Retail Food Establishments

The frequency of inspections for over 9,500 retail food establishments are required by state law to be done according to their risk category:

  • Temperature Controlled Foods or High Risk Firms are required to be inspected twice a year;
  • Seasonal or Moderate Risk Firms are required to be inspected once a year;
  • Low Risk Firms are required to be inspected every eighteen months.

These retail food firms are required to follow TDA's Retail Food Store Sanitation Rule 8808-04-09 and regulations relating to food storage, facility sanitation and safety. Scores only provide a general indication of compliance. Inspection reports describe sanitation conditions and associated health risk findings. These scores must be made available by the store to anyone requesting them. A score below 70 requires a follow-up inspection. Compliance standards are related primarily to:

  • Demonstration of Knowledge of Person in Charge
  • Employee Health
  • Good Hygienic Practices
  • Prevention of Contamination by the Hands
  • Approved Suppliers and Sources
  • Receiving of Ingredients' Conditions
  • Protection from Food Contamination
  • Proper Cooking Time and Temperatures
  • Compliance with Processes / Food Safety Plan
  • Proper Labeling
  • Safety of Food Practices and Water Sources
  • Proper Use and Handling of Utensils
  • Sanitation of Utensils, Equipment and Non-Food Contact Surfaces
  • Physical Facility
    • Hot and Cold Water
    • Plumbing and Sewage
    • Ventilation and Lighting
    • Garbage and Refuse

For more information about TDA's food store inspection program, or to register a complaint about food store sanitation or food safety, call toll-free 1-800-628-2631. For information on Restaurant Inspection Scores, contact the Tennessee Department of Health.

Search Retail Food Store Scores

Retail Food Store Inspection Scores.