FAQ

Birth/Death Records

How do I obtain a Birth/Death Certificate?

Our agency no longer handles vital records for the County. To obtain a new birth/death certificate, please contact the Cook County Clerk's Office.

Chronic Disease Resources

Do you provide screening for cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure?

No, CCDPH does not provide screening for cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Please visit our other health resources page for information on where to go for these services.

Does the CCDPH have a mobile unit to travel to community events?

No, CCDPH does not have a mobile unit to travel to these events.

Does CCDPH offer dental services, and where can I access them?

CCDPH does not provide dental services. For dental services, please visit the Cook County Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN) Clinic Finder online or call 312-864-6420.

Does CCDPH provide screenings and immunizations at health fairs/events?

CCDPH does not offer screenings and immunization services at health fairs/events, with the exception of Blood Lead screenings. To request a health fair or presentation, please visit our Community Resources page.

Does CCDPH offer immunizations at health fairs/events?

At this time no immunizations are offered outside of our clinic locations. Please visit our Clinical Services page for immunization information.

Clinical Services

What are the fees for clinical services fees?

Most of our clinical service fees are on a case by case basis, and some are based on a sliding scale. The best way to find out how much our services would cost is to call one of our clinics and our staff will assist you.

How do I make an appointment for clinical services?

Please visit our Make an Appointment page.

Where can I go to have a Tuberculosis (TB) test done?

TB services are available to all residents of suburban Cook County by appointment only:

To make an appointment or to report a case of Tuberculosis, call (708) 836-8600 or visit our Clinical Services page for more information.

Does WIC provide emergency formula?

No, WIC does not provide emergency formula. WIC can provide information on emergency food pantries. Please visit our Clinical Services page for more information on WIC services and to contact clinic staff.

Does CCDPH do mammograms?

Yes, CCDPH provides clinical breast exams, mammography, pap, and pelvic exams through the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. Please contact the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program staff at (708) 786-4000.

Does CCDPH provide vision and hearing screening services?

CCDPH works with local schools and daycares in suburban Cook County to provide mandated vision and hearing screening screenings. Priority is given to schools/daycares that serve children at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Visit our Vision and Hearing Services page for more information.

How did CCDPH find out about my high risk baby?

High risk newborns are referred to the local health department for public health nursing follow-up through the hospital as part of the Illinois Department of Public Health High Risk Infant Follow-up. The public health nurse will make a home visit to provide anticipatory guidance, education on newborn care, referrals, and developmental assessments.

Communicable Disease Resources

What is Ebola virus?

For answers to frequently asked questions about Ebola virus and for the latest information about Ebola virus in the U.S., please click here.

What diseases are reportable to CCDPH?

Cook County healthcare providers and hospitals must report any suspected or confirmed case of these diseases to the Cook County Department of Public Health within the number of hours or days indicated. To download a printable poster, for your office or agency, please click here.

Where should healthcare facilities go for Inter-Facility Infection Prevention Transfer Form?

The facility transfer form is used between different healthcare facilities to share important information regarding isolation precautions of patients. If known, infection and colonization history should be recorded. For additional information, click here.

What is the process for funeral directors to obtain a non-contagious letter?

To obtain a non-contagious letter, funeral directors are instructed to fax the following items to 708-633-8650:

  • Fax coversheet on letterhead must include: name of deceased, country being shipped to, and whether you are requesting to pick up the letter or receive by mail. Please note: A fax copy may be requested. However, it will not be accepted by the Consul General, Consulate of (Country) unless it has an official raised seal.
  • AND one of the following:
    o Illinois Certificate of Death Worksheet stating cause of death, OR
    o State of Illinois Death CertificateFor additional information, please call 708-633-8030.

Cook County General Business License (GBL)

How do I obtain a GBL?

Please download the Three Steps to Obtain a GBL document.

What is Cook County's Guide to GBL?

To find out more about Cook County's GBL Guide please download this fact sheet.

Where can I find GBL FAQs?

Please download the GBL FAQ document.

Food Safety Resources

How may I report a foodborne illness?

Please contact our Communicable Disease Unit at (708) 633-8030 or use our complaint form.

How may I report other restaurant or food store complaints?

To file a complaint about a food establishment in unincorporated Cook County or in one of the 35 contract towns listed below, please contact Kamala Nagaraj at 708-974-7118 or use our complaint form.

Where may I obtain information regarding the Food Service Sanitation Management Certificate?

You may contact the Illinois Department of Public Health at (708) 544-5300 or visit http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/fdd/fdd_fs_certificate.htm for more information.

