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Retail Food Establishments


More than 9,500 retail food establishments in Tennessee are inspected regularly based on their risk category:

  • Establishments with Temperature Controlled Foods or High Risk Firms are inspected twice each year.
  • Seasonal or Moderate Risk Firms are inspected once each year.
  • Low Risk Firms are inspected once 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.

Retail food store inspection scores provide a general indication of compliance. Inspection reports describe sanitation conditions and associated health risk findings. Stores must make scores available when asked. A score below 70 requires a follow-up inspection.  

Retail Food Store Inspection Scores

The Tennessee Department of Health maintains restaurant inspection scores.

For more information about TDA's retail food store inspection program, or to register a complaint about food store sanitation or food safety, call toll-free 800-628-2631.  

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