Food Safety for Dining Establishments

Putnam County Health Department Environmental Health is responsible for promoting and protecting the public’s health by ensuring that the county’s food supply is safe and sanitary. The Sanitarian staff is trained on the 2013 FDA Food Code and is well versed on the inspection process as well as educating food facility management and the consumer. The Putnam County Health Department Food Safety Program’s number one goal is to help protect the public from food-borne illness.

Inspection of Food Establishments

There are hundreds of permitted food establishments in Putnam County. The West Virginia Food Establishment Rule, effective July 1, 2008, governs retail food establishments such as restaurants, bars, grocery stores, schools, hospitals, daycare establishments, temporary food stands, etc. The rule incorporates, by reference, the majority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) 2013 FDA Food Code.

Putnam County Health Department’s Environmental Health Services staff conducts risk-based inspections of all food establishments yearly and responds to complaints with immediate investigations. The purpose of the inspections is to assure that the food is being handled properly from storage to preparation and serving. Inspectors observe all workers’ food handling practices; assure equipment is working properly, take food temperatures, inspect all refrigeration and storage areas, assure water temperatures, and correct level and uses of sanitizers. Any violations that are noted are discussed with the Person in Charge and a plan of action is put into place to correct critical violations immediately and to correct non-critical violations as soon as possible.

For more information, review the Food Training Guide.

Health Inspection Reports

Food Establishment Plan Review Packet

Putnam County currently has more than 300 food service establishments, which include restaurants, bars, child care centers, hospitals, grocery stores, temporary food establishments and mobile food units. All food establishments are required to have a food service permit to operate. In order to obtain a permit the following information must be submitted to the health department for review:

Floor plans and the plan review form must be submitted at least 45 days prior to the start of construction, conversion, or remodeling, for our office to review. This is to help the facility in case adjustments must be made to meet our codes and regulations. The following are required to be submitted to the health department.

Once plan approval is granted the establishment must be inspected and an operational permit issued prior to opening.

If you have further questions about opening a food service establishment, please contact the Putnam County Health Department at (304) 757-2541.

Additional Food Service Establishment Information

Plan Review Packet

Food Handler & Food Manager Training

Putnam County Health Department has partnered with to provide Food Handler and Food Manager Training. Click the Food Safety Class Portal button below to be redirected to their site to complete your training.

All Putnam County employees that handle food and/or wash dishes are required to complete the food handler worker course.  The purpose of this course is to reduce foodborne illness and teach sanitary food practices. The course covers proper food handling practices that are required under the 2013 FDA Food Code.

Employees must obtain a valid food service worker card within thirty (30) days of hire. A copy of this card must be kept at the place of employment.

Online Food Handler Training

Putnam County Health Department has partnered with to offer online food service worker classes for purchase. A food service worker may click one of the links above and then click “Add to Cart” for the State Food Safety class. The cost for the online class is $20.00 and can be taken at any time. It is available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Serbo-Croatian, and American Sign Language. The length of the course is 75 minutes.

Instructor-Led Food Handler Training

Instructor-led food handler classes are offered once a month at the Health Department. Classes typically last around one hour and cost $10. To register, call 304-757-2541. Click here to view upcoming course dates.

Certification Card Replacement

Putnam County Health Department is not able to look up/replace past or current food handler cards.  Therefore, if you lose or misplace your card, you will have to retake the training course. 

There must be one Certified Food Protection Manager per shift at each establishment. Click on the custom portal below to purchase your Food Manager Training as well as a nationally-accredited CFPM Exam ($168) as a bundle. The training is about 7-8 hours and includes avatars, high-quality illustrations and audio, and interactivities to help you stay engaged and learn correct food safety principles at a managerial level. It is available in English or Spanish. The training also provides a 90-question practice assessment to help you prepare for your CFPM Exam. You should have received an email from Prometric to schedule your CFPM exam. Once you feel prepared and have scheduled your exam, go and take your exam. And good luck! offers high-quality online food safety training services for industry accounts–which includes discounts, LMS training integration, custom portal with company branding options, and more. If you are interested in partnering with, please email or call (801) 494-1416.

If you would like to purchase more than one training, select the training you want to purchase and go to the “Checkout” page. Change the quantity and check out. You will receive a list of voucher numbers in your email, which you can distribute to your employees.

