Thought for Food


Thought for Food has returned. This digital newsletter is emailed to subscribers. 

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Environmental Health offices under construction

EH Office

Our offices are being renovated! You can still find us at 2785 White Bear Avenue N, Maplewood, however you now need to look for us in our temporary space on the first floor. We should be back on the third floor by late 2019 or early 2020.

Licensing updates for 2020

Fee statements will continue to be emailed for 2020 licenses

Ramsey County will email 2020 license fee statements to establishments with email address on file. Look for this in early November. Please contact us with email address updates. We will also send a post card reminder. Applications and payments must be returned to Ramsey County by Dec. 31 to avoid late fees.
You can find updates on our food and vending webpage.

License fee discount for responsible food waste management

New for 2020, establishments will have an opportunity to save 10% on their food license fees if they participate in a food waste diversion program.

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People and program updates

2019 has been a busy year for the Ramsey County environmental health team. We have several updates related to staffing changes and an office space update.


Pictured from left to right are Caleb Johnson (Supervisor), Nicole Skatrud (Arden Hills, Little Canada, Roseville East of Hamline, ISD 623), Baigal Tsolmon (North St. Paul, Shoreview, Vadnais Heights ISD 622), Lori Green (Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Mounds View, New Brighton, St. Anthony, ISD 621), Kaylie Prochaska (Gem Lake, North Oaks, White Bear Lake and Township, ISD 624), and Mike Crider (Roseville West of Hamline).

Welcome to our new staff

Caleb Johnson joined the team as the program supervisor in January 2019. Johnson previously worked at Hennepin County and the Minnesota Department of Health. As a Ramsey County resident, he is very excited to work with businesses and community members to enhance the quality of life in Ramsey County.

Our newest team member, Baigal Tsolmon, started in August and brings unique experiences and skills from her time at the City of Minneapolis and the Specialized Inspection Agency of Sukhbaatar District in Mongolia. She will be the assigned environmental health specialist for the cities of North St. Paul, Shoreview and Vadnais Heights.

Mindy Stepnick

White Bear Lake update

We’re sad to say goodbye to Mindy Stepnick, who will be leaving the White Bear Lake inspection territory. But we’re happy to see her continue with Ramsey County Environmental Health in a new and exciting position focused on outreach and community engagement with the Solid & Hazardous Waste team. We’re also happy to report that Stepnick will continue using her skills and expertise on food safety projects from time to time.

Food safety and food code updates

It’s also been a busy year for Ramsey County food service licensees learning new food code requirements. New requirements have been added. Some existing requirements have been relaxed and others have become stricter. Here are some things to remember to avoid violations on your next inspection:

  • Violation tiers of Critical/Non-Critical are now Priority 1 (highest food safety risk), Priority 2 (moderate food safety risk), Priority 3 (lower food safety risk).
  • Certified Food Managers are now Certified Food Protection Managers (CFPM)
    • CFPM is required at all medium and high-risk establishments.
    • CFPM refresher courses must be taught by CFPM and be pre-approved by MDH.
    • Food establishments must hire or replace a CFPM within 60 days.
    • CFPM must complete self-inspections of the food safety system.
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea Clean Up Procedures are now required.*
  • Handwashing Reminder Signs are now required to be posted at hand sinks. Contact your inspector for free signs to post.
  • Consumer Advisory is now required for Raw/Undercooked Foods (for example sushi, rare/medium rare burgers, hollandaise sauce, etc).
  • Food Thermometer with small diameter tip required for thin foods (fish filets, thin burgers, etc.)
  • High Temperature Dish Machines much be checked with a thermometer or heat tape.

Average violations per inspection

Between February and August 2019, Ramsey County inspected more than 700 food service establishments. The average violations per inspection were:

Priority 1 — 1.7

Priority 2 — 2

Priority 3 — 2.7

So far in 2019, inspectors have cited more establishments for not having a response plan for a vomiting/diarrhea incident than for any other violation. 

Breastfeeding-friendly funding for Ramsey County businesses


In Minnesota, customers and employees at food establishments may legally breastfeed in any location, public or private, where the mother and child are otherwise authorized to be. Employers are also required by law to provide space and time to employees for breastfeeding activities.

Funding is available to help make your business more welcoming to parents who may need to breastfeed. Learn more.

Grants for electric lawn and snow removal equipment


Does your food establishment use a gas-powered snow blower, lawn mower, trimmer or leaf blower? Grants of up to $24,000 are available for small businesses to replaces gas-powered equipment with electric powered alternatives. Visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website for more information.

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