Guidance When Ordering Food Online

Consumer Awareness Guidance When Ordering Food from an Online Source

The Internet can be a wonderful and convenient place from which to order all kinds of things. The pandemic accelerated the growth of an emerging restaurant trend known as “Ghost Kitchens.”  Just as the name implies, these restaurants are not visible to the public.  As a matter of fact, you can walk or drive right by one and not even know it’s there.  A true “Ghost Kitchen” is permitted and inspected by the local health department, does not have a dining room, and the only way to place an order is online.  Your food is then delivered to you via a third-party delivery company, an employee of the restaurant, or sometimes you can go pick up the food yourself.   

However, there are also many illegal foodservice operations that operate in a very similar manner.  With the rise in popularity of social media platforms, many people use these places to advertise food prepared in their homes or other locations that are not permitted and inspected by the health department.  The meals are either delivered or available for pick-up by the consumer.    

Foodservice establishments that are permitted and inspected by the local health department must meet certain food safety requirements and standards.  Eating food from a place that is not permitted and inspected by the local health department puts you and your family at a greater risk for a foodborne illness, some of which can even cause death. 

So how do you know if the food you are ordering is from a permitted restaurant?  The easiest way is to check our website:   Here you can search the name or address of the location and see the latest inspection report.  If you are unable to find the information, you can call the local health department and ask if the business has a foodservice permit. 

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Created 04/20/2023