Food Protection Program

The mission of the Barry-Eaton Food Protection Program is to promote and maintain food-safe measures and sanitary conditions at all licensed establishments and events, which will lower the risk potential and occurrence for a foodborne illness.


The purpose and function of the Barry-Eaton Food Protection Program is three-fold:

1.  To protect public health through conducting risked-based audits of food service establishments, including temporary events involving public food service.

2.  To promote managerial control over the five identified risks factors for foodborne illness as identified in the FDA Food Code:

  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Food from unsafe sources
  • Inadequate cooking
  • Improper holding temperatures
  • Contaminated equipment

3.  To provide food safety training and certified education to food service personnel, as a prevention measure against foodborne illness/outbreaks.  


The services provided through the Barry-Eaton Food Protection Program include:

If you are looking to build or open a food service establishment, it is first required under the Michigan Food Law of 2000 that a food service plan review by conducted prior to construction. 


The plan review process involves a review of the following areas of design, function, and operation:

  • Facility layout
  • Food equipment and specifications
  • Menu (risk control factors)
  • Food Safety operations & procedures
  • Person-in-charge knowledge and training of employees


To get started with the plan review process, please go to our Applications and Forms webpage, to access the food service plan review packet.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) licenses all food service establishments. Food service establishments which are licensed by the MDARD and audited by the Local Health Department include:

  • Fixed or Seasonal Fixed establishments (restaurants, schools, hospitals, caterers, movie theaters, golf courses and park concessions serving prepared food, etc.)
  • Special Transitory Food Units (STFU)
  • Mobile Food Vendors
  • Temporary Food establishments (operating in a single location for ≤ 14 consecutive days)


For addition information and guidance on licensure, please visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development website. For a temporary food license application and food safety guidelines, please go to our Applications and Forms webpage.

The Barry-Eaton District Health Department (BEDHD) conducts risk-based audits at all licensed food service establishments. The frequency of audits is dependent upon the type of food service operation and whether or not increased oversight is needed to assure compliance with the Michigan Food Law.


A typical Food Safety Audit includes:

1.  A pre-inspection interview (with the person-in-charge)

  • Review of the menu for food safety risk factors, as well as any new food items
  • Review of the food safety operating procedures (SOP’s) and employee health policy
  • Assessment of the person-in-charge’s food safety knowledge 

2.  A physical inspection

  • Review of the physical facilities and premises
  • Observation of employee practices and hygiene

3.  Assessment of the different food processes (receiving, preparation & handling, cooking, cooling, reheating, hot/cold storage, etc.)

  • Report generation and post consultation
  • Generation of an audit report
  • Consultation with the person-in-charge (a verbal summary of the audit, specifying where active managerial control is and/or is not being met.)

To review an audit report for a “specific” food service establishment, click here.

The BEDHD is the responsible agency for investigating all illness and non-illness complaints within its jurisdiction. All illness related complaints are investigated within 24 hours of receipt of a complaint.  If an illness complaint is determined to be part of an outbreak of illnesses, then the Department’s Public Health Emergency Response Team (PHERT) shall be activated to assess the outbreak situation and to put into place whatever public health interventions necessary to eliminate any further illnesses.


If you want to report a food service complaint, then please do so with the Environmental Health Division of the Health Department.


Barry County Complaints: (269) 945-9516, ext. 35

Eaton County Complaints: (517) 541-2615

The BEDHD conducts both food safety classes and food safety talks. Classes are designed for management level food service personnel who are looking to become certified in food safety. Classes are generally taught over two ½ days with an exam given at the end of the second ½ day. Food safety talks on the other hand are designed for small group settings and organizations wanting to learn more about food safety in an informal teaching environment; talks are generally kept to 1 hour or less.   To schedule a food safety talk or to register for an upcoming class, please contact our Environmental Health Division.   In addition to classes and group talks, the BEDHD is also a good public health resource for educational materials, as well as get an answer to your food safety questions.     


For web-based food safety materials, please visit the following websites:


Food and Drug Administration   


Food Safety and Inspection Service  


Government Food Safety Information  


Partnership for Food Safety Education