Wonderful! Click on the custom portal below and select the training and language you want and then “Checkout.”  Toward the bottom of the Checkout page, you’ll find question marks that ask for your coupon code or voucher code. Copy and paste your code in the correct blank box and click “Apply.”  Then continue the checkout process.

Food Safety Class Portal

Food Handler/Manager Fact Sheets

Also available are Fact Sheet Handouts on handwashing, three-bowl sink setup, food thermometer use, safe cooking temperatures, hot and cold holding temperatures, and cooling methods. Each handout is available in the below languages and can be downloaded by language pack using the links below.


Guidelines for Temporary Food Events

Each event should have an Event Coordinator

Sponsors of non-profit events may not be inspected by the Putnam County Health Department but will provide educational assistance as requested. This allows the organization, such as religious, charitable, educational and non-profit organizations, which are sponsoring the event to be responsible for all aspects of safe food handling of the food to be served to the public. Based on WV CODE 16-6-3 such non-profit entities are exempt of the food regulations during temporary food events.

Non-profit participants will be responsible for the following: food is to be prepared and handled in hygienic conditions, the food at the event is safe, the food is free from contamination, and the food vendors are aware of appropriate food safety practices, other state rules and guidelines relating to labeling, weights and measures, and business licensing.

Where there are many businesses and or volunteers participating in the event, the event coordinator must ensure that all use safe food practices.

Non-profit vendors must display placards in prominent locations that notify the public the “Food has been prepared in a kitchen that is not regulated or inspected by Putnam County Health Department.”


Each event should have an Event Coordinator

For-Proft vendors must serve food that is prepared on-site, purchased commercially, or prepared in an approved facility. Putnam County Health Department may inspect the event to ensure compliance with WV64CSR17 which adopted the 2013 FDA Food Code.

Where there are many businesses and or volunteers participating in the event, the event coordinator must ensure that all use safe food practices.

All event coordinators should complete the Food Vendors List with the names and contacts of food vendors participating in the event. Provide a copy to Putnam County Health Department and retain a copy for your records. Completed vendor applications with the appropriate fee should be submitted to PCHD at least one week prior to the event.

  • Complete the event checklist to help you monitor the event from start to finish.
  • At the end of the event, provide PCHD the completed event checklist, retaining a copy for your records.
  • NOTE: Event organizer should submit applications for approval by PCHD from their participants: profit vendors with the permit fee; non-profit charitable, educational or religious vendors will not be charged a permit fee with completed §16-6-3 form. PCHD must receive the applications at least one week in advance of the event.


Each event should have an Event Coordinator.

Sponsors of bake sales are required to register with the Putnam County Health Department (PCHD). Please complete the Bake Sale Form linked below and return it to the PCHD prior to the bake sale.

Where there are many businesses and or volunteers participating in the event, the event coordinator must ensure that all use safe food practices.

Bake sale vendors are to display a placard in a prominent location which states: “This food is prepared in a kitchen that is not regulated or inspected by the Putnam County Health Department.” Bake Sales must post the placard, if the baked goods are not prepared commercially, in an approved facility or at the event.


Emergency Procedures for Retail Food Establishments

In the event disaster strikes do you know what your organization’s emergency procedures are? A food establishment manager (or the Person-in-charge) is responsible for conducting both initial and ongoing assessments to ensure consistent compliance with food safety requirements. The following Retail Food Emergency Flip Chart document is designed to provide guidance in the development of emergency procedures for retail food establishments. Individual establishments can use this resource to develop procedures that meet the needs of their specific organization.

Retail Food Emergency Flip Chart

Guidelines for Boil Water Advisory

When a local boil water advisory is issued, affected food establishments should follow safety guidelines to protect community health. The resource below will help managers and staff navigate the situation. If you have questions or concerns that are not addressed, please call the Health Department for further instruction.

What to Do During and After a Boil Water Advisory

If you have any complaints you would like us to investigate, please fill out this form. You can also email or call us.

Contact Information

Phone: (304) 757-2541 | Fax: (304) 757-7287
Physical Address: 11878 Winfield Road, Winfield, WV 25213
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 892, Winfield, WV 25213