The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
- Subchapter 001: Food and Lodging Establishments Generally
§ 4301. Definitions
(a) As used in this chapter:
(1) “Bakery” means all buildings, rooms, basements, cellars, lofts, or other premises or part thereof used, occupied, or maintained for the purpose of producing for sale bread, cakes, pies, or other food products made either wholly or partially with flour.
(2) “Children’s camp” means any residential camp for children that:
(A) offers a combination of programs and facilities established for the primary purpose of providing an experience to children;
(B) is operated for five or more consecutive days during one or more seasons of the year; and
(C) provides 24-hours-a-day supervision of children.
(3) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Health.
(4) “Department” means the Department of Health.
(5) “Establishment” means food manufacturing establishments, food service establishments, lodging establishments, children’s camps, seafood vending facilities, and shellfish reshippers and repackers.
(6) “Food” means articles of food, drink, confectionery, or condiment for human consumption, whether simple, mixed, or compound, and all substances and ingredients used in the preparation thereof.
(7) “Food manufacturing establishment” or “food processor” means all buildings, rooms, basements, cellars, lofts, or other premises or part thereof used, occupied, or maintained for the purpose of manufacturing, preparing, packing, canning, bottling, keeping, storing, handling, serving, or distributing food for sale. A food manufacturing establishment shall include food processors, bakeries, distributers, and warehouses. A food manufacturing establishment shall not include a place where only maple syrup or maple products, as defined in 6 V.S.A. § 481, are prepared for human consumption.
(8) “Food service establishment” means entities that prepare, serve, and sell food to the public, including restaurants, temporary food vendors, caterers, mobile food units, and limited operations as defined in rule.
(9) “Lodging establishment” means a place where overnight accommodations are regularly provided to the transient, traveling, or vacationing public, including hotels, motels, inns, and bed and breakfasts. “Lodging establishment” shall not include short-term rentals.
(10) “Salvage food” means any food product from which the label on the packaging has been lost or destroyed or that has been subjected to possible damage as the result of an accident, fire, flood, or other cause that prevents the product from meeting the specifications of the manufacturer or the packer but is otherwise suitable for human consumption.
(11) “Salvage food facility” means any food vendor for which salvage food comprises 50 percent or more of gross sales.
(12) “Seafood vending facility” means a store, motor vehicle, retail stand, or similar place from which a person sells seafood for human consumption.
(13) “Shellfish reshipper and repacker” means an establishment engaging in interstate commerce of molluskan shellfish.
(14) “Short-term rental” means a furnished house, condominium, or other dwelling room or self-contained dwelling unit rented to the transient, traveling, or vacationing public for a period of fewer than 30 consecutive days and for more than 14 days per calendar year.
(b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to modify or affect laws or rules of the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets. (Amended 1989, No. 256 (Adj. Sess.), § 10(a), eff. Jan 1, 1991; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 76, § 5; 2018, No. 10 (Sp. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 4302. General requirements
(a) A person shall not manufacture, prepare, pack, can, bottle, keep, store, handle, serve, or distribute in any manner food for the purpose of sale in an unclean, unsanitary, or unhealthful establishment or under unclean, unsanitary, or unhealthful conditions.
(b) A person shall not engage in the business of conducting a lodging establishment, short-term rental, or children’s camp under unclean, unsanitary, or unhealthful conditions. (Amended 2017, No. 76, § 5; 2018, No. 10 (Sp. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 4303. Rulemaking
(a) The Commissioner shall adopt rules pursuant to 3 V.S.A. chapter 25 to establish minimum standards for the safe and sanitary operation of food or lodging establishments or children’s camps or any combination thereof and for their administration and enforcement. The rules shall require that an establishment be constructed, maintained, and operated with strict regard for the health of the employees and the public pursuant to the following general requirements:
(1) The entire establishment and its immediate appertaining premises, including the fixtures and furnishings, the machinery, apparatus, implements, utensils, receptacles, vehicles, and other devices used in the production, keeping, storing, handling, serving, or distributing of the food, or the materials used in the food, shall be constructed, maintained, and operated in a clean, sanitary, and healthful manner.
(2) The food and the materials used in the food shall be protected from any foreign or injurious contamination that may render them unfit for human consumption.
(3) The clothing, habits, and conduct of the employees shall be conducive to and promote cleanliness, sanitation, and healthfulness.
(4) There shall be proper, suitable, and adequate toilets and lavatories constructed, maintained, and operated in a clean, sanitary, and healthful manner.
(5) There shall be proper, suitable, and adequate water supply, heating, lighting, ventilation, drainage, sewage disposal, and plumbing.
(6) There shall be proper operation and maintenance of pools, recreation water facilities, spas, and related facilities within lodging establishments.
