Environmental Health

Environmental Health

The Environmental Health program's mission is to minimize or eliminate potentially harmful situations in public environments and to contain and stop the spread of diseases if and when they appear. We inspect and enforce standards for food service, water purity, child daycare facilities, traveler accommodations and certain public recreation facilities to protect the community health.

We are responsible for the inspection and licensing of all food services, including all full-service restaurants, bed and breakfasts, mobile units, commissaries, warehouses, vending machines and temporary restaurants, such as food booths.

We inspect day care centers, schools and jails. We are responsible for licensing inspections of tourist accommodations, including hotels, motels, hostels, organizational camps, recreational vehicle parks, public swimming pools and spas. We inspect and monitor public drinking water systems.

HOW TO CONTACT US:

  • Reach us by phone at: (503) 325-8500, Ext. 1927
  • Fax us at: (503) 325-8678
  • E-mail Maureen at: mtaylor@co.clatsop.or.us
  • Mail your inquiries to:

    Clatsop County Public Health Department
    Attn: Environmental Health Program
    820 Exchange St., Suite 100
    Astoria, OR 97103
State of Oregon agencies:

Oregon Department of Agriculture Food Safety Phone: (503) 325-8086

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality Phone: (503) 861-3280

Oregon Department of Health and Human Services
Food, Pool & Lodging Health & Safety Section
 Phone: (971) 673-0451

Oregon Department of Health and Human Services
Drinking Water Program
Phone: (971) 673-0405

FEE INFORMATION

All restaurant license and other fees can be found here.

 

FOOD SERVICES

Public food services serve a large and varied part of the population. Poor food handling practices in one establishment may therefore have a large impact on the population as a whole.

Think about the last time you ate out. Was the food served hot? Did the restroom have hand soap and paper towels? We look for these things to keep people from getting sick. People can get sick if food is left out at room temperature or if germs get into their food or drinks. Hands can look clean but if they have germs on them, someone can get sick. Food can smell good but have germs on it that make it unsafe to eat. That is why we work with food services to develop safe food-handling habits.

We license and inspect restaurants and other public food service operations. We provide food handler training and licensing. We provide consultation with a food sanitarian.

Operations that must be licensed and inspected are:

  • Permanent food establishments, such as restaurants or a bed and breakfast, and tourist accommodations that serve food;
  • Mobile food establishments, such as food cards, espresso carts and food served out of vehicles or kiosks;
  • Temporary food establishments or food booths, operating in conjunction with a community celebration or farmer’s market;
  • Catering businesses hired for private parties and events.

All restaurants must obtain a license from Clatsop County each year. To renew a license, payment is due no later than Dec. 31 of each year.

Plan reviews are required for new construction and extensive remodeling. To arrange for a plan review, contact us at (503) 325-8500.

To apply for a license to open a new restaurant, or to re-license a restaurant that has changed ownership, call us at (503) 325-8500 to be mailed the appropriate licensing documents.

Temporary restaurants

Temporary restaurants set up to provide food in connection with a community event such as a fair, carnival, festival, concert or other similar public gathering are required to obtain a temporary restaurant license.

Steps to obtaining a license:

1. Complete and submit a Temporary License application or operational review no less than 2 weeks prior to the event. Click the following links for an application and handbook for 1 or 2 day events. An operational review for intermittent and seasonal temporary restaurants can be obtained here. Click here for additional information.

2. A fee is associated with a Temporary Restaurant license for for-profit businesses/organizations. Non-profit organizations are fee-exempt but still require a license.

3. Licenses are issued at the event site the day of the event.

4. A person holding a current Oregon Food Handler card is required to be on-site at all times to oversee your food service operations and any volunteers.

To submit your application and payment:

Mail to: 

Clatsop County Public Health Department
Attn: Environmental Health Program
820 Exchange St., Suite 100
Astoria, OR 97103

 

Illness Complaints

If you have been diagnosed with a foodborne illness involving a food establishment in Clatsop County, please call us at (503) 325-8500 to file a report. You will be asked for information about all the meals you consumed the day of your illness, along with those during the two days prior to your illness (three days total), including dates, times, location and foods that you ate. We will also ask about your symptoms and time of onset.

