The food protection services offered by the health department are included in the Food Service, Retail Market, Vending, Temporary and Mobile Food Service, Farmer’s Market, Bed and Breakfast, Food Handler Testing and Food Manager Certification programs. Approximately 1,550 establishments in Fayette County are permitted and regulated. These include restaurants, schools and universities cafeterias, daycare centers, nursing homes, hospitals, delicatessens, ice-cream shops, bars, caterers, vending machines, supermarkets, neighborhood grocery stores, meat and seafood markets, convenience stores, produce and farmers’ markets and permanent and temporary vendors.

Enforcement of the Board of Health Regulations #19, #26, and #27, and the State food laws and regulations is achieved through inspections, notice issuance, administrative conferences and formal legal action. Establishments are inspected based on applicable regulations, usually two times per year.

Construction plans for new and remodeled establishments are reviewed for approval. Food protection services also include investigations of consumer complaints regarding conditions at food establishments, including outbreaks of foodborne illness.

Restaurant Inspections

View a complete listing of the latest food establishment inspection scores (updated October 11, 2023):

Most recent food establishment inspection scores (Excel) (Updated 10/11/23)

Click here to view an explanation of the violation(s) in detail: Inspection Form. In the “Inspection Type” field, a “1” indicates a regular inspection, whereas “2” indicates a follow-up inspection. Foodservice establishments are inspected at least every six months and more often if needed. Scores of 85 or higher with no priority violations will be posted with a numeric value on a green placard, while scores of 84 or lower or those with priority violations will be posted on a red placard. The Board of Health approved an updated Food Service Regulation on 9/21/2021. Click here to see a full copy of the updated regulation.

To report complaints or a suspected foodborne illness, contact us at (859) 231-9791.

Helpful Resources:

Opening a Restaurant, Grocery, or Catering Business

If you plan to open a restaurant, grocery store or catering business in Lexington-Fayette County, these items should help you get there. NOTE: You cannot cater out of a home kitchen.

  • If you plan to move into an existing building where a restaurant or grocery has recently closed, contact us at (859) 231-9791 to find out if what you are proposing can be done in the existing structure without a lot of costly renovations. If you plan to move into a building that has never or not recently been a restaurant or grocery, or if you plan to build a new building, contact us. You will need to submit plumbing plans prior to construction. Click here to learn more about plumbing plan review.
  • Put your plans (a scaled drawing of your proposal) on paper. A floor plan showing your kitchen layout, equipment and necessary plumbing fixtures is required. A plumbing riser diagram (your licensed plumber can do this) is also required. The food safety specialist will review your plans to see if your proposal meets all applicable laws and requirements. If there are any changes to be recommended, it’s easier and less costly for you to make changes before the facility is constructed. Plumbing plans are forwarded to the Division of Plumbing in Frankfort for approval. Once your plans are approved, you may begin construction of your restaurant or grocery. Approval by the local plumbing inspector and the health inspector are required prior to opening for business.
  • You would need to apply for a permit to operate. Call (859) 231-9791 to set up a pre-opening inspection. Permit fees vary according to the type of facility you plan to operate.

Helpful Resources:

When should you close your business?

There may be a time when you as the restaurant manager or owner may need to close your establishment immediately.

You should close your restaurant:

  • During a water emergency
  • If there is a sewage overflow,
  • After a fire, flood, etc.,
  • If you have no electricity,
  • When employee illness or other conditions threaten public health.

If there is a question as to whether or not you should keep your establishment open, call (859) 231-9791 and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have.