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.
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Safe Food Donation
Did you know that 1 in 8 people in Orange County experience hunger or food insecurity on a regular basis and that 1 in 5 are children?
Did you know that donating unused food can be easy and there are laws that protect good Samaritans? Here is some quick information about the safe donation of excess food to food banks and nonprofit organizations:
Ensure food is protected from other sources (improper handling) which may cause foodborne diseases.
Keep hot food hot and cold food cold while awaiting transportation (ask how foods will be transported to maintain food safety).
Do not donate canned food that is dented on the top or side seams or are leaking or swollen.
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.
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.
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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!
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.
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.
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