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Food Service Inspections/Regulations

The Environmental Health staff are responsible for conducting inspections of establishments that sell food and/or drink to the public.  The random, unannounced inspections are done to check compliance with the Missouri Food Code.  These facilities include restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, schools, senior centers, and mobile units as well as temporary and occasional events and festivals.


The facilities are checked for issues such as:

  • Proper employee hand washing

  • Safe food handling practices

  • Food preparation techniques

  • Food storage

  • Facility cleanliness

  • Insect/rodent infestations

  • Sanitizing procedures

Inspection Frequency

Inspection frequency is based upon the priority rating of the facility.  An establishment priority rating is dependent on the complexity of the menu, how much food is made from raw products, how much food is made in advance rather than cooked-to-order, the population served and the inspection history of the facility.  Establishments preparing food from raw ingredients are inspected more often than convenience stores that serve only non-potentially hazardous foods, such as popcorn and soda.

Establishments in Newton County are rated:

  • High

  • Medium

  • Low

High or Medium priority establishments are inspected at least twice a year. Establishments with a low priority are inspected annually.

Types of Inspections
  • Routine inspection:  The inspector conducts a complete inspection covering all items in the regulations for compliance with the Missouri Food Code.

  • Follow-up inspection:  This is an inspection for the specific purpose of re-inspecting critical items that are not in compliance at the time of the routine inspection.

  • Complaint inspection:  This is an inspection conducted as a result of a complaint received by the health department.  The specifics of the complaint are evaluated and discussed with the person in charge.

Food Inspection Violations

Food inspection violations found during an inspection fall into two categories:

  • Priority =  Critical

  • Core =  Non-critical

Priority items have a direct impact on the safety of the food, and if left uncorrected are more likely than other violations to directly contribute to food contamination and illness.

Examples of Priority violations are:

  • Inadequate temperatures

  • Cross contamination between raw and ready-to-eat food

  • Touching ready-to-eat food with bare hands

  • Food from an unapproved source

  • Lack of food safety knowledge by the person in charge

  • Poor personal hygiene and employee health

Core items play an important role in the overall performance of the facility but alone do not directly affect food safety and the likelihood of food-borne illness in these cases is very low.

Example of Core violations are:

  • Dirty floors

  • Dirty non-food contact equipment

  • Outside trash cans not covered

  • Repair issues

  • Workers not wearing hair restraints

Missouri Laws and Regulations Pertaining to Food Establishments | MO DHSS

Environmental Health Operational Guidelines | MO DHSS

MO DHSS Rules 19 CSR 20-Division of Environmental Health and Communicable Disease Prevention

Recent Food Establishment Inspections

Common abbreviations on our inspections:

  • COS = Corrected On-site

  • NRI = Next Routine Inspection

  • PHF = Potentially Hazardous Food

  • PIC = Person In Charge

  • SS = Single Service

  • WI = Walk In

Facilities inside the city limits of Joplin are inspected by the Joplin City Health Department.

Food Establishment/Vendor Annual License Fees
  • High risk - $250

  • Medium risk - $175

  • Low risk - $100

  • Mobile Unit* - $100

  • Temporary Food Stand - $20

* $20 per event up to 5 events


Find Serve Safe Classes
Approved Online Classes for Food Handler Safety Training Certificates
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