Approved Food Sources

What is an approved food source?2020-07-01T16:02:18-07:00

A food establishment must help to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses by assuring the food they serve is safe, from an approved source, and received in good condition. Purchasing from approved food sources is critical since numerous foodborne illness investigations have been traced back to food from unapproved sources.

All permitted food establishments must be able to demonstrate their suppliers are approved and permitted through the appropriate enforcement agency (see table “Agencies of Jurisdiction” below). Food from a private home is never allowed to be used and/or served in a permitted food establishment.

Section 3-201.11 (A) of the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) 2010 Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Establishments (Regulations) states, “Food shall be obtained from an approved source.”  “Approved” as defined in the food regulations means, “Acceptable to the Health Authority based upon conformance with appropriate, accepted or recognized industry standards, and good public health practice.” Sections 3‐1 and 3‐2 of the Regulations detail the requirements associated with the condition, source, packaging, product identification, records, and other specifications for receiving food.

If there are further questions regarding the approved source, contact your SNHD inspector at (702) 759-1110.

What records must be maintained for approved food source verification?2020-07-01T16:03:11-07:00

Record keeping is an essential component of tracking approved food sources. The food establishment operator should maintain records of where food products were purchased, keep copies of invoices or receipts from vendors for tracking all purchases, and be able to provide source information during inspections by the SNHD.

Who is the regulatory authority in Nevada for growers of raw agricultural commodities?2020-07-01T16:00:04-07:00

The Nevada State Department of Agriculture (NDA) is the recognized authority in Nevada for source verification and standards for onsite growers of agricultural products.  The NDA sets standards for pesticide use and site conditions.  The producer’s certificate issued by the NDA is the most recognized means to prove source from season to season.

What is a producer’s certificate?2020-07-01T15:39:26-07:00

The producer’s certificate is a recognized method of verification that the food establishment is in fact the grower of the products in question. It is proof that what was grown onsite, specific to that growing season, will be what is served by the associated food establishment kitchen or bar.

Why does the SNHD require a producer’s certificate for agricultural products grown onsite?2020-07-01T16:05:47-07:00

The SNHD recognizes the producer’s certificate as the standard for source identity specific to the location where products are grown.

How do I obtain a producer’s certificate?2020-07-01T16:07:44-07:00

To obtain a producer’s certificate, the application must be made to the NDA: http://agri.nv.gov/Plant/Producer_Certification/Producer_Certification_Home/.

You can only apply for those products planted that season. Product requiring a producer’s certificate is not to be used in the preparation of food until the producer’s certificate is obtained.

Can a permitted facility operate an onsite garden and is the garden regulated by the SNHD?2020-07-01T16:10:55-07:00

If the facility has a current producer’s certificate, then food products grown onsite can be used as ingredients in menu items served or sold to the public. The SNHD is not the regulatory authority for food products that are still in the garden; the SNHD is the regulatory authority for verifying the approved source for food products that are sold.

What is an Unpermitted Food Vendor/Illegal Vendor?2020-07-01T16:13:36-07:00

An unpermitted food vendor includes any person or entity selling food without a valid health permit or business license.

NRS 446.870 prohibited acts: Operation of any food establishment without a valid health permit; sale, offer or display of food prepared in private home without a valid health permit.

Farmers that do not have a producers’ certificate are considered unpermitted food vendors/ illegal vendors.

Note: There are exceptions to this law. A facility may fall under the Cottage Food Law or the Craft Food Law if certain criteria are met.

What happens if food from an unapproved source is discovered?2020-07-01T16:15:21-07:00

Food will be placed on hold if documentation of an approved source cannot be provided at the time of inspection. The permit holder has 10 days to provide verifiable proof of approved source (i.e.: invoices from an approved vendor) or to request a hearing; otherwise, the food may be subject to destruction.

Table: Agencies of Jurisdiction2020-09-02T10:46:29-07:00

Foods Regulated

Interstate domestic and imported food but not meat and poultry


  1. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  2. U.S. Customs Service – imported foods
  3. Nevada State Department of Agriculture (NDA)
  4. Southern Nevada Health District – food produced and/or packaged within Clark County, Nevada
  5. Local agency of jurisdiction – food produced outside Clark County

Methods of Verification

Evidence of regulatory oversight: copy of suppliers’ local enforcement agency permit, state or federal registration or license; copy of last inspection report; grower’s agricultural certificate

Foods Regulated

Domestic and imported meat, poultry and related products (such as stews, pizzas and frozen foods containing meat or poultry)


  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  2. U.S. Customs Service – imported foods
  3. Southern Nevada Health District – food products prepared and/or packaged within Clark County, Nevada

Methods of Verification

USDA mark on meat or poultry products or equivalency; registration of importers with USDA. Evidence of regulatory oversight: copy of suppliers’ local enforcement agency permit, state or federal registration or license; copy of last inspection report.

Foods Regulated

Fish and fish products


  1. FDA
  2. USDA – catfish

Methods of Verification

Evidence of regulatory oversight: copy of suppliers’ local enforcement agency permit, state or federal registration or license, or a copy of the last inspection report; USDC approved list at https://www.noaa.gov/fisheries.

Foods Regulated

Shellfish (bivalve mollusks)


  1. FDA

Methods of Verification

Shellfish tags; current Interstate Certified Shellfish Shippers List at https://www.fda.gov/food/federalstate-food-programs/interstate-certified-shellfish-shippers-list.


Updated on: July 2, 2020

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