What are the requirements for temporary event vendors?

For temporary events located in unincorporated Cook County or one of the municipalities listed on our website, you may contact us at 708-974-7118 for a copy of our temporary regulations. Otherwise, please contact the local municipality directly. Visit http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/fdd/fdd_fs_tempfood.htm for more information.

Who do I contact if I have question concerning Chicago food services?

For inquiries within the City of Chicago, please contact the Chicago Department of Public Health food services.

Cottage Food Law

What products that are made in a home kitchen can be sold under the "cottage food operation" provisions?

The cottage food operation provisions of the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act [410 ILCS 625/4] and the Sanitary Food Preparation Act [410 ILCS 650/11] allow for the sale of certain food that is not potentially hazardous and produced in a home kitchen.

Food that is not potentially hazardous such as baked goods, jam, jelly, preserves, fruit butter, dry herbs, dry herb blends or dry tea blends and that is intended for end-use only, shall be sold by the owner or a family member using safe food handling practices that reduce the risk of contamination.

Jams, Jellies and Preserves:
The following jams, jellies, and preserves are allowed: apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, orange, nectarine, tangerine, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, red currant or a combination of these fruits.

The presence of low sugar or sugar substitute in jams, jellies and preserves, can make a difference in the shelf stability of the product. With lower sugar and pectin levels, spoilage organisms are more likely to survive the cooking process. The best practice for low sugar jams and jellies is that they be processed only in a boiling water canner for a minimum of 10 minutes and not by any other methods unless water activity is determined by a commercial lab to be less than 0.85.

Other jams, jellies, or preserves not listed may be produced if the cottage food operator’s recipe has been tested and documented by a commercial laboratory (at the expense of the cottage food operation) as being not potentially hazardous, containing a pH equilibrium of less than 4.6. (See prohibited items).

Fruit Butters:
The following fruit butters are allowed: apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, and prune. Fruit butters not listed may be produced if the cottage food operator’s recipe has been tested and documented by a commercial laboratory (at the expense of the cottage food operation) as being not potentially hazardous, containing a pH equilibrium of less than 4.6. (See prohibited items).

Baked Goods:
The following baked goods, including, but not limited to the following, are allowed: breads, cookies, cakes, pies and pastries. Only high-acid fruit pies that use the following fruits are allowed: apple, apricot, grape, peach, plum, quince, orange, nectarine, tangerine, blackberry, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, cherry, cranberry, strawberry, red currants or a combination of these fruits. Fruit pies not listed may be produced if the cottage food operator’s recipe has been tested and documented by a commercial laboratory (at the expense of the cottage food operation) as being not potentially hazardous, containing a pH equilibrium of less than 4.6. (See prohibited items).

Dried Foods:
The following dried foods are allowed: dried herbs, dried herb blends, or dry tea blends.

Prohibited Items:
The following items are prohibited from production and sale by a cottage food operation: pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, cheesecake, custard pies, and cream pies, as well as pastries with potentially hazardous fillings or toppings. Pumpkin, banana, and pear butters are not allowed. Also, rhubarb, tomato, pepper and watermelon jellies or jams are not allowed.

Can cottage food operators sell a "take-n-bake" product?

No. These products would require temperature control to prevent bacterial growth and are not allowed for sale by a cottage food operation.

Where can "cottage foods" be sold?

Products can only be sold at farmers’ markets, which are defined by the Public Act 097-0393 as a “common facility or area where farmers gather to sell a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and other locally produced farm and food products, directly to consumers.”

Can products be sold at a year-round or indoor farmers' market?

Yes, as long as the products meet the “cottage food” requirements of the Public Act.

Can products be sold at retail outlets (i.e., local grocery stores or retail markets)?

No, the Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act “cottage food operations” provisions clearly identify farmers’ markets as the only venue where “cottage food” products may be sold. Cottage foods cannot be sold to a retailer for resale or to a restaurant for use or sale in the restaurant. Cottage foods cannot be sold over the Internet, by mail order, or to wholesalers, brokers or other food distributors who will resell the cottage food.

What is a commercial laboratory?

A commercial laboratory is a laboratory which performs fee-for-service analysis. It accepts samples from the public. Such a laboratory may be certified in one or more categories of accreditation. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) laboratories will not perform these services.

Which commercial laboratories do food testing?

A list of laboratories that conduct food testing is included in Attachment A. This list is not all inclusive and the operator may do an Internet search for commercial labs that perform food testing.

What food testing is involved with the testing and documenting of a recipe?