(7) The Commissioner may adopt any other minimum conditions deemed necessary for the operation and maintenance of a food or lodging establishment in a safe and sanitary manner.
(b)(1) The rules adopted by the Commissioner shall provide that a service member or veteran who is designated by the U.S. Armed Forces as a 92G Culinary Specialist or equivalent and is certified as a culinarian by the American Culinary Federation shall be deemed to:
(A) have knowledge of the prevention of food-borne disease;
(B) be able to apply the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point principles; and
(C) have met the criteria for “demonstration of knowledge” requirements set forth by the Department of Health in rule for the purposes of obtaining a food establishment license.
(2) As used in this subsection:
(A) “Service member” means an individual who is an active member of:
(i) the U.S. Armed Forces;
(ii) a reserve component of the U.S. Armed Forces;
(iii) the U.S. Coast Guard; or
(iv) the National Guard of any state.
(B) “Veteran” means a former service member who received an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions from active duty not more than two years prior to submitting an application for a food establishment license under this chapter. (Amended 2017, No. 76, § 5; 2017, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.)
§ 4304. Employees
(a) An employer shall not allow a person affected with any contagious, infectious, or other disease or physical ailment that may render employment detrimental to the public health to work in an establishment, and a person so affected shall not work in an establishment subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(b) The Commissioner may require a person employed in an establishment subject to the provisions of this chapter to undergo medical testing or an examination necessary for the purpose of determining whether the person is affected by a contagious, infectious, or other disease or physical ailment that may render his or her employment detrimental to public health. The Commissioner may prohibit a person from working in an establishment pursuant to an emergency health order described in section 127 of this title if the person refuses to submit to medical testing or an examination. (Amended 2017, No. 76, § 5.)
§ 4305. Repealed. 2017, No. 76, § 5.
§ 4306. Inspection
(a) It shall be the duty of the Commissioner to enforce the provisions of this chapter and of 6 V.S.A. § 3312(d), and he or she shall be permitted to inspect through his or her duly authorized officers, inspectors, agents, or assistants, at all reasonable times, an establishment, an establishment’s records, and a salvage food facility subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Whenever an inspection demonstrates that the establishment or salvage food facility is not operated in accordance with the provision of this chapter, the officer, inspector, agent, or assistant shall notify the licensee of the conditions found and direct necessary changes. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2007, No. 38, § 8a, eff. May 21, 2007; 2017, No. 76, § 5.)
§ 4307. Hearing; orders
When an inspection demonstrates that any establishment is being maintained or operated in violation of the provisions of this chapter or any related rules, the Commissioner shall provide written notice, together with an order commanding both abatement of the violation and compliance with this chapter within a reasonable period of time to be fixed in the order. Under any related rules adopted by the Commissioner, a person upon whom the notice and order are served shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show cause as to why the order should be vacated or amended. When, upon a hearing, it appears that the provisions of this chapter have not been violated, the Commissioner shall immediately vacate the order, but without prejudice. When, however, it appears that the provisions have been violated and the person fails to comply with an order issued by the Commissioner under the provisions of this section, the Commissioner shall revoke, modify, or suspend the person’s license or enforce a civil penalty. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2017, No. 76, § 5.)
§ 4308. Repealed. 2017, No. 76, § 5.
§ 4309. Penalty
A person who violates a provision of this chapter or 6 V.S.A. § 3312(d), for which no other penalty is provided, shall be fined not more than $300.00 for the first offense and, for each subsequent offense, not more than $500.00. (Amended 2007, No. 38, § 8b, eff. May 21, 2007; 2017, No. 76, § 5.)
§§ 4310, 4311. Repealed. 1977, No. 147 (Adj. Sess.).
- Subchapter 002: Licensing Food and Lodging Establishments
§ 4351. License from Department of Health
(a) A person shall not operate or maintain a food manufacturing facility, retail food establishment, lodging establishment, children’s camp, seafood vending facility, or any other place in which food is prepared and served, unless he or she obtains and holds from the Commissioner a license authorizing such operation. All licenses shall be displayed in a manner as to be easily viewed by the public.
(b)(1) A person shall not knowingly and willingly sell or offer for sale a bulk product manufactured by a bakery, regardless of whether the bakery is located inside or outside the State, unless the operator of the bakery holds a valid license from the Commissioner.
(2) The Commissioner shall not grant a license to a bakery located outside the State unless:
(A) the person operating the bakery:
(i) has consented in writing to the Department’s inspection and paid the required fee; or
(ii) has presented to the Department satisfactory evidence of inspection and approval from the proper authority in his or her state and paid the required fee; and
(B) inspection of the bakery confirms that it meets the laws and rules of this State.
(c) The Commissioner may issue a temporary license for no more than 90 days. The temporary license shall state the conditions under which it is issued.
