooms, Temporary Food Stands, and Kitchen Facilities.

NC Food Code Manual

NC Food Protection Rules 

North Carolina adopted new food rules on September 1, 2012.  The new food code represents the most comprehensive change in North Carolina’s food protection standards in more than 30 years.  The new food code establishes practical, science-based rules and provisions to help avoid food-borne illnesses, like noroviruses and salmonella.

“Restaurant owners know that safe food is good business,” said Larry Michael of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health. “By working together to implement these changes, we can reduce our incidence of foodborne illness across the state.”

Under the new rules, employees must avoid handling ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and all restaurants must have a certified food protection manager on duty during hours of operation.  Restaurant owners also must establish employee health policies to ensure that an ill employee who has the potential to contaminate food is not involved in the preparation or serving of food.

Restaurant rating systems also changed under the new food code. Although sanitation rating cards showing the grade and score continue to be posted in restaurants, restaurants no longer earn bonus points for completing voluntary food safety training since certification is now required.

Local food trucks and pushcarts are also subject to new food code rules and are required to post sanitation ratings.

Key Provisions of the new North Carolina Food Code:

  • Each food establishment is required to demonstrate knowledge of food protection by passing an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited exam. This requirement will be phased in and become effective January 1, 2014.
  • Each food establishment is required to develop and adhere to an Employee Health Policy to prevent and control the transmission of illnesses.
  • Food establishments are required to refrain from handling exposed, ready-to-eat foods with bare hands.
  • Food establishments are required to decrease the temperature of refrigerated foods and must date-mark opened, ready-to-eat foods.


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Seafood Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information

Fish in a cooler

How can you select safe seafood?

Click on this link to see fish consumption advisories and common fish contaminants.

Click here to see information about Mercury in Fish.

Large fish on ice

The North Carolina Shellfish Sanitation Program

All Shellfish processors must be certified and all raw or frozen shellfish products offered for sale must be properly tagged or labeled by a certified dealer as shown here.

Oyster shellsOystersNorth Carolina certifies both intrastate and interstate dealers. Intrastate dealers may only sell tagged product within North Carolina. Interstate dealers may sell anywhere in the country and are listed on the FDA Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List. It is published online monthly.



Grade Card

Sanitation Grades in Alamance County

This website will allow you to view recent inspection data for establishments inspected by Environmental Health Specialists in Alamance County.  


Sanitation Grades in North Carolina

This website will allow you to view recent inspection data for establishments inspected by Environmental Health Specialists all across North Carolina.