Retail food establishments are defined as serving food directly to the consumer. These can be grocery stores, convenient stores, food pantries, fast food restaurants, fine dining establishments, schools, mobile concession stands, caterers and shelters, to name a few.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services does not perform the inspections of retail food establishments. Local health departments carry out that function. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services provides oversight, guidance, training and, when needed, enforcement support to the local health departments.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services follows the Missouri 1999 Food Code to regulate food establishment sanitation in Missouri. Many counties also have adopted the Missouri 1999 Food Code. However, a local jurisdiction may adopt a more restrictive set of rules by enacting a local ordinance. A local jurisdiction may require plan reviews, pre-opening inspections, food handlers training, permitting and fees to open a food establishment. It is a good idea to contact the local health department in the county or city in which you would like to do business before opening a retail food establishment.