Meet our Food Sanitarians
- Jana Messmore - Food Sanitation Supervisor
- Ashley (Kotcher) Polk
- Tyler Foster
- Caitline Wolfe
- Julie Okonya
Jana has been with the Health Department in the Environmental Health Food Sanitation area since 2006 and took over as head of the Food Sanitation program in 2015.
Ashley is a Licensed Environmental Health Practitioner-in-training, and has been with the Vermilion County Health Department since April 2018.
Tyler is a Health Inspector and is a graduate from Illinois State University. Tyler has been with the health department since June 2020.
Caitline is a Health Inspector and a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana – Champaign. Caitline has been with the Health Department since January 2021.
Julie OKonya is a Health Inspector and a graduate of Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Julie has been with the Health Department since August 2021.
What Does the Food Sanitation Program Do?
The Food Sanitation Program of the Environmental Health Division regulates food safety throughout Vermilion County. Following the guidelines of the Illinois Food Service Sanitation Rules, the Food Sanitation Program enforces standards related to the proper handling of raw or cooked food products, food equipment and food establishments.
The ultimate goal of the Food Sanitation Program is to ensure that food service establishments are operated in a safe, sanitary manner in order to prevent contamination by infectious agents or toxic materials. The Vermilion County Health Department does this by issuing permits to all food service establishments in the county, reviewing plans for new or extensively remodeled facilities, inspecting establishments on a routine basis, and enforcing sanitation and safety standards.
For more information on this program and about the Vermilion County Health Department, please see the Annual Report.
In most cases where food is offered to the public, a food permit from the health department is required. There are two basic types of food service permits:
Annual Permits – Restaurants / Food Services /Mobile Food Services
All restaurants, retail food stores and other types of food services which will operate on a year-round basis must obtain an annual food service permit.
Most mobile food service vehicles also must obtain an annual food service permit. Permitted food service vehicles must have hot-water tanks and permanent hand washing facilities, and a commissary for food preparation and storage – not just a home kitchen — may be required.
Temporary Food Events
Whenever food is offered to the public during fairs, fund raisers or events lasting fewer than 14 consecutive days, a Food Permit Application for Temporary Events is required.
Sales of non-potentially hazardous foods such as cookies, brownies, fruit pies, cakes, and breads for a bake sale that is a fundraiser for an organization do not require food permits, but it is best to contact the health department beforehand to be sure.
Are you a Restaurant Owner or Employee? Click Here for Permit Information, Course Information, and Other Important Information.
Do you work in a School or Daycare? Click Here
- Permit Application for Permanent Establishments, Permit Fee
- Permit Application for Temporary Events, Permit Fee
- 2021 Cottage Food Registration Form
- Illinois Cottage Food Guide
Food Safety Resources