Food Safety

Quick Links:


To become licensed with Mahoning County Public Health, please follow the directions in the information links below. If you should have any questions please call the office at 330-270-2855 option 2.

Food Service Operation (FSO) & Retail Food Establishment (RFE) 

Mobile & Temporary Licenses

For mobiles and temporaries please make sure to look at the requirements and also fill out the drawing page as well

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Education & Training:

Mahoning County Public Health now offers ServSafe Classes.

Check back here for more information on when our next class will be held!



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Foodborne Outbreaks & Food Poisoning:

If you believe that more than one person has become ill with gastrointestinal symptoms (such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps) from a common food exposure, please call our office at 330-270-2855 option 2.

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Food Safety for the Public:

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To file a food complaint please call our office at 330-270-2855 option 2.

Restaurant Inspections

Mahoning County businesses (except in the city of Youngstown) selling, preparing and/or serving food must meet the requirements of the Ohio Uniform Food Safety Code and be licensed by Mahoning County Public Health.  Once licensed, businesses must be inspected to assure they comply with food rules of the public. Restaurants, grocery stores, school cafeterias, daycare centers, nursing homes and hospitals all require appropriate licensing and inspection.

Ohio categorizes retail food businesses according to risk levels, with the risk being the complexity of food preparation and other factors with potential to cause foodborne illness. The licensing year is from March 1 to the last day of February the following year.

License fees and inspection frequency are based on the four risk classes below:

Risk Level

Inspections per year




1 Routine Prepackaged food Snacks or candy at retail stores


1 Routine Limited food handling Ice cream stores, some bakeries


2 Routine Cutting, slicing, heating, holding and/or cooling foods Fast food restaurants, some schools, pizza shops


2 Routine+2 CCP/PR Complex food handling processes, reheating in bulk, or serves high risk population Full service restaurants, nursing homes, hospitals, catering companies

Food Service Operation: A location where food is served, ready to eat, in individual portions.

Retail Food Establishment: A location where food is stored, processed, or prepared for retail sale.

Types of Inspections

Routine or Standard: This comprehensive inspection is conducted to evaluate if the business is following the requirements of Ohio food rules

Follow-up: This inspection is conducted to recheck on critical violations that were noted in a previous routine inspection.

Critical Control Point (CCP): An in-depth inspection for risk level IV Food Service Operations (FSO) that closely follows the flow of food and looks for potential problems in the process that may lead to foodborne illness.

Process Review (PR): Conducted at a Retail Food Operation (RFE), this is similar to the Critical Control Point inspection above.

Complaint Investigation: This inspection may selectively examine the conditions associated with the nature of the complaint.

Foodborne Illness: In the event a foodborne illness was suspected to originate at a food facility, the inspection would focus on the conditions which may have contributed to the illness.

Elements of an inspection may include:Assuring approved food source(s)

Prevention of cross contamination of food of equipment

Use of proper cooking and cooling processes

Safe hot and cold holding temperatures

Employee education, health and hygiene

Proper storage of food, paper products, and chemicals


Critical Violation: These practices may cause food to become contaminated or cause someone to become ill.

Non-critical Violation: These violations are less likely to cause illness and may be a cleaning or maintenance issue, and many times are easily corrected.

These inspections are now available to view online by clicking the link below.  Please note that only inspections conducted on or after November 1, 2018 are available for online viewing.

Search Restaurant Inspections Here

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Food Safety Information for Restaurants:

What To Do With Food During and After a Power Outage:

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