WESTFIELD, NJ – Inspection fees for establishments serving food in town will be based on the public health risk of the food served and no longer determined by the size of the establishments if a recently proposed regulation is adopted.

The Westfield Board of Health is set to hold a public hearing and adopt on Feb. 4 the measure changing the fees it charges to inspect food retailers. The revised fees are outlined in the measure introduced by the board last week.

“The new rates, some of which are lower, are based on the potential health risk of the establishment, as defined by the State Sanitary Code,” said Board President Lawrence Budnick in a statement. “This replaces the fees based on the establishment’s size and better reflects the Health Department’s expected work concerning each establishment.”

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The proposed new rates for Westfield are as follows, according to the measure:

Establishments serving only pre-packaged, or non-hazardous foods, defined as Risk Type 1 establishments, will pay $100 for the inspections. These establishments typically include convenience stores, hot dog carts and coffee shops, under the state’s sanitary code.

Establishments that cook and serve most products immediately and limit complex preparation of foods – including the cooking, cooling and reheating for hot holding to two or fewer items – will pay $200 for the inspections. Those establishments – defined under the code at Risk Type 2 establishments – typically include retail food stores, quick-serve operations and schools.

Establishments with expansive menus and whose service includes the extensive handling of raw ingredients will pay $300 for inspections. These Risk Type 3 establishments typically include full-service restaurants, diners, catering operations, hospitals and nursing homes.

Establishments that conduct specialized processing, such as smoking, curing, canning and bottling, will pay $400 for the inspections.

Farmer's Market Fees

In addition, the proposed fee structure anticipated to be approved in February will change farmer’s market fees.

People applying to sell at the farmer’s market would pay $100; those wishing to vend at just one event, such as a street fair, would pay $75 for the event lasting up to 24 hours; while $125 gets a vendor an annual permit to sell for all town events.

A previous option, which will no longer be available under the proposed regulation, offered vendors the option to purchase a $125 license to vend at a single event lasting 48-hours.

The new fee structure, Budnick said during the meeting at which the measure was introduced, could reduce paperwork for the health department.

“It encourages them to go for the annual [permit] that would greatly reduce your effort,” he told health officials.

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh