Frequently Asked Questions

Temporary food service establishments may require the approval of the town Risk Manager (Marty Maynard, 860 285-1851, if they are held on town property. The Fire Marshal (Bob Bolasevich, 860 285-1972, must approve any tents or canopies covering food preparation or service areas containing or having adjacent cooking appliances, portable generators or other source of heat or flame. The Building Official (Bob Ruzzo, 860 285-1962, must approve any temporary wiring, plumbing, or tents or canopies designed to accommodate 100 or more people.

Regular food service establishments must comply with applicable fire safety and building codes; and, may require zoning approval as a special use. For information about Special Uses, contact the Town Planner (Eric Barz, 860 285-1981, ).

The FDA Food Code states that cold temperature controlled for safety (TCS) foods (formally known as potentially hazardous foods) shall be held at 41° Fahrenheit or below, and hot TCS foods shall be held at 135° Fahrenheit or above. All food establishment were notified of these changes well in advance, and were expected to have made the appropriate adjustments to their in establishment equipment within time for the adoption date.

Permits are required when food or beverages are served to the public.

No permit is required for a private function. Section 19-13-B42(s) (1) of the Public Health Code states:

  • “No person, firm or corporation shall operate or maintain any place where food or beverages are served to the public within any town, city or borough, without a local permit or license, or otherwise without registration of the name and business address with the local director of health of the town, city or borough in which the business is conducted, if such permit or license is required by local ordinance. Permits for temporary food service establishments shall be issued for a period of time not to exceed fourteen (14) days.”

Section 7-3 of the Windsor Code of Ordinances requires a food permit to operate a food service establishment.

For the purposes of this policy, “Public” does not refer to private parties or gatherings where the participants provide and/or share their own food and beverages without charge, and which are not promoted or advertised to the public.

If the food or beverages at a private function, whether prepared on site or elsewhere, are provided by a third party, then that person must be licensed and comply with the requirements of CPHC Section 19-13-B42 for food service establishments, or B48 or B49 relating to itinerant vendors or caterers.

On June 8th, an equipment malfunction at a private hangar at Bradley International Airport resulted in a discharge of firefighting foam into a drain connected to the municipal sewer system, ultimately leading to the MDC wastewater treatment plant in Windsor and discharging into the Farmington River. This foam contains per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as “PFAS.” PFAS may increase your risk of developing a variety of health effects. These include effects on growth and development (fetus, infant and children), on the immune and endocrine systems, and the thyroid, liver, and kidneys (everyone). Some studies have also shown a cancer risk at very high exposure levels (kidney, testicular). In the weeks since, the responsible company, Signature Flight, has hired an environmental engineering firm to help with the clean-up process and is cooperating and working closely with the Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) and the state Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) to gain a larger understanding of the situation, to remove as much foam from the river as possible, and to begin greater efforts to understand what the long-term impacts may be to the ecosystem.

Section 19-13-B100a of the Public Health Code requires that a CODE COMPLIANT AREA remain available on the same lot as the structure served; and, that conforms to the requirements concerning leaching area, system spread, and separating distances of the regulations and Technical Standards in effect at the time of application. The calculation of the system area required may be derived from existing soil test data for the original system, if available. If this is not available, the applicant must arrange for soil tests to be conducted.

The frequency of inspections is based on the risk category assigned to the establishment, which is based on menu and food preparation process.  Class one establishments are normally inspected once a year; class two establishment are normally inspected twice a year; class three establishment are normally inspected three times a year; and class four establishments are normally inspected four times a year.  Keep in mind, the new class definitions will change the classification of some establishments.

Under the FDA Food Code, onsite corrections to violations will be expected to be made at the time of this initial inspection.  The Director of Health will establish criteria for the situations where an establishment re-inspection shall be performed.  Re-inspection fees will not change at this point, and have been adopted in the FY 2019 price guide

Sampling of water and fish species is expected to take place during the week of July 1st, with additional environmental sampling expected to continue over the summer into the fall.  State agencies and others are moving as quickly as they can, but it will take time to ensure that a scientifically acceptable set of protocols are developed and implemented as testing continues.  More information will be announced by state agencies once this testing has been completed.

Recreational activities, including boating, tubing, and swimming are allowed on the river. State agencies have advised that fish caught from the Farmington River in the vicinity of the MDC wastewater treatment plant outfall near Phelps Brook, downstream to where it enters the Connecticut River, should not be eaten. This advisory will remain in place until officials have an opportunity to evaluate laboratory data on the fish tissue samples.

Over the past few weeks, there has been an effort to remove all of the foam visibly floating on the surface of the river. Water samples were taken from several points on the river on June 9th, 11th and June 21st in an attempt to see how the chemicals are diffusing. Results from the first two sets of samples show a significant reduction in presence of PFAS chemicals.  Results from the June 21st samples are not yet available.  The engineering firm retained by Signature Flight is now working alongside DEEP to develop a longer term monitoring and testing plan. As of June 28th, information is not yet available for the DEEP to conclude whether or not remediation will be necessary on any part of the river.

