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Food Establishments & Restaurants

Food Establishment Inspections

Northwest Bergen Regional Health Commission is contracted by local boards of health to conduct a retail food establishment program based on state and local laws, regulations and ordinances. A Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) inspects food establishments to determine if there is a violation of Chapter 24 of the State Sanitary Code. (Code was updated 1-2-2007).


These inspections are done annually at all food establishments and more often depending on the risk level of food establishment or if deemed necessary.


  • Risk level 1 – Serves or sells prepackaged, non-potentially hazardous foods and heats only commercially processed foods for hot handling.  Ex. Convenience stores, hot dog carts, and coffee shops.

  • Risk level 2 – Food establishments with a limited menu, prepares, cooks and serves most products immediately, limited complex preparation of potentially hazardous foods.  Ex. Retail food stores, schools, and quick service operations.

  • Risk Level 3 – Food establishments with an extensive menu that requires handling of raw ingredients and is involved in the complex preparation of menu items that include cooking, cooling, and reheating of at least three or more potentially hazardous foods. Ex. Full-service restaurants, diners, commissaries and catering operations; Or an establishment that prepares and serves potentially hazardous foods to a highly susceptible population Ex. Hospitals, nursing homes, and preschools.

  • Risk Level 4 – a retail food establishment that conducts specialized processes such as smoking, curing, canning, bottling or acidification designed to control pathogen proliferation.


Depending on violations, the establishment is given a grade of:

  • Satisfactory - no significant violations

  • Conditional - some violations need to be addressed

    • A  re-inspection will be required

  • Unsatisfactory - several serious violations 

    • The establishment is closed until violations are addressed


Food Safety and Promotion


Our responsibilities include all aspects of food safety; including foodborne illness and complaint investigations, food recalls and ongoing education regarding good hygiene and food handling practices as part of food safety promotion.  For additional information regarding our food handler (English and Spanish) and Food Manager Classes (English) please see our food handler link for details on upcoming classes.  Below is a list of helpful information and worksheets to facility good retail food practices.


20 West Prospect Street,

Waldwick, NJ 07463

Tel: 201-445-7217

Emergency After Hours: 201-885-3572


Fax: 201-445-4001

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