The Knox County Health Department’s Food Protection Division works to protect public health and prevent foodborne illness by regulating the production and sale of food in local facilities while educating the citizens of Knox County about good public health practices. Our program is designed to work in partnership with the people who make the day-to-day decisions that actually impact food safety: the operators and employees of food service establishments.
The Knox County Health Department issues permits to operate food service establishments once they meet all the requirements of the State of Tennessee’s adoption of the 2009 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Food Code.
Continuing education on food safety is offered in several ways:
Each year, food service establishments receive unannounced routine inspections by Knox County Health Department environmental specialists. Routine health inspections address risk factors related to safe food handling practices. Environmental specialists discuss any recorded violations with operators and initiate corrective education regarding safe food practices.
The Knox County Health Department Environmental Health staff provides educational classes in restaurants, schools and hospitals. We also host a class at our main location, 140 Dameron Avenue, on the third Thursday of every month at 1 p.m. The class is free and open to the public. The course is also conducted in Spanish (En Española) on request.
There are 11 health inspectors who monitor approximately 2,134 food service establishments; 489 schools, daycares, and hotels; and 559 swimming pools and tattoo parlors. In 2014, they conducted 5,942 public health inspections, including more than 150 complaint investigations.
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Take our online food safety training
- Take a tour of a mock food inspection & learn the 5 Risk Factors that can cause illness
- Search Restaurant Scores
- See a Sample Food Service Establishment Inspection Form
- Conduct your own Food Inspection Audit Form
- Helpful fact sheets to post in your facility
- Food Code Updates and Changes:
- Food Safety Tips to Use at Home
- Plans Review Applications:
Need to submit a complaint? Contact us via email at email@example.com or by phone at 865-215-5200 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.