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San Francisco Health Network
Environmental Health

Food Safety Program: Inspections

The Food Safety Program enforces health code regulations, which may result in administrative actions and suspension or revocation of the Permit to Operate when violations are identified. To enforce the health code regulations, Environmental Health Inspectors inspect over 7,000 locations in San Francisco including restaurants, bars, markets, bakeries, pushcarts, stadium food facilities and any other facility that serves food to the public.

The frequency and the scores  for all the food establishments depend on its type as set by the health codes. Food establishments are divided into 3 categories:

Category 1 - Score is Required
  • Inspection score of  81% or above - Requires two (2) routine inspections per year
  • Inspection score of 80% or below - Requires three (3) routine inspections per year

Category 2 - Score is Required

One (1) routine inspection required per year

Category 3 - Does Not Require a Score

One (1) routine inspection required per year

Overview of Inspection Requirements

  • All walls, floors and ceilings must be clean and in tact without large cracks or holes.
  • All foods must be stored 6" off the floor to facilitate cleaning and sweeping of floors and to prevent vermin harborage.
  • No vermin (rodents, insects or other pests) infestation upon the premises.
  • All food storage must be arranged to prevent cross contamination. Foods are to be stored to prevent possible contamination from hazardous materials (i.e. bleaches, cleaning liquids, etc.)
  • All equipment used in daily operations is to be in good running order. All storage areas and shelving must be clean.
  • There shall be sufficient regular refuse collection to prevent garbage problems (overfilled receptacles causing garbage accumulation problems).
  • All food service workers shall exhibit good personal hygiene and work habits (i.e. good health for the worker, cleanliness of outer garments, proper food handling, etc.)
  • All establishments serving food shall have an employed Certified Food Handler to comply with AB1978 (Campbell Bill)
  • All food facilities are to comply with the Labor Code Sec. 6404.5 which prohibits smoking in enclosed workplaces.