(d) If the Commissioner does not renew a license, he or she shall provide written notice to the licensee. The notice shall specify any changes necessary to conform with State rules and shall state that if compliance is achieved within the time designated in the notice, the license shall be renewed. If the licensee fails to achieve compliance within the prescribed time, the licensee shall have an opportunity for a hearing.
(e) Any licensee or applicant aggrieved by a decision or order of the Commissioner may appeal to the Superior Court of the county in which such person resides or maintains a place of business within 30 days after that decision.
(f) If a licensee fails to renew the licensee’s license within 60 days after its expiration date, a licensee shall apply for a new license and meet all licensure requirements anew. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1969, No. 242 (Adj. Sess.), eff. April 2, 1970; 1973, No. 98, § 7, eff. July 1, 1973; 1989, No. 103, § 1; 2017, No. 76, § 5; 2023, No. 6, § 149, eff. July 1, 2023; 2023, No. 53, § 119, eff. June 8, 2023.)
§ 4352. Application
Prior to operating an establishment in which food is prepared and served or in which three or more lodging units are offered to the public, a person shall apply to the Commissioner upon forms supplied by the Department and shall pay a license fee as provided by section 4353 of this title. An application for licensure shall be submitted no fewer than 30 days prior to the opening of a food or lodging establishment. Upon receipt of such license fee and when satisfied that the premises are sanitary and healthful in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and related rules, the Commissioner shall issue a license to the applicant with respect to the premises described in the application. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2017, No. 76, § 5.)
(a) The Commissioner may establish by rule any requirement the Department needs to determine the applicable categories or exemptions for licenses. The following license fees shall be paid annually to the Department at the time of making the application according to the following schedules:
I Seating capacity of 0 to 25; $105.00
II Seating capacity of 26 to 50; $180.00
III Seating capacity of 51 to 100; $300.00
IV Seating capacity of 101 to 200; $385.00
V Seating capacity of 201 to 599; $450.00
VI Seating capacity 600 and over; $1,000.00
VII Home Caterer; $155.00
VIII Commercial Caterer; $260.00
IX Limited Operations; $140.00
X Fair Stand; $125.00; if operating for four or more days per year; $230.00
(2) Lodging establishments
I Lodging capacity of 1 to 10; $130.00
II Lodging capacity of 11 to 20; $185.00
III Lodging capacity of 21 to 50; $250.00
IV Lodging capacity of 51 to 200; $390.00
V Lodging capacity of over 200; $1,000.00
(3) Food manufacturing establishment - a fee for any person or persons that process food for resale to restaurants, stores, or individuals according to the following schedule:
(A) Food manufacturing establishments; nonbakeries
I Gross receipts of $10,001.00 to $50,000.00;
II Gross receipts of over $50,000.00; $275.00
III Gross receipts of $10,000.00 or less are exempt
pursuant to section 4358 of this title
(B) Food manufacturing establishment; bakeries
I Home bakery; $100.00
II Small commercial; $200.00
III Large commercial; $350.00
(4) Seafood vending facility $200.00, unless operating pursuant to another license issued by the Department of Health and generating $40,000.00 or less in seafood gross receipts annually. If generating more than $40,000.00 in seafood gross receipts annually, the fee is to be paid regardless of whether the facility is operating pursuant to another license issued by the Department.
(5) Shellfish reshippers and repackers $375.00.
(6) Children s camps $150.00.
(b) The Commissioner of Health shall be the final authority on definition of categories contained in this section.
(c) All fees received by the Department under this section shall be credited to a special fund and shall be available to the Department to offset the cost of providing the services. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1975, No. 118, 69, eff. April 30, 1975; 1985, No. 166 (Adj. Sess.), 1; 1989, No. 103, 2; 1995, No. 47, 5, eff. April 20, 1995; 1997, No. 155 (Adj. Sess.), 60, eff. July 1, 1999; 2001, No. 65, 7, 7a, eff. July 1, 2002, 7b, eff. July 1, 2003; 2007, No. 76, 12, eff. June 7, 2007; 2011, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), 5; 2015, No. 57, 9; 2017, No. 76, 5.)
§ 4354. Term of license
A license shall expire annually on a date established by the Department and shall be renewed upon the payment of a new license fee if the licensee is in good standing with the Department. (Amended 1973, No. 98, § 8, eff. July 1, 1973; 1975, No. 118, § 70, eff. April 30, 1975; 2017, No. 76, § 5.)
§§ 4355-4357. Repealed. 2017, No. 76, § 5.
§ 4358. Exemptions
(a) The provisions of this subchapter shall apply only to those hotels, inns, restaurants, tourist camps, and other places that solicit the patronage of the public by advertising by means of signs, notices, placards, radio, electronic communications, or printed announcements.
(b) The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to an individual manufacturing and selling bakery products from his or her own home kitchen whose average gross retail sales do not exceed $125.00 per week.
