The Food Protection Program has initiated an incentive program for food establishments which identifies and awards a certificate to food establishments that routinely exhibit excellent food safety and sanitation practice.
Microenterprise Home Kitchens
As of January 1, 2019, AB 626, known as the Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations Act, became law. The law authorizes local governing agencies to implement a program for the permitting of home kitchens for retail use. It is important to note the County of Orange has not authorized the permitting of home kitchens for retail food operations at this time. As such, anyone who operates a retail home kitchen from their residence in Orange County is in violation of the California Retail Food Code. Violators are subject to closure and further enforcement actions.
The County of Orange, Health Care Agency, Environmental Health Division is the lead agency for retail food operations and is working with the local governing bodies of the County and Cities on the implementation of AB 626. Please check back frequently as details on implementation are established.
Click here for information from the California Department of Public Health on Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) in Food Products.
Notice on Partially-Hydrogenated Oil Use in Food for Human Consumption
On June 18, 2018, partially-hydrogenated oils (PHOs) will no longer be recognized as safe for human consumption by Order of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA defines PHOs as those fats and oils that have been hydrogenated, but not to complete or near complete saturation, and with an iodine value (IV) greater than 4.
Any party may seek food additive approval from the FDA for the use of PHOs with data that demonstrates no harm of the proposed use.
The Order DOES NOT apply to:
A.Naturally occurring trans fat (ingredients from ruminant sources)
B.The use of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)
C.Partially hydrogenated methyl ester of rosin
D.Fully hydrogenated oils
E.Edible oils that contain Industrially-Produced Trans Fatty Acids (IP-TFA) as an impurity.
An extension has been granted until June 18, 2019 for the manufacturing of specific, limited petitioned uses of PHOs. This will allow time for reformulation. By January 1, 2021 all of these products should have worked their way through distribution and no longer be sold.
Greetings from the Orange County Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health Food and Pool Safety Program. Our team of inspectors are here to partner with our food businesses to ensure food prepared or sold within Orange County is safe for consumers. As such, our inspectors share the latest Food for Thought brochure during each routine inspections. These brochures include information about important topics like keeping food at proper temperatures; the importance of handwashing; and food worker training and certificate programs.
If you would like to offer suggestions for future issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are many food facilities that are already contributing and we thank you for your food donations and supporting those in need. If you would like to learn more about donating food, please visit the website for Waste Not OC, www.wastenotoc.org, a coalition established by our own County Health Officer, Dr. Eric Handler, who brought together various food outreach organizations and food industry groups in the fight against hunger and food insecurity. If you would like to donate excess food, please contact our Waste Not OC coalition partner at (855) 700-9662.
If you have questions related to the safe donation of food, please contact Environmental Health at (714) 433-6000.
This toolkit contains customizable forms, labels, food safety checklists and general guidance that your business or organization can use to start a food donation program. Use this downloadable document to access additional tips, legal references, liability protections, and applicable tax deduction information. This guide also lists local resources including Orange County’s own WasteNotOC program to help you in your efforts to donate surplus food. Click on the link HERE.
Food Safety Recall "Widget"
A food recall occurs when there is reason to believe that a food may cause consumers to become ill. A food manufacturer or distributor initiates the recall to take foods off the market. In some situations, food recalls are requested by government agencies (USDA or FDA).
Some reasons for recalling food include:
Discovery of an organism in a product which may make consumers sick
Discovery of a potential allergen in a product
Mislabeling or misbranding of food. For example, a food may contain an allergen, such as nuts or eggs, but those ingredients do not appear on the label.
The widget available on this page is provided by the Department of Health & Human Services.
Beginning January of 2017, the OC Health Care Agency’s Environmental Health division will be introducing a new Retail Food Facility Inspection Report that is based on the California Food Inspection Data Fields Marking Guideline. The report aligns with the risk-based inspection process that was adopted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in August of 2015. This change is intended to better standardize retail food inspections with other jurisdictions throughout the state and emphasize the prevention of foodborne illness risk factors for the health and safety of Orange County’s residents and visitors. You may reference the Retail Food Program Inspection Guide herefor a thorough description of the changes. Here are some of the highlights:
Routine inspections will now be provided in a “checklist” format, which will recognize food facilities for complying with critical risk factors, in addition to noting those violations that need to be corrected.
The inspection report will be divided into three sections: (1) Critical Risk Factors, (2) Good Retail Practices, and (3) Compliance & Enforcement to more clearly depict the degree of risk associated with each violation and measures taken in response to the observed violation.
The posting of the inspection notification seals (Pass, Reinspection Due - Pass, Closed) will remain the same.
For any questions regarding these changes, please contact your assigned inspector or Environmental Health at (714) 433-6000.
You’ve got a mystery on your hands! In recognition of Global Handwashing Day, the Food Protection Program is excited to launch our new handwashing campaign: The Art of Handwashing. Explore our art-inspired handwashing signs and new oral culture storyboard.
Need to pay your Annual Health Permit Invoice? Good news, you can now pay online!
Norovirus is the leading cause of illness from contaminated food or water – but food isn’t the only way people get this illness. It also spreads easily from person to person and spreads quickly in groups of people. Read here to find out more about Norovirus.
Food Safety Education Month
Food Safety Education Month may be over, but the information is relevant year-round. Please click on the link to access great information on food safety and learn what you can do to prevent food poisoning.
Every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food. Some people are more likely to get a foodborne illness (also called food poisoning) or to get seriously ill.
Click here for additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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