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Food Service Division

Food Safety Program

The Porter County Health Department Food Service Division is responsible for ensuring that a food safety program is in place to safeguard public health and to ensure consumers are provided with safe food. The program is designed to prevent the transmission of disease and hazards from food products through education, inspection, and enforcement

Food Safety Services We Provide:

  • Licensing and inspections of all Retail Food Establishments in Porter County, including restaurants, grocery stores, convenient stores, taverns, bakeries, delis, meat markets, assisted living facilities, school and institution kitchens, mobile units, pushcarts, and temporary food vendors.
  • Temporary Event and Farmers Market inspections.
  • Plan reviews, inspection, and approval of all new or remodeled Retail Food Establishments prior to opening.
  • Investigate reported cases of foodborne illness outbreaks in collaboration with the Nursing Division and the State Field Epidemiologist.
  • Investigate consumer complaints regarding sanitation or unsafe food handling practices in retail food establishments.

Preventing Foodborne Illness

All inspections are completed in order to prevent foodborne illness. Each year, an estimated 48 million Americans get sick by consuming contaminated foods or beverages and 3,000 people die of foodborne diseases. Most of these illnesses are from infections caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can be foodborne. But, some cases of foodborne illness can be caused by harmful toxins or chemicals that have contaminated the food.

Symptoms of foodborne illness can range from mild to severe and include abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, chills, muscle aches, and dehydration. Most people recover without any lasting effects from their illness. For some, however, foodborne illness may cause more serious and life-threatening problems.

If you believe you or someone you know became ill from eating a certain food, please report the illness to the Porter County Health Department, Food Service Division at 219-465-3525. Reporting foodborne illnesses can help us to identify potential outbreaks. Determining where your illness came from can help prevent the illness from spreading.