Violation Types

After October 1, 2012

Violations are categorized as Priority (P), Priority Foundation (Pf) or Core.

  • Priority violations are those items that most directly eliminate or reduce a hazard associated with foodborne illness. Priority violations include violations that were previously called Critical Violations. Examples include improper food temperatures and lack of hand washing.
  • Priority Foundation violations are those items that help keep Priority violations in compliance and support (i.e. provide the foundation for) Priority items. Examples include not having a metal stem thermometer, not having sanitizer test strips and not having soap or paper towel at a hand sink. The Priority Foundation category is made up of violations that were previously called Critical and Non-Critical Violations.
  • Core violations are those items that are related to general sanitation and facility maintenance. Most Core violations were previously called Non-Critical violations. Examples include dirty floors and improper facility lighting.

When the Violation Needs to Be Corrected

Priority and Priority Foundation violations must be corrected immediately at the time of inspection or within 10 days, similar to how Critical violations were previously treated. If the violation cannot be permanently corrected at the time of inspection, our department will perform a follow up inspection. These are also violations that, if repeated, can lead to enforcement actions. Core violations must be corrected within 90 days of the inspection.

Before October 1, 2012

There were two main categories of violations: critical violations and non-critical violations.

Critical Violations

Examples of critical violations include:

  • Absence of a knowledgeable person-in-charge during hours of operation
  • Failure to restrict ill employees from handling food
  • Failure of food employees to wash their hands when required
  • Food employees touching foods that are ready-to-eat with their bare hands
  • Failure to cook raw meats to a safe temperature
  • Failure to cool foods cooked ahead of time rapidly
  • Failure to reheat foods made ahead of time rapidly
  • Failure to store refrigerated foods at or below 41oF and hot foods at or above 135F
  • Cross contamination between raw (uncooked) and ready-to-eat foods
  • Failure to clean and sanitize equipment and utensils that come into direct contact with food
  • Presence of pests in the establishment
  • Failure to use, store, or label cleaners, poisons, and other toxic chemicals properly

Non-Critical Violations

Examples of non-critical violations include:

  • Failure to keep the floors, walls, and ceilings of the establishment clean
  • Failure of food employees to wear hair restraints
  • Facility or equipment in disrepair

Contamination of Food

Critical violations are more likely than non-critical violations to lead to contamination of food or to result in illness if not corrected. Each violation listed in an inspection report clearly states whether or not the violation is critical.

How Violations are Listed

In the inspection report, critical violations are listed as "Violation (Critical)", followed by the name of the violation, while non-critical violations are listed by name of the violation only.

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