Frequently Asked Questions

What is a food service establishment?

"Food Service Establishment"


means any place where food is prepared and intended for individual portion service and includes the site at which individual portions are provided. The term includes any such place regardless of whether consumption is on or off the premises and regardless of whether there is a charge for the food. The term does not include a kitchen in a private home where food is prepared or served and not offered for sale, or a bed-and-breakfast operation that prepares and offers food to the guests if such operation is owner occupied and has the total building occupant load of not more than 16 persons including the owner and occupants, and has no provisions for cooking or warming food in the guest rooms, and breakfast is the only meal offered, and placards are posted at the registration area which read "this establishment is exempt from section 19-13-B42 of the regulations of the public health code." (CPHC Section 19-13-B42 (a) (7))


"Temporary Food Service Establishment"


means a food service establishment that operates at a fixed location for a temporary period of time, not to exceed two (2) weeks, in connection with a carnival, circus, public exhibition, festival, celebration, or similar transitory gathering. (CPHC Section 19-13-B42 (a) (14))

Do I Need A Food Permit

Permits are required when food or beverages are served to the public.


No permit is required for a private function. Section 19-13-B42(s) (1) of the Public Health Code states:


  • "No person, firm or corporation shall operate or maintain any place where food or beverages are served to the public within any town, city or borough, without a local permit or license, or otherwise without registration of the name and business address with the local director of health of the town, city or borough in which the business is conducted, if such permit or license is required by local ordinance. Permits for temporary food service establishments shall be issued for a period of time not to exceed fourteen (14) days."


Section 7-3 of the Windsor Code of Ordinances requires a food permit to operate a food service establishment.


For the purposes of this policy, "Public" does not refer to private parties or gatherings where the participants provide and/or share their own food and beverages without charge, and which are not promoted or advertised to the public.




If the food or beverages at a private function, whether prepared on site or elsewhere, are provided by a third party, then that person must be licensed and comply with the requirements of CPHC Section 19-13-B42 for food service establishments, or B48 or B49 relating to itinerant vendors or caterers.

Are Any Other Approvals Required?


Temporary food service establishments may require the approval of the town Risk Manager (Marty Maynard, 860 285-1851, if they are held on town property.


The Fire Marshal (Bob Bolasevich, 860 285-1972, must approve any tents or canopies covering food preparation or service areas containing or having adjacent cooking appliances, portable generators or other source of heat or flame.


The Building Official (Wayne McKinney, 860 285-1962, must approve any temporary wiring, plumbing, or tents or canopies designed to accommodate 100 or more people.


Regular food service establishments must comply with applicable fire safety and building codes; and, may require zoning approval as a special use. For information about Special Uses, contact the Town Planner (Eric Barz, 860 285-1981, ).

Do I Have To Have A Qualified Food Operator (QFO)?

Food service establishments, including temporary food service establishments, are regulated under Section 19-13-B42 of the Public Health Code and Chapter 7 of the Windsor Code.


The Public Health Code requires that the operator of a class 3 or 4 establishment employ at least one Qualified Food Operator, and establishes the qualifications and duties of this individual. The Qualified Food Operator (QFO) must be employed in a supervisory capacity; and, must be at the establishment for at least 30 hours a week or whenever it is in operation if less than 30 hours per week. (CPHC Sections 19-13-B42 (a) (8) & (11) and (s) (4))


The owner or manager of the food service establishment shall designate an alternate person who has complied with section 19-13-B42(s) (6) to be in charge at all times when the qualified food operator cannot be present. (CPHC Section 19-13-B42(s) (8) (B))

What Are The Required Qualifications Of The QFO?

The QFO must have documentation that they have passed a test administered by a testing organization approved by the CT Department of Public Health; or, other documentation satisfactory to the department attesting to the individual's knowledge of safe food handling techniques.


