Food Safety Section

Food Safety for Consumers

Clean. Separate. Cook. Chill. Watch this short video for tips for year-round safe food preparation.


Food Recalls - FDA, USDA and related recalls.

Food Safety Mythbusters

Food Myths logoGet the facts behind common myths about cross-contamination and the growth of harmful pathogens that cause food poisoning:
  • Myth 1: It's OK to wash bagged greens if I want to. There's no harm. Get the facts.
  • Myth 2: Cross-contamination doesn't happen in the refrigerator -- it is too cold in there for germs to survive. Get the facts.
  • Myth 3: It's only important to rinse fresh fruits and vegetables for safety. I don't need to dry them too. Get the facts.
  • Myth 4: I don't need to rinse this melon for safety -- the part I eat is on the inside!My kids only eat pre-packaged fruits and veggies for snacks because those snacks don’t need to be washed before they eat them. Get the facts.

Food Safety in the Home

Someone using a temp gauge to check cooking temp of chicken Be Food Safe.

Food safety risks at home are more common than most people think.

Learn more about CLEAN, SEPARATE, COOK and CHILL.

Safe Food Preparation

Food Safety in Emergencies


Food Establishment Inspections

Complaint or Concerns:

If you have a complaint or concern about food safety in a restaurant in Fairfax County, Fairfax City or the City of Falls Church, please contact the Food Safety Section of the Fairfax County Health Department at 703-246-2444.

To report improper food handling/cleanliness in a restaurant Submit a complaint here.

Your Health Is In Your Hands

Wash your hands logo

Join the Health Department in preventing illness through proper hand washing techniques.

Hand Washing Information

Food Safety for Restaurant Owners/Operators

Employee Health Policy Initiative

Do you have an employee health policy?  Do your employees know what a foodborne illness is?  Do your employees realize that they have a responsibility to the restaurant and to the customers to know how to prevent the spread of a foodborne illness?  What do you do as a manager if an employee is diagnosed with, or has symptoms of, a foodborne illness?  These and other questions are answered in the NEW Employee Health Policy section of the website.


A table setting at a restaurant Permitting Process for Food Establishments
Application for Food Service Establishment Permit - New establishment, change of ownership, renewal applications
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Certified Food Manager (CFM) Guidelines
 - Requirements, training and testing locations

Mobile Food Service:

Food Code

Fairfax County Code: Chapter 43.1
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 2005 Food Code

Food for Thought Newsletter

Read the Food for Thought Newsletter

Training Materials

Temporary Events


Youth Athletic Concession Stands

NEWS: Effective July 1, 2013, a Health Department Permit to Operate will no longer be required to serve food from a youth athletic concession stand. In the past, the Health Department has conducted food safety workshops for volunteers who work at the concession stands. It is no longer required that volunteers attend the food safety workshops.

In the interest of food safety at your concession stand, if your group is interested in having a food safety workshop for volunteers, you may contact the Health Department directly at 703-246-2444 to make arrangements. Remember to Clean, Separate, Cook and Chill! Food safety brochures are available upon request from the Health Department and Cooking for Groups: A Volunteer's Guide to Food Safety is a good resource available from the USDA. If you have any questions, please contact the Health Department.

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