The V.I. Department of Health’s Division of Environmental Health reminds food establishments and the public of the following permitting requirements:
- In addition to a license to do business, all establishments that operate restaurants or itinerant restaurants; that serve or manufacture frozen desserts, soft drinks or ice; that introduce for sale, offer for sale, sell or have in storage meat or meat products; or that operate meat or poultry packing or canning establishments shall obtain from the Division of Environmental Health, a health permit in order to carry on such business.
- DOH may not require a mobile food establishment that holds a valid, annual health permit for mobile food service to obtain additional health permits for operating a mobile food service at multiple locations during Carnival, festivals or other public events. The establishment must notify the division in writing within at least five business days before the event.
- The owner/operator of the mobile food establishment must notify the division in writing of the dates and the location of the sites at which he/she intends to operate. Such health permits shall be posted in a conspicuous place within the business of all establishments.
“Food establishment” does not include:
- An establishment that offers only pre-packaged foods that are not time/temperature controlled for safety;
- A produce stand that only offers whole, uncut fresh fruits and vegetables;
- A food processing plant, including those that are located on the premises of a food establishment;
- A kitchen in a private home if only food that is not time/temperature controlled for safety is prepared for sale or service at a function such as a religious or charitable organization’s bake sale;
- A kitchen in a private home, such as a small family day-care provider; or a bed-and-breakfast operation that prepares and offers food to guests if:
– The home is owner-occupied,
– The number of available guest bedrooms does not exceed six,
– Breakfast is the only meal offered,
– The number of guests served does not exceed 18,
– And the consumer is informed by statements contained in published advertisements, mailed brochures and placards posted at the registration area that the food is prepared in a kitchen that is not regulated and inspected by the Division of Environmental Health; or
- A private home that receives catered or home-delivered food.
For more information on the 2017 FDA Food Code, the process of applying for a DOH health permit or how to obtain a Health Card, visit https://doh.vi.gov/programs/environmental-health.