Permits Required When Feeding Public

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Division

Washington County Environmental Health advises that temporary food service permits are required when providing certain food or drinks to the public, even when the food is free.

“With the cold weather and holidays upon us, there is an increase in food service offerings from holiday festivals, churches, shelters and feeding programs for those in need,” said Jon Kawaguchi, environmental health program supervisor for Washington County. “We remind anyone who plans on providing food or beverages that permits are required when potentially hazardous food items are involved. This helps prevent the spread of foodborne illness.”

The term “potentially hazardous” means food that has to be kept at specific temperatures to minimize the growth of germs or to prevent the formation of toxins in the food, which can make people sick. Examples of potentially hazardous food and drink items include, but are not limited to:

  • Raw and cooked meat/poultry or foods containing meat/poultry, such as casseroles, curries and lasagna
  • Dairy products such as milk, custard and dairy-based desserts
  • Cut fruits and vegetables, salads, raw sprouts
  • Cooked rice, beans or vegetables
  • Foods containing eggs, beans, nuts or other protein-rich foods, such as quiche and soy products
  • Foods that contain potentially hazardous food items, such as sandwiches and wraps
  • Fish, shellfish and crustaceans
  • Baked potatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Tofu and soy-protein foods
  • Garlic-in-oil mixtures
  • Cut melons, including watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew

Should anyone have questions or need clarification on whether their intended event is considered a public event or if the food/beverage to be provided is considered potentially hazardous, they should contact Washington County Environmental Health at 503-846-8722 or

Permits may be obtained by downloading the single event packet available at  

Media Contact:

Wendy Gordon, Communications Coordinator/PIO