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Information & Forms for Vendors


Food, Lodging, Institutions, Tattoos and Swimming Pools

Permitting, Inspections and Educational Information
Inspectors of the Food, Lodging, Swimming Pools, Tattoos, and Institutional Branch of the Gaston County Environmental Health Division are responsible for inspection and permitting of the following establishments:

  • Adult Daycares
  • Bed & Breakfast Homes
  • Bed & Breakfast Inns
  • Caterers
  • Commissary for Push Carts & Mobile Food Units
  • Daycares
  • Educational Food Service
  • Elderly Nutritional Sites
  • Food Stands
  • Hospitals
  • Institutions
  • Institutions (Cafeterias)
  • Limited Food Services
  • Lodging Establishments
  • Meat Markets
  • Mobile Food Units
  • Nursing Homes
  • Nursing Homes (Cafeterias)
  • Park & Recreation Food Stands
  • Private Board Schools/Colleges
  • Push Carts
  • Residential Care
  • Rest Homes
  • Rest Homes (Cafeterias)
  • Restaurants
  • School Buildings (Private & Public)
  • School Cafeterias (Private & Public)
  • Street Fairs, Festivals & Carnivals
  • Summer Camps
  • Swimming Pools (Public)
  • Tattoos
  • Temporary Food Establishments

Bed Bugs
Re-emerging bed bugs have created a hot topic in the vector program. Bed bug infestations have been heavily documented in larger cities. Recently, North Carolina has devoted an entomologist to the emerging problem. Well credited sites are linked into Frequently Asked Questions about Bed Bugs. Bed Bug Resources are available on the Pest Management Branch of NC Department of Agriculture website. Read more about bedbugs and safe bed bug control here.  Additional information can be obtained at the following link www.drbedbug.blogspot.com.  Bed Bug Complaints for all inspected facilities, which are listed above, can be taken from 8 am- 5 pm Monday- Friday (excluding county holidays). To leave a complaint with our office, you must be prepared to leave a name and a phone number for the complaint to be investigated. Please call 704-853-5200.

Mosquitoes
The mosquito program is a small service we provide in the warmer weather months. We will provide education and at times be able to offer larvicides. Our small service provides education and larvicide but no enforcement in eliminating all mosquito breeding areas within the county. We can work with you and your neighbors to address complaints. To leave a complaint, you must leave a name, address, and phone number for us to investigate the complaint. This is not only a service for private yards, but also for small businesses. There is no fee for this service; however, it is the discretion of the Environmental Health Specialist on what type of approach is best for each situation. To leave a complaint please call between 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday- Friday (excluding county holidays) at 704-853-5200. 

Food & Lodging Plan Review Policy Manual
The Food & Lodging Plan Review Policy Manual was prepared by the staff of the Gaston County Environmental Health Division to provide information regarding the minimum plan review requirements for 12 respective areas listed in the index of the policy manual.

These guidelines are for Health Department permits only and does not imply compliance with other agencies such as Building Inspections, Fire Marshall, etc.

Plan Submittal, Review, and Approval
Contact David Littman at (704) 853-5217, or by e-mail at david.littman@gastongov.com for information regarding plan submittal, review and approval of existing establishments listed below.

  • Bed & Breakfast Homes
  • Bed & Breakfast Inns
  • Caterers
  • Commissary for Push Carts & Mobile Food Units
  • Educational Food Service
  • Elderly Nutritional Sites
  • Food Stands
  • Hospitals
  • Institutions
  • Institutions (Cafeterias)
  • Meat Markets
  • Mobile Food Units
  • Nursing Homes
  • Nursing Homes (Cafeterias)
  • Park & Recreation Food Stands
  • Private Board Schools/Colleges
  • Push Carts
  • Rest Homes
  • Rest Home (Cafeterias)
  • Restaurants
  • School Buildings (Private & Public)
  • School Cafeterias (Private & Public)

Contact Christina Rodite at (704) 853-5204 for information regarding plan submittal, review, and approval for the following new and existing establishments listed below:

  • Adult Daycares
  • Daycares
  • Limited Food Services
  • Residential Cares
  • Street Fairs, Festivals & Carnivals
  • Summer Camps
  • Temporary Food Establishments

Public Swimming Pool and Tattoo Plan Submittal, Review and Approval

TATTOO PROGRAM
For information regarding the plan submittal, review, and approval for a tattoo parlor or the permitting of a tattoo artist please contact John Carpenter at (704) 853-5215 or by e-mail at john.carpenter@gastongov.com.

All initial applications and applications for renewal of an existing tattooing permit shall be submitted to the local health department at least 30 days prior to initial issuance of a tattooing permit or expiration date of an existing permit.

Tattooing Permit
Tattooing permits shall be issued in the name of the individual tattoo artist, shall list the address of the tattoo establishment where the artist will practice, and shall not be transferable to another person or place of practice. Please see Fee Schedule for cost of tattoo permit.