Food Safety Program (Food Handler Card)

Food service workers are required to obtain a Food Handler Card within 30 days of beginning work. The cost of the card is $10 and the card is valid for three years. Food handler cards issued in any county are valid throughout Oregon. If you have a valid food manager-training certificate, it is accepted in lieu of a food handler card. Food handler cards issued in other states are not valid in Oregon.

Food Management Training

In general, Food Manager Certification is not required by law in Oregon. However, it will provide managers with in-depth knowledge of proper food safety practices for use in their facilities. Another benefit of food managers' training is that facilities with a certified food manager as the Person In Charge (PIC) will meet the Demonstration of Knowledge requirement in the new Oregon Food Code. The person in charge must be able to demonstrate knowledge of foodborne disease prevention, application of Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points and the requirements in the food rule.

Managers that have successfully passed one of the listed courses are not required to have a Food Handler's Card in the state of Oregon and their Manager's Certificate can be used in any county statewide.

 

PUBLIC POOLS, SPAS and WADING POOLS

Public pools and spas are inspected for safety and disease prevention twice a year. The sanitarian inspects the pool/spa water chemistry to ensure that a minimum amount of disinfecting agent is in the water, the filtration system is operating correctly and that all life-saving and safety equipment are in place.

Click here for information on the State of Oregon's Public Pool and Tourist Facility Program.

Pool and Spa Operator Training

Certification of pool/spa operators is currently not required by law in Oregon. However, there are training opportunities  that will increase knowledge and competency for improved pool and spa operations, water chemistry control and health and safety practices. Contact us for current information on classes that maybe given locally.

 

DRINKING WATER PROGRAM

We administer and enforce drinking water quality standards for systems serving 3,300 or fewer customers and/or using groundwater sources. Other systems are managed by the Oregon Drinking Water Program. Our purpose is to reduce health risk and increase compliance with drinking water standards. Our goal is to prevent contamination of these systems through source protection and technical assistance.

 

DAYCARE FACILITIES

Upon request we provide health and sanitation consultants and inspections for child daycare centers for the licensing authority, the State of Oregon Employment Department, Child Care Division. To contact a childcare certifier at the State of Oregon Child Care Division, call (503) 669-7112, Ext. 4, or visit www.childcareinoregon.org.

 

OTHER PUBLIC FACILITIES

The Clatsop County Environmental Health Division inspects many public facilities for compliance to Oregon State Department of Human Services rules. The goal of these inspections is to ensure the protection of the health and welfare of persons using these facilities.

These links provide access to Oregon Administrative rules established by the Oregon Department of Human Services as well as application materials associated with each type of facility.

Motels/Hotels

We inspect tourist accommodations every 24 months. We look at the general condition of the facility, beds and bedding, rooms, handling of dishware and glasses between patrons, and some fire safety.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and breakfast establishments that are licensed in Oregon are single-family residences that offer more than 2 rooms for rent to the public, and offer solely a breakfast meal as part of the cost of the room.

We inspect bed and breakfasts annually for the general condition of the building, the beds, bedding and lavatory accommodations, the fine line of owner and renter separation that can potentially affect public health, and the food service according to the Oregon Food Sanitation Code.

Recreational Vehicle Parks

We inspect RV parks twice a year. Some of the issues we look at are water and sewer connections, egress from the park, spacing between vehicles, condition of restrooms and showers, garbage facilities and pet facilities.

Organizational Camps

We inspect organizational camps in our county one or two times a year. Issues include food service; housing, including bedding, showers and toilets; drinking water and septic systems; program areas and training of staff for special activities and appropriate health services.

School Cafeterias

We inspect all public school cafeterias in the county twice a year. We look at typical food service issues and encourage schools to have HACCP plans.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY COMPLAINTS

If you have a health or safety concern about the establishments that are licensed and inspected by the Environmental Health Program, please call in a complaint to (503) 325-8500 or email mtaylor@co.clatsop.or.us