That other documentation must be a statement signed by the owner/operator of the establishment attesting that the individual has successfully exhibited all the required areas of knowledge and competency. The local director of health may require additional documentation (such as a culinary institute transcript documenting training in the required areas) to support the signed statement. (CPHC Section 19-13-B42(s) (4) & (6))

Are There Any Exemptions From The QFO Requirement?

Section 19a-36 of the CT General Statutes grants certain, limited exemptions from the requirement for a QFO: "Sec. 19a-36. (Formerly Sec. 19-13). Public Health Code. Fees. Fencing of naturally formed swimming pools. Use of private wells or installation of replacement wells. (a) The Commissioner of Public Health shall establish a Public Health Code and, from time to time, amend the same. The Public Health Code may provide for the preservation and improvement of the public health. (1) Said code may include regulations pertaining to retail food establishments, including, but not limited to, food service establishments, catering food service establishments and itinerant food vending establishments.


(4) The provisions of such regulations (A) with respect to the requirement of employing a qualified food operator and any reporting requirements relative to such operator, shall not apply to an owner or operator of a soup kitchen who relies exclusively on services provided by volunteers, and (B) shall not prohibit the sale of food at a noncommercial function such as an educational, religious, political or charitable organization's bake sale or pot luck supper provided the seller maintains such food under the temperature, pH level and water activity level conditions that will inhibit the rapid and progressive growth of infectious or toxigenic microorganisms. For the purposes of this section, a "noncommercial function" means a function where food is sold by a person not regularly engaged in the business of selling such food."


Also exempt are Temporary food service establishments and special events sponsored by non-profit civic organizations such as, but not limited to, school sporting events, little league food booths, church suppers, and fairs.


(CPHC Section19-13-B42(s) (4)).

What Are Class 3 or 4 Establishments?

Class 3

is a food service establishment having on the premises exposed potentially hazardous foods that are prepared by hot processes and consumed by the public within four (4) hours of preparation.


Class 4

is a food service establishment having on the premises exposed potentially hazardous foods that are prepared by hot processes and held for more than four (4) hours prior to consumption by the public. (CPHC Section19-13-B42(s) (3) (C) & (D))

Is Any Training Required For Volunteer Food Handlers?

"The following are exempt from the examination requirement for qualified food operators but shall receive training from any qualified food operator:


(i) volunteers who serve meals for a nonprofit organization; and

(ii) persons who serve meals at registered congregate meal sites funded under Title III of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, which were prepared under the supervision of a qualified food operator. All such personnel shall receive training that shall include but not necessarily be limited to: instruction in proper food temperature control; food protection; personal health and cleanliness; and sanitation of the facility, equipment, supplies and utensils. The qualified food operator of each food service establishment shall maintain written documentation of a training program, and training records of individual employees, and shall make these records available to the local health department upon request. The owner, operator, manager or qualified food operator of a food service establishment at a nonprofit organization or registered congregate meal site for senior citizens shall maintain such documentation and make such records available to the local health department upon request." (CPHC Section 19-13-B42(s) (8) (A))

Where Can I Receive Training / Take The Qualifying Test To Become A QFO?

The following link will take you to the CT DPH's page listing all registered QFO training/testing opportunities:

I Want To Construct A Pool/Addition/Shed Or Garage On My Property That Is Served By An On-Site Sewage Disposal System; What Must I Do?

Section 19-13-B100a of the Public Health Code requires that a CODE COMPLIANT AREA remain available on the same lot as the structure served; and, that conforms to the requirements concerning leaching area, system spread, and separating distances of the regulations and Technical Standards in effect at the time of application. The calculation of the system area required may be derived from existing soil test data for the original system, if available. If this is not available, the applicant must arrange for soil tests to be conducted.

What Is A Code Compliant Area?

This is an area of suitable soil, which may include the existing leachfield but excluding any requirement for a 100% reserve area, meeting the separating distance, minimum leaching system spread and minimum required leaching area rquirements necessary to adequately disperse the proposed sewage flow into the surrounding, naturally ocurring soil. These requirements must conform to the regulations and Technical Standards in effect at the time of application.