Regulation of retail food establishments is a responsibility of staff with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and local public health agencies (LPHA). Retail food establishments are defined as providing or serving food directly to the consumer. These can be grocery stores, convenience stores, food pantries, restaurants, schools, mobile vendors, vending machines, farmer’s markets, concession stands, caterers and shelters, to name a few.

Routine food safety inspections of retail food establishments are not currently performed by DHSS staff. Local health agencies carry out that function. Staff with DHSS provide oversight, guidance, training and, when needed; enforcement support to the staff with LPHAs.