4 Steps to Food Safety

Single-Use Foodware Law
Westchester County is reminding residents and business owners of its "Upon Request" single-use foodware law, which took effect on September 2, 2023. This legislation aims to reduce the consumption of single-use plastics by promoting a more mindful approach to their usage within food service establishments by limiting the use of single-use foodware products to only when specifically requested by the customer.

Food service establishments are required to prominently display this clearly legible sign (in Spanish and Chinese) informing customers that plastic utensils, condiments, and straws are available only upon request.

For more information, view the county's press release, webpage and fact sheet (in Spanish and Chinese) on the law. 

Food Allergy Restaurant Safety Law effective November 9, 2022

The Westchester County Board of Legislators has enacted a “Food Allergy Restaurant Safety” Law that became effective November 9, 2022.

The new law (Chapter 541 Food Allergy Restaurant Safety) requires you to post signs in English and Spanish, (both in the front of your establishment so the sign is visible to customers and in the back of your establishment, so it is visible to food handlers) which provide food allergen information to patrons and staff. In addition, you are required to designate staff who will be trained in an approved Allergen Training Program. If you provide seating for your customers, you must always have at least one trained person in the kitchen and one trained person in the dining room during hours of operation. If you are take out only, you must have a least one trained person in the kitchen during hours of operation. The number of trained staff must also be entered in the space proved on the posted signs. The Westchester County Health Department has designated the following courses as acceptable, ServSafe Food Allergen class and StateFoodSafety and AllerTrain Course. If you wish to take another course, please contact us prior to registering to verify it is approved.

The required signs are available for printing. If you wish to pick up pre-printed signs in both English and Spanish, you can come to the office at 25 Moore Avenue, 2nd Floor, Mount Kisco, NY 10549 any Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 4:00 pm. If you have questions regarding this code, please feel free to contact your inspector directly, or you can call the office at (914) 864-7330.

Restaurant managers have a lot on their plates, but food safety can be second to none when running a food service establishment. That’s why the Westchester County Department of Health is helping restaurateurs keep their customers safe by providing them with opportunities to learn how to protect the food they serve from intentional contamination.

Thanks to funding from a grant awarded by the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Department offered a free Food Defense Workshop that was attended by nearly 30 food service professionals. Strategies to assure the safety of food supplies, deliveries and storage, as well as how to identify and report suspected problems were all part of the keynote presentation.

Public health sanitarians aim to promote healthy people and communities through education and regulation of food service establishments.

Did you know that there are about 4,000 establishments serving food in Westchester County, including restaurants, mobile food carts and deli's? The Westchester County Health Department inspects these establishments and those inspections can be viewed and downloaded.

State and county sanitary codes are enforced by public health sanitarians to ensure that the public is served food that is healthy and safely prepared. Restaurants and mobile food vendors receive unannounced inspections routinely throughout the year. Random samples of milk, frozen desserts and utensils are taken to find and correct possible food contamination. 

Working with public health nurses and physicians, sanitarians promptly investigate incidents of suspected foodborne disease. Public health sanitarians also respond to fires involving food service establishments. As a result of fire damage, sanitarians may order food products to be condemned or destroyed.

All food service establishments must be aware of the Food Allergy Notification Law. Restaurants can download the pre-set Food Allergy Labels, print or copy onto label sheets and apply to printed menus.

Restaurateurs who want to perform major renovation or construction of food service establishments must have their proposed plans approved first to assure that appropriate equipment and procedures are in place.

Food service owners and operators attend a Food Handler's Training course designed and developed by this department. Since the course began in 1985, thousands of food service operators have attended intensive classes, presented in cooperation with Westchester Community College.

The Health Department is active in assuring that mass gatherings and public functions maintain safe and healthful conditions.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Westchester County Health Department: Food borne illness complaints, public health complaints and 24 hour emergency phone line (914) 813-5000
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Complaints: (425) 483-4949
  • National Meat and Poultry Hotline: (800) 535-4555
  • New York State Restaurant Association: (800) 452-5212
  • New York State Department of Health: (800) 458-1158

COVID-19 Guidance Signs for Food Service Operators & Staff

Food Service Establishment Regulations and Laws

Food Safety Handlers Course

All permit application fees are non-refundable.

Recycling information

Health Advisories