Consumer Protection

The Consumer Protection program works toward creating safe food, child care centers, schools, and body art services in the county through facility inspections, staff education, and general community outreach. The inspection program is implemented through a contract with the state health department. Standards are enforced from regulations adopted at the state level. This system is designed to work in partnership with the operators and employees of food service establishments.

Food Safety

CDC estimates that 48 million people get sick in the U.S. annually, from foodborne illnesses.  In addition, there are 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths per year in the U.S., caused by foodborne illnesses. Food safety is the top priority for the Environmental Health Department as we work with more than 450 local food establishments as well as residents and visitors to promote food safety.

Child Care Centers

Child Care Centers can be a health concern as many of the kids are in diapers and like to put toys in their mouths. Diseases can easily be spread from child to child. Through proper procedures and disinfection, the occurrence of these diseases can be reduced or eliminated.


Schools are another public gathering place where diseases can be spread easily. Access to bathrooms, disinfection of gym mats, etc., can reduce the occurrence of these diseases. Middle and high schools have the additional safety risks associated with science labs. During inspections, department staff will work with school staff to verify proper chemical storage, function of showers and eye wash stations, emergency shut off of gas supplies, etc.

Body Art

Body art shops provide tattoos and piercing for customers. Although rare, such operations can spread disease to customers if not done properly. Shops must maintain good staff hygiene and equipment sterilization to prevent the spread of disease. New facilities are reviewed and approved by the Environmental Health Department prior to opening.  However, this department does not conduct regular inspections of these facilities. Inspections will be done in response to complaints submitted to the department.