Any product that is not listed as allowed in the jam, jelly, preserve, fruit butter or baked goods shall be tested and documented by a commercial laboratory, at the expense of the cottage food operation, as being not potentially hazardous, containing a pH equilibrium of less than 4.6.

Does each product need to be tested and documented?

Yes, each product that is not listed as allowed shall be tested and documented.

If a cottage food operation has already had their product tested and documented as being not potentially hazardous, and they want to give their recipe to another cottage food operation, does the recipe have to be approved again?

No, if documentation is available and no change to the recipe has been made. However, if no documentation is available or changes to the recipe have been made, testing would be required.

What information must be included on the label of cottage food product?

The basic information that must be on the label is as follows:

  • Name and address of the cottage food operation.
  • The common or usual name of the food product (All capital letters or upper/lower case are both acceptable).
  • The ingredients of the cottage food product, including any colors, artificial flavors, and preservatives, listed in descending order of predominance by weight. If you use a prepared item in your recipe, you must list the sub ingredients as well. For example, soy sauce is not acceptable, soy sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt) would be acceptable. Please see the label below for further examples.
  • The following statement: “This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens.”
  • The date the product was processed.
  • Allergen labeling as specified in federal labeling requirements. www.fda.gov

Here is an example of a label:

THIS PRODUCT WAS PRODUCED IN A HOME KITCHEN NOT SUBJECT TO PUBLIC HEALTH INSPECTION THAT MAY ALSO PROCESS COMMON FOOD ALLERGENS

Chocolate Chip Cookie
Net Wt. 3 oz (85.05 g)
Ingredients: Enriched flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine, mononitrate, riboflavin and folic acid), butter (milk, salt), chocolate chips (sugar, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, butterfat (milk), Soy lecithin as an emulsifier), walnuts, sugar, eggs, salt, artificial vanilla extract, baking soda
Contains: wheat, eggs, milk, soy, walnuts
Artie Pinkster
123 Foodstuff Lane
Casserole City, IL 60000
Production Date: 10/19/2011

Hand-printed labels are acceptable if they are clearly legible, written with durable, permanent ink, and printed large enough to be easily read.

In addition, at the point of sale a placard must be displayed in a prominent location that states the following: “This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens.”

What does allergen labeling, as specified in federal labeling requirements, mean?

It means the operator must identify if any of the ingredients are made from one of the following food groups: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts (such as almonds, pecans or walnuts), wheat, peanuts, and soybeans. So, if there is an ingredient made with a wheat based product, the operator has the following two options:

  • Include the allergen in the ingredient list. For example, a white bread with the following ingredient listing: whole wheat flour, water, salt and yeast. In this example, the statement ‘whole wheat flour’, meets the requirements of federal law.
  • Include an allergen statement (“Contains:”) after the ingredient list. For example a white bread, with the following ingredients: whole wheat flour, water, sodium caseinate, salt and yeast. Contains wheat and milk.

The “Contains” statement must reflect all the allergens found in the product. In this example, the sodium caseinate comes from milk.

Are there any special requirements for tree nuts labeling for allergens?

Yes, if the cottage food product has tree nuts as an ingredient you must identify which tree nut you are using. For example, if you made Nut Bread, an acceptable ingredient list would be: Ingredients: wheat flour, water, almonds, salt, yeast.

The following would not be acceptable:
Ingredients: flour, water, nuts, salt, yeast

Does the cottage food operator have to include home address on product labeling or is a post office box sufficient?

The physical address of the home kitchen must be on the product label, not a post office box. The purpose of including an address on product labels is to be able to locate the business in case of a recall or traceback associated with a foodborne illness complaint or outbreak. The Public Act specifies that the name and address of the business of the cottage food operation shall be included on the label.

Does the cottage food operation have to be registered with the local health authority?

Yes, the cottage food operation shall register with the local health department (LHD) where the cottage food operation resides. Failure to register with the LHD will subject the cottage food operation to regulation by IDPH and/or Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA).

Out-of-state cottage food operations are not allowed as the Public Act only applies to businesses where the home kitchen (primary domestic residence) is physically located in Illinois.

If a cottage food operation cannot meet the requirements of the Public Act, they would fall under current regulation by IDPH, IDOA or LHD as a retail food operation.

Does the cottage food operator need to be certified as a Food Service Sanitation Manager?

Yes, the person preparing and selling products as a cottage food operation must have an Illinois Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification, 410 ILCS 4(b)(6). Courses can be found on the IDPH website at the following link: http://dph.illinois.gov/fssmccourses

Can a cottage food operation be required to pay a registration fee?

