Board of Health
- 4 pm
- Last Wednesday of every other month via Zoom
Virtual Meeting Link
Upcoming Meeting Agenda
- Dr. Carolyn Davidson, Chairperson
Term expires: January 1, 2024
- John W Hart
Term expires: January 1, 2025
- Dr. Aaron Ratner
Term expires: January 1, 2028
- Georgine Snyder
Term expires: January 1, 2027
- Garry Ritter, Health Officer
- Adam Priest, Assistant Ambulance Chief
- Paula Weiant, Secretary
Terms last 5 years.
For over a century, the Emmaus Board of Health has existed to protect and promote the health of the citizens of Emmaus. The Board of Health is an advisory group of community volunteers responsible for recommending policies and program priorities for the activities of the Emmaus Health Officer.
Food safety is a growing concern shared by most Americans. Nationwide recalls in recent years have involved a wide variety of food products, including ground beef, breakfast cereal, and spinach. This has led to increased awareness and concern by the public about food safety. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 46 million cases of foodborne illness occur annually resulting in more than 3,000 deaths.
The broad objective of the Board of Health's food safety activities is to reduce the risk of foodborne illness by assuring that food and beverages sold for public consumption have been stored, prepared, and served in a safe manner and are wholesome and unadulterated. The Health Officer inspects and licenses restaurants, retail grocers, school cafeterias, farmers' markets, non-profit organizations, mobile food trucks, and food vendors at special events. The education of food handlers and food service operators is an important part of these inspections. The Board of Health has the primary responsibility to investigate food product and food-related illness complaints in the Borough.
Food Inspection Reports
Inspection reports for food facilities in Emmaus are available to the public on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website (Note: This website works best with Google Chrome). To access the inspection reports, you may have to change your computer's settings to allow pop-ups. Please understand that each inspection is a "snapshot" representing conditions observed on the day and time of the inspection. An individual inspection report may or may not be representative of the overall, long-term sanitation and food safety of a food facility.
All facilities that prepare, serve, sell or give away food are required to have a food service establishment license issued by the Board of Health. If you are planning to open a new facility or take over an existing facility, you must first email the Emmaus Health Officer to start the process.
Existing licenses are not transferable.
You will be guided through the application process. Any new or renovated facility will usually require 3rd party certified architectural plans to be reviewed and approved prior to any issuance of permits to begin construction. Approvals by the Borough Fire Inspector and Building Inspector must be obtained. Do not do any work until you have all permits and approvals in hand. Once all work has been completed and inspected, a pre-operational inspection must be scheduled with the Health Officer. At that time, you will complete an application for an annual food facility license.
Mobile Food Trucks
Mobile food trucks are subject to inspection and licensure by Emmaus, even if a valid license is held by the operator from a different jurisdiction.
Temporary Food Licenses
A temporary food license is required anytime food is served at a special event, festival, fair, sporting event, church dinner, or fundraiser that is open to the public, whether the food is sold or given away for free. Specific equipment, food safety, and food handling requirements must be followed to ensure the safety of the public that you are serving. Food safety guidelines are included with the temporary license application. Applications must be submitted at least 10 days prior to the event.
Your food stand will be inspected on the day of the event by the Health Officer. When all requirements are satisfied, a temporary food license will be issued to you.
Food Employee Certification Requirements
Pennsylvania's Food Code requires facilities that prepare or serve foods that require time/temperature control for safety to employ at least one person that has a nationally recognized food safety certification. This employee needs to be onsite or available by phone at all times.
The type of food service that is done at your facility will determine whether an employee with a food safety certification is required. The Health Officer can help you determine if this requirement applies to your facility. If required, at least one employee must obtain the Food Employee Certification within 90 days of opening your facility.
For a list of approved certification programs in Pennsylvania, please visit the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture website.
The Board of Health provides additional services for public health-related nuisances that are not covered by other Borough building, fire or public works codes, such as mosquito harborage. Additionally, the Board can provide consultations regarding environmental health issues.
For inquiries, email the Health Officer or call Garry Ritter at 610-421-6064