(c) Any food manufacturing establishment claiming a licensing exemption shall provide documentation as required by rule.
(d) The Commissioner shall not adopt a rule requiring food establishments that operate less than six months of the year and provide outdoor seating for fewer than 16 people at one time to provide toilet and hand washing facilities for patrons. (Amended 2017, No. 76, § 5.)
- Subchapter 003: Serving Milk to Public
§ 4391. Milk to be served in original container
A person, firm, or corporation owning or operating a hotel, restaurant, store, lunch room, fountain, roadside booth or stand, or a boarding house that makes a practice of serving meals to transients and who purchases milk for resale or to serve to his or her patrons shall not either directly or by an agent, servant, or employee sell or serve milk for drinking purposes to his or her patrons unless such milk is served or sold in the original bottle or like container in which the milk was delivered to such hotel, restaurant, store, lunch room, fountain, roadside lunch booth or stand, or boarding house.
§ 4392. Exceptions; dispensing devices
(a) The provisions of section 4391 of this title shall-not be construed to prevent or prohibit a person, firm, or corporation from purchasing milk in bulk for uses other than for serving patrons for drinking purposes, nor to prevent the sale or serving of cream, skimmed milk, or buttermilk from bulk, if the same is pure and wholesome and is sold and served as cream, skimmed milk, or buttermilk, nor shall it prevent or prohibit the sale of milk in mixed drinks at soda fountains, or from original bulk containers equipped with a dispensing device, provided the owner of such device has notified the Department of Health and the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets of each device installed and its location and has complied in all other respects with the rules of the Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets as provided in this subchapter.
(b) Milk or chocolate milk dispensed from any such device shall be homogenized and pasteurized and flavored skimmed milk shall be pasteurized. The words “chocolate milk,” as used in this subsection, shall be construed to mean milk of a butterfat content of not less than 3.5 percent butterfat to which chocolate has been added and any flavored milk drink with a content of less than 3.5 percent butterfat shall be labeled “Flavored Drink” according to the flavor used. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 1989, No. 256 (Adj. Sess.), § 10(a), eff. Jan. 1, 1991; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 86; 2023, No. 6, § 150, eff. July 1, 2023; 2023, No. 53, § 120, eff. June 8, 2023.)
§ 4393. Rulemaking
The Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Markets shall, subject to approval by the Department of Health, make and adopt such rules as the Secretary deems necessary relating to the construction, operation, and use of such dispensing devices. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), § 27, eff. March 1, 1961; 2003, No. 42, § 2, eff. May 27, 2003; 2017, No. 113 (Adj. Sess.), § 87; 2023, No. 53, § 121, eff. June 8, 2023.)
§ 4394. Penalty
A person, firm, or corporation who violates a provision of section 4391 of this title shall be fined not more than $50.00.
- Subchapter 004: Bakeries
§§ 4441-4451. Repealed. 2017, No. 76, § 5.
- Subchapter 005: Salvage Food Facilities
§§ 4461, 4462. Repealed. 2017, No. 76, § 5.
§ 4463. Repealed. 2011, No. 128 (Adj. Sess.), § 7.
- Subchapter 006: Temporary Outdoor Seating
§ 4465. Repealed. 2017, No. 76, § 5.
- Subchapter 007: Short-Term Rentals
§ 4466. Inspection
(a) The Commissioner may inspect through his or her duly authorized officers, inspectors, agents, or assistants, at all reasonable times, a short-term rental and the operator’s records related to the short-term rental.
(b) Whenever an inspection demonstrates that the short-term rental is not operated in accordance with applicable provisions of this chapter, the officer, inspector, agent, or assistant shall notify the operator of the conditions found and shall direct necessary changes.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to supersede the authority and responsibilities of the Division of Fire Safety. The Division’s Executive Director shall inform the Commissioner in a timely manner of any enforcement actions that the Division has taken against the operator of a short-term rental. (Added 2018, No. 10 (Sp. Sess.), § 1; amended 2019, No. 14, § 49, eff. April 30, 2019.)
§ 4467. Posting contact information
A short-term rental operator shall post within the unit a telephone number for the person responsible for the unit and the contact information for the Department of Health and the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety. (Added 2018, No. 10 (Sp. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 4468. Educational materials
(a) The Department of Health, in collaboration with the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety, shall prepare a packet of information pertaining to the health, safety, and financial obligations of short-term rental operators, including information regarding the importance of reviewing options for property and liability insurance with the operator’s insurance company.
(b) Included with the information packet set forth in subsection (a) of this section shall be a self-certification form pertaining to health and safety precautions that short-term rental operators must take into consideration prior to renting a unit. The form shall be retained by the operator and need not be filed with the Department. (Added 2018, No. 10 (Sp. Sess.), § 1.)