SWIMMING POOL PROGRAM
For information regarding the plan submittal, review, and approval for public swimming pools or if your Management Company or Billing Address has changed, please contact John Carpenter at (704) 853-5215 or by email at john.carpenter@gastongov.com

Gaston County inspects and permits public swimming pools to ensure compliance with state rules.

For Swimming Pool Owners / Operators
If you own or operate a swimming pool in Gaston County, there are several things you should know before you can open your pool for use:

  1. If building a new public swimming pool, a Plan Review must be submitted. Submit plans for new pools or for existing pool renovation to the Gaston County Health Department, 991 West Hudson Blvd., Gastonia, NC 28052. Please see the Fee Schedule for cost of Plan Review.
  2. You should familiarize yourself with the "Rules Governing Public Swimming Pools" (15A NCAC 18A .2500).
  3. Download a copy of the Certified Pool Operator Checklist to find out what you are expected to do to keep your swimming pool operational.
  4. Ensure swimming pool fees are paid annually. Please refer to the Fee Schedule for cost of year round and seasonal pools, spas, and wading pools.

Documents

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT POOLS

What pools come under regulation?
All public pools must be permitted and inspected. This includes municipal pools, apartments, condominiums, subdivisions, homeowner associations, clubs, etc.

Are private pools exempted?
Yes.

How often do pools get checked during the summer?
Every pool receives an opening inspection. Subsequent inspections are conducted during the summer for seasonal pools. Year round pools or spas are inspected twice a year.

Why do pools get closed?
Pools are often closed immediately because of health concerns. Examples that warrant immediate closure include: no disinfectant in the pool or the presence of algae, bacteria, fecal material or glass.

CATERING
Persons who would like to cater must do so from a permitted food establishment or from a permitted kitchen that is separate from the domestic kitchen used in their home.  If you cater from your home, you are required to have a separate kitchen which must be permitted by the Gaston County Environmental Health Division before you are allowed to operate.

NON-PROFIT TAX-EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS
All tax-exempt, non-profit organizations (i.e. clubs, schools, churches, etc.) are allowed to have a fundraiser once a month without a permit. This event is not to exceed two consecutive days in length. If you are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization such as a church that prepares meals once a week and serves food to the public more than one time a month, and charge a fee for the meal, then you must have a permit to operate and must be placed under the inspection of the Gaston County Environmental Health Division.

SANITATION GRADES / RESTAURANT RATINGS

To request a copy of a sanitation grade report for any facility in Gaston County, call (704) 853-5200.

INVESTIGATIONS
In addition to conducting food and lodging inspections and issuing permits, Environmental Health Specialists investigate complaints lodged by citizens. We investigate complaints on activities observed at restaurants, hotels, nursing homes, child care facilities, etc.

In conjunction with the Health Department's Communicable Disease Program, Environmental Health Specialists also help investigate outbreak of diseases at Health Department-permitted facilities such as restaurants and child care centers, where outbreaks may have food or environment-related causes or effects.

SPECIAL EVENT INSPECTIONS
Special events include festivals, fairs, carnivals, grand openings, and other events where temporary food establishments prepare and serve food to the public for sale. Participants at special events include permitted facilities such as restaurants, food stands, mobile food units, pushcarts, as well as non-permitted vendors who are for profit and vendors who are tax-exempt non-profit organizations. Vendors who serve food to the public are inspected on-site the day of each event to ensure compliance with regulations governing preparation, storage, and sanitation at outdoor events.

LIMITED FOOD SERVICE PERMITS
Limited Food Service permits are issued annually to establishments with food handling operations that are restricted by rules pursuant to G.S. 130A-148 (a4) and that prepares or serves food only in conjunction with amateur athletic events. Limited Food Service establishments are operated by volunteers or by members of non-profit, tax exempt organizations. Limited Food Service permits shall expire on December 31 of each year.

TEMPORARY FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS
Effective August 15, 2009, Gaston County Environmental Health Services began collecting a $75.00 fee for each Temporary Food Establishment (TFE) permit issued.

Completed Coordinator Applications, Vendor Applications, and Vendor Fees must be submitted at least 15 days prior to the event for consideration.  Each question must be answered or the application will be considered incomplete. Applications received less than 15 days prior to event are not guaranteed to be reviewed.

A "Temporary Food Establishment" permit is required to sell food or drink at a special event. This permit is issued in conjunction with a fair, carnival, circus, public exhibition, or other similar gathering that operates for a period of 15 days or less. Examples are holiday festivals, traveling carnivals and special events.

Establishments that only serve dip ice cream, popcorn, peanuts, snow cones, candied apples, fried dough and cotton candy do not require a Temporary Food Establishment permit from Gaston County Environmental Health Department.

Food Vendor Forms

Coordinator Form

Regulations

For more information contact Christina Rodite at (704) 853-5204.  Applications should be emailed to Christina Rodite at the above email address or faxed to (704) 853-5231.

CHILD CARE CENTERS
If you are interested in opening a daycare, remodeling your existing daycare, or purchasing an existing daycare facility, you should contact Christina T. Rodite at (704) 853-5204 for information regarding plan submittal, review and approval.