Health Department Regulations

If you own or run a convenience store, coffee shop, food cart, delicatessen, bakery, produce store, seafood shop, butcher shop, restaurant, or grocery store, starting in January 2022 your operations are going to be regulated by the brand new Delaware County Health Department.

What’s the Problem? This is a change over from longstanding local township or municipal regulation to new Delaware County regulation and control.  The result to restaurants and other food establishments will be: 1) higher fees; 2) different licensing requirements; 3) dealing with enforcement officers with whom you’ve never worked; 4) longer approval times; and 5) the potential for simultaneous township and county enforcement resulting in confusion and delay.

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Thinking about starting a new restaurant in Delaware County?  You may need to put together a Food Business Plan to have it reviewed by the new Delaware County Health Department.  Do you have a Site Plan?  A Facility Plan?  Do you know the surface finish for all your kitchen surfaces?  Do you have vermin control plans?  Do you have comprehensive electrical system and light fixture information?  How about information about your plumbing system and toilet room information?  Do you know the make and model for all your equipment and how it will be installed?  Can you describe the design and installation of your ventilation system?  Do you know the type, size, and location for your trash and recycling receptacles?  What’s your menu and food description look like?  Do you have your food safety certification identifying your “Person(s) in charge/food safety certified individuals?”

Thinking about recertifying your existing business with Delaware County?  Do you have your food preparation and serving license fees ready ($266 to $570 annually)?  Take a look at the Delaware County Health Department Fee Schedule Table of Contents (Formal design) ( Will your business pass muster with the County?  Will you pass a food safety inspection?  

Have you put together Emergency Action Plans to be implemented by your restaurant in the event of: 1) extended electrical interruption; 2) extended water service interruption; 3) biological contamination of your water service; 4) sewage backup; 5) fire; and 6) flooding?  See Chester County’s recommendations: http://www (

Will you restaurant be ready for your annual inspection and if you are not in overall compliance, will you be ready for your second follow-up inspection ($237 fee) and if you are not then in overall compliance, will you be ready for your third and subsequent follow-up inspection ($332 fee).  If you’re still not in overall compliance, can you survive a lengthy shutdown of your restaurant?

Are you familiar with your “Environmental Health Specialist” (Health Inspector) assigned to your restaurant?  Take a look at Delaware County’s job posting for health inspectors: Environmental Health Specialist – Delaware County, Pennsylvania (  Do you have a good working relationship with a health inspector?  Will you be treated fairly and with respect?

Have you or your employees taken a food safety certification course?  (Check out Philadelphia’s list of approved providers FSC-Provider-List-11.16.2021.pdf (  Do you know who your “Persons in Charge” are?  Are you ready to post a certificate in your restaurant identifying your “Person in Charge?”

Do you know that your customers may have internet access to your restaurant’s food safety inspection report? Check out Food Safety (  Are you ready to post a mandatory sign notifying your customers that your restaurant’s Food Inspection Report is available online for your customers and your potential customers to review?  Are you ready for your customers to see your past violations from your past inspection reports?  Are you ready for your customers and potential customers to see how many times the Health Department found your restaurant “in violation?”

Are you ready to post a variety of signs in your working areas describing appropriate food temperatures, wearing food service gloves, hand washing, dishwashing, and proper thawing procedures?  Check out Chester County’s required posters: Food Safety Posters | Chester County, PA – Official Website (

You want the best information to be reported about your restaurant, don’t you?  You want to be treated with respect by the County Health Department.  Having a lawyer on your side can help deliver the results you and your restaurant need.

You should have an attorney to represent you and protect your restaurant, bar, grocery store, or convenience store and to make sure your business isn’t shut down improperly.  You should have an attorney to represent you to ensure that your business passes inspection sooner, rather than later, to keep you in compliance and avoid costly directives.

The Health Department and the County have attorneys that work to enforce their Rules and Regulations and the PDA Food Code.  Why not have your own attorney protecting you?

Please contact Neil H. Meyer, Esq., for a comprehensive review of your anticipated legal needs.