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Health Department

Food Protection Services

The Metro Public Health Department's Food Division provides protection from the threat of foodborne illnesses by conducting inspections among Davidson County's food service establishments (restaurants, snack bars, and school cafeterias). Currently there are twenty Food Protection staff. These same staff also inspects pools, hotels, tattoo studios, school facilities, day care facilities and camps.

The program conducts unannounced food inspections in each of the 4,400 food establishments in the county. The frequency is based on the risk of the operation. Low risk operations (i.e. bars) receive at least one inspection per year, while most of the others received two per year. High risk establishments will receive 3-4 inspections per year. The program uses a version of the 2009 FDA Food code, with emphasis on the five risk factors that could cause a foodborne illness. These risk factors are foods produced from an unapproved source, improper hot/cold holding and cooling of Time/Temperature Control for Safety (TCS) foods (formerly referred as potentially hazardous foods), improper cooking of TCS foods, cross-contamination and improper cleaning/sanitizing of utensils and equipment, and poor employee health hygiene.

Inspection scores are based on a 0-100 point scale where non-priority violations constitute 1-2 points and priority violations are 4-5 points. Priority violations must be corrected immediately or within 10 days of the inspection. Administrative actions are required if establishments fail to correct critical violations within the prescribed time or have repeat critical violations identified on three consecutive routine inspections.

To contact us by phone, please call 615-340-5620.

Please note that beginning July 1, 2015 the State of Tennessee began enforcing new regulations with the recent adoption of the 2009 FDA Food Code.

You can view and download informative food safety posters. Posters available are:

Food Law Changes

Mobile Food Unit Regulations

Other food safety links

Get to Know Metro features the Health Department’s Food Safety Division