Talbot County Department of Health
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Food Safety

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The food protection program is responsible for enforcing safety regulations related to food sold in Talbot County. We are responsible for the regulation, licensing, and inspection of all facilities that prepare or provide food to the public, including both permanent and mobile establishments, temporary events.

Talbot County Health Department
Office of Environmental Health

215 Bay Street, Suite 4
Easton, MD 21601

Phone: (410) 770-6880
Fax: (410) 770-6888

Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

After hours, on-call service is provided for emergency situations including, but not limited to the following: pet or human exposure to wildlife, bite or scratch from pets to humans, reports of illegal open burning, and complaints of unlawful discharge of sewage to the ground surface or waters of the State. Staff may be reached after hours by calling the Talbot County Operations Center at (410) 822-0095. The Dispatcher will then contact the staff member on call.

Make a Food or Restaurant Complaint

If you would like to make a complaint about a licensed food facility, please send an email to the Environmental Health Office. Please provide the name and location of the facility and as much detail as possible, along with your name and phone number.

Food Service Facility Licensing

The food protection program is responsible for the licensing and inspection of all retail food service establishments in Talbot County. Additionally, all food facility plan reviews associated with new facility construction or existing facility remodeling must be submitted to this office for review and approval prior to commencement of construction.

Any individual or entity proposing a temporary food event in the County must submit an application to this office for a Temporary Food Service Facility Permit. (Note: There is no fee associated with the submission of this application.) Any application for a temporary food service facility event must be submitted 2 weeks prior to the event.​

Licensing

Please be advised, the following applications/forms must be submitted to this office in association with applying for a permit to operate a retail food service establishment:

Plan Review

A plan review is required prior to construction of any food service facilities, as well as prior to any material alterations or remodeling of existing food service facilities.

A Plan Review Application will not be reviewed until all information, as well as the required fee, have been submitted. The Plan Review Application provides a detailed list of information which must be provided to this office at the time of the submittal of the plan review application. Please allow for a minimum of 30 days from the receipt of a completed application for processing.

Once plans have been reviewed and approved, the applicant is advised in writing of the findings and is informed that a final inspection of the construction must be completed by this office prior to operation.

Additional Food Activities

Farmer’s Market Food Vendors

All vendors proposing to sell food or beverages must submit an evaluation form. If offering samples, they must also submit an application for a Seasonal Farmer’s Market Sampling License and the required $50.00 application fee.

Cottage Foods

While no specific licenses or permits are required, cottage food producers must follow all components of the Cottage Food Law when producing and marketing their products. Per the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 10.15.03, Cottage Foods include foods that are non-potentially hazardous and prepared and packaged in a residential kitchen.

Overview of Maryland Cottage Food Law

Processing

The following foods may not be manufactured at a retail food service facility and must receive prior approval and/or be licensed by Maryland Department of Health Office of Food Protection:

  • Low-acid canned foods
  • Acidified foods
  • Hermetically sealed and ready-to-eat potentially hazardous foods such as smoked fish or pasteurized crabmeat

Licensing Requirements for Food Processing

Special Processes at Retail

If you propose to use specialized food processing operations at a retail facility, contact our office prior to implementing the process. Special Food Processes are: Reduced-Oxygen Packaging, sprouting, custom processing of meats, packaging juices, and molluscan shellfish life support tanks.

Food Service Facility Appeal Process

The Administrative Procedure Act (Title 10, Subtitle 2 of the State Government Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland) sets forth the procedures for appealing certain decisions issued by the Maryland Department of Health or a local health department (Approving Authority) regarding the grant, denial, renewal, revocation, suspension, or amendment of a license, certificate, charter, permit or registration that is required by statute.

Appeal Process for Food Service Facility Decisions 

Food Safety Resources

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