Food Safety


Most people do not think about foodborne illness until they become ill from unknowingly consuming contaminated food. While the food supply in this country is one of the safest in the world, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne disease in the United States.  Washington County received 64 complaints of foodborne illness in 2012.  

To report a complaint of foodborne illness please contact us.

The estimated cost of foodborne illness in terms of pain and suffering, reduced productivity, and medical costs is 10-83 billion dollars annually.  Pre-school age children, older adults, and those with impaired immune systems are at the highest risk of serious or long-term consequences from foodborne illness.

The goal of Washington County's Environmental Health Program is to protect the public's health by preventing foodborne illness.  To meet this goal, Washington County licenses and inspects food service facilities to assure compliance with the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) Food Sanitation Rules and provide education and Food Handler Certification.

Food Safety inspections include observing kitchen workers' food handling practices, assuring equipment is working properly, measuring food temperatures, inspecting refrigerators and storage areas, assuring safe water availability, verifying the correct concentration and use of sanitizers, and evaluating general cleanliness.  Follow up inspections are conducted as needed.

Restaurant Inspection Scores are public record. A restaurant must receive a score of 70 to pass the inspection. Consumers can find a placard on the restaurant entrance that indicates if a restaurant passed the most recent health inspection.

Food Handler Certification - Information and Testing Schedule