Critical Violation Categories

A critical violation is one likely to contribute directly to food-borne illness. Inspectors put violations in the following categories:

  • Food obtained from unapproved source; food not wholesome, free from spoilage or washed before use.
  • Employees not free from infections or illness, not practicing good hand-washing or personal hygiene, or not trained in food safety.
  • Food not held at proper hot or cold holding temperatures or not cooked to proper internal temperature. Inadequate equipment for maintaining proper food temperatures.
  • Food preparation equipment or utensils improperly sanitized.
  • Safe water source unavailable. Plumbing or sewage systems not working properly.
  • Adequate hand-washing facilities, soap and towels not available or accessible.
  • Not using proper pest-control practices, or premises not free from pests, insects and animals.
  • Toxic or poisonous items improperly stored, labeled or used.