Yes. The Public Act permits the LHD to charge a reasonable fee for registration, provided the cottage food operation can meet all the conditions for exemption. However, neither IDPH nor IDOA may charge a fee.

Which LHD should I contact to register my cottage food operation or if I have other questions?

The Cook County Department of Public Health is the state-certified LHD for suburban Cook County with the exception of Evanston, Oak Park, Skokie and Stickney Township who maintain their own state-certified LHD’s. Therefore, if your cottage food operation is located in one of those areas, you should contact the applicable LHD. To contact the Cook County Department of Public Health, please call (708) 974-7118.

General

How do I find my jurisdiction?

Our jurisdiction is within suburban Cook County, with the exception of Chicago, Evanston, Skokie, Oak Park, and Stickney Township.

I want to attend a board of health meeting?

Under the direction of the Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) Board of Directors, the CCDPH holds regular board meetings. The Board is responsible for overseeing a budget of almost $1 billion to provide medical care to the citizens of Cook County. For a listing of board meetings visit the CCHHS meeting calendar.

Healthy Environments

Mold

What is mold?

Molds are small organisms found almost everywhere, inside and outside, including on plants, foods and dry leaves. They can be nearly any color – white, orange, green or black. Molds are beneficial to the environment and are needed to break down dead material. Very tiny and lightweight, mold spores travel easily through the air. Visit our Healthy Environments page for more information.

I rent an apartment that has a mold problem. How do I file a complaint?

The first complaint should be to the property owner. Your landlord can’t fix a problem they have not been informed of. If the property owner is not responding or not taking action to fix the problem, residents should call their local building department. Residents in unincorporated Cook County can call the Cook County Department of Public at 708-974-7117 or use our complaint form.

Does the Cook County Department of Public Health test for mold?

No, CCDPH does not test for mold. Inspections done by CCDPH are visual only. Even if testing is done, no standards or guidelines exist for acceptable levels of mold.

Testing for mold is very difficult and expensive. Residents must hire a contractor to test their homes. Testing cannot determine whether health effects will occur. Mold is normally found outdoors and levels fluctuate from day to day depending on the season. Due to these uncertainties, testing is not recommended in most cases.

What are the health effects of mold?

Many molds can cause adverse health effects. Molds produce allergens, irritants and, sometimes, toxins that may cause adverse reactions in humans. A reaction to mold depends on how much a person is exposed to, the general health and age of a person and the person’s sensitivities or allergies. The same amount of mold may cause health effects in one person, but not in another. Visit our Healthy Environments page for more information.

Wells/Septic

Does CCDPH require inspection of a private well or septic prior to the sale of a residential property?

No, CCDPH does not require a water well, water drinkability test or septic system evaluation as a requirement for selling property. This practice may be required by mortgage lenders as a condition for obtaining a mortgage, or by buyers as a condition of sale, and can be conducted by a private evaluator. CCDPH may conduct an inspection in the case of federal FHA or VA loans.

Under what circumstances does CCDPH review building plans?

CCDPH review plans if a new septic tank and seepage field disposal system is being installed or if a new water well is being drilled to serve a private residence. If a well is being drilled to serve a food operation or other community public water supply as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, approval from IDPH is required.

Immunization Resources

How is the new Tdap vaccine rule being implemented in Illinois schools?

During school year 2012-2013, students entering sixth and ninth grades will be required to provide documentation of receipt of one dose of Tdap. Tdap is a vaccine licensed and recommended to protect pre-teens, adolescents and adults against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough). Tdap is licensed for routine use on or after the 10th birthday. Please note that students entering six and ninth grades are also required to have school physicals. For more information on this rule, click here.

Are there fees associated with immunizations?

To receive immunizations from CCDPH, one of the following eligibility requirements needs to met:

  • Age 0-18 years of age
  • Enroll in Medicaid
  • Uninsured
  • Native American or Alaskan Indian
  • Under-insured (your health insurance won't pay for your children to be vaccinated)

Can adults receive immunizations through CCDPH?

No, immunizations are not provided to adults (over the age of 18 years). However, Hepatitis A and B vaccine may be provided as part of clinical services. Contact our clinic staff for more information or to make an appointment.

How can I get my medical or immunization records?

The Cook County Department of Public Health only has medical/immunization records for people who received medical services or immunizations with our agency. CCDPH does not keep records of immunizations administered by other providers. To request a copy of your medical or immunization records, click here.

