DIA offers virtual food safety checks for businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic

DES MOINES – Today, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) announced that it is offering non-regulatory virtual food safety checks to restaurants, grocery stores, bars, and other food businesses that are currently open or planning to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food businesses in the 63 counties where DIA licenses and inspects may go online now and complete the form to request an inspection.

The inspections are strictly non-regulatory and do not take the place of required regular inspections or those following a complaint. 

During virtual inspections, business employees and food safety inspectors utilize mobile audio and video technology to work together so that DIA may assess processes and procedures, hygiene practices, equipment, and the business’ physical environment.

"These virtual checks will provide food establishment operators with the opportunity to discuss food safety practices with DIA's trained food safety specialists," said DIA Director Larry Johnson, Jr.

DIA has also offered virtual inspections for license approval inspections for new food and lodging businesses. 

DIA Food and Consumer Safety Bureau staff are responsible for administering and enforcing the Iowa Food Code by conducting food safety inspections at food establishments (grocery stores, restaurants, and convenience stores) and food processing plants. The purpose of the Iowa Food Code is to "safeguard the public health and provide to consumers, food that is safe, unadulterated, and honestly presented."

For DIA-specific actions and guidance related to COVID-19, visit DIA's Novel Coronavirus page.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is committed to protecting the health and safety of Iowans through regulation and oversight of health care, food, and gaming; application of administrative law; and investigation of Medicaid and welfare fraud.