The Connecticut Airport Authority has also taken a variety of steps in the past weeks ranging from evaluating all of their facilities that have foam fire suppression systems to putting in place temporary prevention measures to limit any future discharges of foam agents containing PFAS chemicals into drainage systems.

This is an area of suitable soil, which may include the existing leachfield but excluding any requirement for a 100% reserve area, meeting the separating distance, minimum leaching system spread and minimum required leaching area requirements necessary to adequately disperse the proposed sewage flow into the surrounding, naturally occurring soil. These requirements must conform to the regulations and Technical Standards in effect at the time of application.

“Food Service Establishment”

means any place where food is prepared and intended for individual portion service and includes the site at which individual portions are provided. The term includes any such place regardless of whether consumption is on or off the premises and regardless of whether there is a charge for the food. The term does not include a kitchen in a private home where food is prepared or served and not offered for sale, or a bed-and-breakfast operation that prepares and offers food to the guests if such operation is owner occupied and has the total building occupant load of not more than 16 persons including the owner and occupants, and has no provisions for cooking or warming food in the guest rooms, and breakfast is the only meal offered, and placards are posted at the registration area which read “this establishment is exempt from section 19-13-B42 of the regulations of the public health code.” (CPHC Section 19-13-B42 (a) (7))

“Temporary Food Service Establishment”

means a food service establishment that operates at a fixed location for a temporary period of time, not to exceed two (2) weeks, in connection with a carnival, circus, public exhibition, festival, celebration, or similar transitory gathering. (CPHC Section 19-13-B42 (a) (14))

Public Act 18-168 modified CGS 19a-36h(a), stated:

Not later than January 1, 2019, the commissioner shall adopt and administer by reference the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code, as amended from time to time, and any Food Code Supplement published by said administration as the state’s food code for the purpose of regulating food establishments.”

Under the FDA Food Code Regulations, a certified food protection manager (formerly known as qualified food operator) will be required in all risk category 2, 3, and 4 establishments. This person shall pass a test recognized by the Conference of Food Protection, and their certification shall be verified at the time of the inspection (the certificate must be valid and not expired).  The following 5 testing organizations are approved by the Conference for Food protection:

  1. 360 Training food-manager-certification/Customer Support (877)  881-2235
  2. Above Training/ Customer Support (801) 494-1416
  3. Environmental health Testing (National Registry of Food Safety Professionals) Customer Service (800) 446-0257
  4. Prometric, Inc. Customer Support(877) 725-3708
  5. National Restaurant Association Customer support  (800) 765-2122

Food service establishments are currently classified according to Section 19-13-B42(s)(3) of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies. Public Act 17-93 includes new definitions for classifying retail food establishments that will now include food stores in addition to food service establishments. The new definitions are:

“Class 1 food establishment” means a food establishment that only offers for retail sale (A) prepackaged food that is not time or temperature controlled for safety, (B) commercially processed food that (i) is time or temperature controlled for safety and heated for hot holding, but (ii) is not permitted to be cooled, or (C) food prepared in the establishment that is not time or temperature controlled for safety;

“Class 2 food establishment” means a retail food establishment that does not serve a population that is highly susceptible to food-borne illnesses and offers a limited menu of food that is prepared, cooked and served immediately, or that prepares and cooks food that is time or temperature controlled for safety and may require hot or cold holding, but that does not involve cooling;

“Class 3 food establishment” means a retail food establishment that (A) does not serve a population that is highly susceptible to food-borne illnesses, and (B) has an extensive menu of foods, many of which are time or temperature controlled for safety and require complex preparation, including, but not limited to, handling of raw ingredients, cooking, cooling and reheating for hot holding;

“Class 4 food establishment” means a retail food establishment that serves a population that is highly susceptible to food-borne illnesses, including, but not limited to, preschool students, hospital patients and nursing home patients or residents, or that conducts specialized food processes, including, but not limited to, smoking, curing or reduced oxygen packaging for the purposes of extending the shelf life of the food;

Yes, Once Health Departments begin to fully utilize the FDA Food Code, food establishments with need to submit online request forms directly to the State of Connecticut Food Protection Program with their request; including Sous Vide, acidified rice, and/or vacuum packaging.

Yes, there will be a new uniform inspection form that will be used, and explained to all establishment operators once the FDA Food Code is implemented.

Under the FDA Food Code, food establishments and food stores will be required to register on-line as a food establishment with the State Department of Health Food Protection Program, through the state’s e-license program.  Establishments that fail to do so, will not be issued a food permit by a local Health Department. This would include when a new establishment is applying for a license the first time, or when they apply for renewal.