How can I get my medical or immunization records if I am a resident within the City of Chicago?

For inquiries within the City of Chicago, please contact the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Jobs

How do I find job/internship opportunities with the Cook County Department of Public Health?

Visit our jobs page for more information.

35 Contract Towns

  • Village of Barrington
  • Village of Bellwood
  • Village of Berkeley
  • Village of Broadview
  • Village of Brookfield
  • Village of Burr Ridge
  • City of Country Club Hills
  • City of Countryside
  • Village of East Hazel Crest
  • Village of Flossmoor
  • Village of Forest Park
  • Village of Hazel Crest
  • City of Hickory Hills
  • Village of Hillside
  • Village of Hodgkins
  • City of Hometown
  • Village of Homewood
  • Village of LaGrange Park
  • Village of Lemont
  • Village of Lincolnwood
  • Village of Maywood
  • City of Northlake
  • City of Palos Heights
  • City of Palos Hills
  • Village of Palos Park
  • Village of Posen
  • Village of Richton Park
  • Village of Riverside
  • Village of Sauk Village
  • Village of South Barrington
  • Village of South Holland
  • Village of Streamwood
  • Village of Summit
  • Village of Willow Springs
  • Village of Worth

Municipalities within suburban Cook County

North District

  • Arlington Hts.
  • Barrington
  • Barrington Hills
  • Bartlett*
  • Buffalo Grove
  • Des Plaines
  • Elgin*
  • Elk Grove Village
  • Evanston**
  • Glencoe
  • Glenview
  • Golf
  • Hanover Park*
  • Hoffman Estates
  • Inverness
  • Kenilworth
  • Lincolnwood
  • Morton Grove
  • Mt. Prospect
  • Niles
  • Northbrook
  • Northfield
  • Palatine
  • Park Ridge
  • Prospect Heights
  • Rolling Meadows
  • Roselle*
  • Rosemont
  • Schaumburg
  • S. Barrington
  • Streamwood
  • Wheeling
  • Wilmette
  • Winnetka
 

West District

  • Bellwood
  • Bensenville*
  • Berkeley
  • Berwyn
  • Broadview
  • Brookfield
  • Burr Ridge*
  • Countryside
  • Elmwood Park
  • Evergreen Park
  • Forest Park
  • Forest View**
  • Franklin Park
  • Harwood Heights
  • Hillside
  • Hinsdale*
  • Hodgkins
  • Indian Head Park
  • LaGrange
  • LaGrange Park
  • Lyons
  • Maywood
  • McCook
  • Melrose Park
  • Norridge
  • Northlake
  • North Riverside
  • River Forest
  • River Grove
  • Riverside
  • Schiller Park
  • Stone Park
  • Westchester
  • Western Springs
  • Willow Springs
 

South District

  • Burnham
  • Calumet City
  • Chicago Heights
  • Country Club Hills
  • Crestwood
  • Dixmoor
  • Dolton
  • East Hazelcrest
  • Flossmoor
  • Ford Heights
  • Glenwood
  • Hazelcrest
  • Harvey
  • Homewood
  • Lansing
  • Lynwood
  • Markham
  • Matteson
  • Midlothian
  • Oak Forest
  • Olympia Fields
  • Park Forest
  • Phoenix
  • Posen
  • Richton Park
  • Riverdale
  • Sauk Village
  • S. Chicago Heights
  • South Holland
  • Steger
  • Thornton
  • Tinley Park
  • University Park
 

Southwest District

  • Alsip
  • Bedford Park
  • Blue Island
  • Burbank
  • Bridgeview
  • Calumet Park
  • Chicago Ridge
  • Cicero
  • Evergreen Park
  • Garden Homes
  • Hickory Hills
  • Hometown
  • Justice
  • Lemont
  • Merrionette Park
  • Oak Lawn
  • Orland Hills
  • Orland Park
  • Palos Heights
  • Palos Park
  • Robbins
  • Summit
  • Worth

Other Health Resources

Does CCDPH provide primary medical care services?

No, CCDPH does not provide primary medical care services. Please visit our other health resources page for information on where to go for these services.

West Nile Virus Resources

Does the Cook County Department of Public Health spray for mosquitoes?

No, CCDPH staff does not spray for mosquitoes. Spraying for mosquitoes (or adult mosquito control) is done by one of the four mosquito abatement districts in suburban Cook County or by a private contractor.

Who do I contact if I have a problem with mosquitoes or mosquito breeding sites around my property?

Residents should contact their local mosquito abatement district (see below).