HOW TO BEGIN THE PLAN REVIEW PROCESS
Prior to construction or remodeling of a food service establishment, the Board of Health Office must complete a plan review process
To initiate a plan review process, you must complete and submit the following items:
New or Remodeled Food Service Establishment Construction Plan Review Application
A copy of your menu or list of foods for sale or service
Floor plan of proposed establishment and/or remodeling changes drawn to scale
Equipment specifications including refrigeration units dimensions, make and model number
If the establishment utilizes a septic system and/or well or public water system, approval has been obtained to use the sewage system and/or water supply
In order to conduct a complete plan review, all of the above items must be submitted. The plan review process will not begin until Health Department receives all of the above items. Additional items must be submitted for mobile food unit operators and caterers or similar businesses. The plan review process may take from 2 to 3 weeks. During this process, a Public Health Specialist from the Quabbin Health District will assess the proposed operation and determine if it is in compliance with Massachusetts State Food Service Regulations. You may be contacted for more information about the proposal. Sometimes, it is necessary to make changes to your plans. These changes will be discussed with you prior to approval being granted. Remember that it is much easier to make changes in the planning stage than after construction has begun. For this reason, construction cannot begin until you receive the approval letter.
APPROVAL TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION
Once your plans have been reviewed and approved, the Public Health Specialist from t he Quabbin Health District will send you a letter that your proposal has been approved. When you receive the approval letter, you may begin construction of your facility pending all other applicable agency approvals. A copy of the approval letter will also be submitted to the appropriate building department and licensing department by the health department.
When construction is completed, it is up to the owner/operator of the establishment to contact the Quabbin Health District at (413) 967-9615 to schedule a pre-operating inspection. Plan to contact the Quabbin Health District at least two weeks prior to your desired opening date to schedule this inspection.
A Publicly Health Specialist will conduct your pre-operating inspection as scheduled by you. On the day of the inspection, your establishment should have the following completed:
Construction debris removed.
All hand sinks stocked with soap, paper towels and waste receptacle. Tempered hot and cold running water under pressure must be provided to all required plumbing fixtures.
Thoroughly clean and sanitize all food contact surfaces, refrigerators, freezers, cooking and hot-holding equipment.
Thoroughly clean all non-food contact surfaces.
Clean and sanitize ice machines and ice bins. (After sanitizing, run several batches of ice through the ice machine and discard these batches).
Thermometers must be available in all refrigerators and freezers.
Metal-stem thermometers measuring from 0-220O F must be available for monitoring cooking, and hot/cold holding temperatures.
Ensure all cold holding and hot holding equipment is operating properly. All cold and hot holding equipment should be turned on and cooled or heated to the proper temperature prior to the inspection. There must not be any food present during this inspection. On the day of the scheduled inspection, if the above items are not completed or you are not ready to operate, call the Board of Health Office to reschedule your inspection.
If the Public Health Specialist has to return for a second inspection, because you were not prepared, you may be charged a fee for this additional inspection.
APPROVAL TO OPERATE
If all the requirements have been met and all equipment is functioning properly, the establishment will be approved to operate pending approval by all other jurisdictional authorities. At this time, an annual permit to operate a food service establishment must be purchased at the local Board of Health Office. An annual permit must be purchased prior to actually opening. Once the permit is obtained and posted in your establishment, you may open your business.