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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is a foodborne disease?

Answer: A foodborne disease is caused by consuming foods or beverages that have been contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, or harmful toxins or chemicals.

Question: What can I do to prevent food contamination?

Answer: Use caution when you buy food. Buy perishable foods such as meat, eggs, and milk at the end of your shopping trip. Shop for groceries when you can take them home right away so they do not spoil in a hot car.

Store your food properly. Store raw meat, poultry, and seafood in the freezer if you are not going to use them within two days. Store eggs in the refrigerator. Your refrigerator should be set at 40 degrees. Your freezer should be set at 0 degrees.

Use special precautions when preparing and cooking food.
Wash your hands and clean and disinfect kitchen surfaces before, during and after handling, cooking, and serving food. Wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating them. Defrost frozen food on a plate either in the refrigerator or in a microwave, but not on the counter. Cook food immediately after defrosting. Always use clean dishes and utensils for cooked foods.

Cool and promptly store leftovers after food has been served. Keep hot food hot at 135 degrees or higher, and keep cold food cold at 40 degrees or cooler. This is especially important during picnics and buffets. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours. Promptly refrigerate or freeze leftovers in shallow containers or wrapped tightly in bags.

Basically use common sense and when in doubt, throw it out. (Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

Question: What should I do if I think I have a foodborne illness?

Answer: If you think you have become ill from eating contaminated food seek medical attention immediately. You should have a stool specimen cultured to determine the cause of illness. Call the Cleveland County Health Department with your medical evaluation, results of culture, and a list of all foods consumed in the previous 72 hours prior to the onset of your illness.

Question: Can a home kitchen be licensed for catering?

A home kitchen can not be licensed for food preparation. According to Oklahoma rules and regulations (310:257-5-2), food prepared in a private home shall not be used or offered for human consumption in a food service establishment.

Question: Do I need a food license to sell food?

Answer: Yes. According to Oklahoma rules and regulations (63-1-1118), it is unlawful for any person to operate or maintain any establishment, stationary or otherwise, where food and drink is offered for sale, or sold, to the public, unless the person is the holder of a license issued for such purpose by the State Commissioner of Health.

Question: What steps are involved in opening a food establishment in Cleveland County?

Answer:  See our New Establishment Information page.

Question: Do I need a food handlers' permit from the Cleveland County Health Department to work in a food establishment?

Answer: All food handlers are required to have a food handlers' permit to work in a food establishment in the city of Norman and Moore.

Question: How much does it cost to get a food handlers' permit?

Answer: It costs $5.00 to get a food handlers' permit.

Question: When is the food handlers' class offered in Norman?

Answer: The food handlers' class is offered on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. and Thursday's at 3:30 p.m.  Registration for the classes begin 30 minutes prior to the class start times.

Question: When is the food handlers' class offered in Moore?

Answer: The food handlers' class is offered on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Registration for the class begin 30 minutes prior to the class start time.

Question: Should my dog, cat, and/or ferret receive a rabies vaccination?

Answer: Yes, Oklahoma rules and regulations require that all dogs, cats, and ferrets receive a rabies vaccination by the time the animal is 4 months of age.

Question: What should I do in the event of an animal bite?

Answer: Contact the local animal control unit or call the Cleveland county health department at 321-4048. You should also wash the bite wound with soap and water and seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Question: What are some of the steps that can be taken to prevent exposure to rabies?

Answer: Keep rabies vaccinations current for all pets. Teach children to never handle wild animals or approach unfamiliar dogs or cats. Keep pets close to home to reduce contact with other animals.

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