Consumer Health Program


The Consumer Health Program is the umbrella service that includes sanitary protection, public health nuisance inspections, environmental health investigations and training. Health inspection supervisors and staff work to serve contracting communities and county government. These services are part of the department’s contractual agreements, which facilitate municipal compliance with state public health regulations. A combination of supervisory and direct services is provided to 30 contracting towns. A summary of 2001 program activities follows.



Food Inspections and Training


  • 2,837 food establishment inspections (i.e., delicatessens, restaurants and supermarkets) were conducted; 1,298 required repeat inspections and 306 enforcement actions were taken.

  • 2,752 routine and suspect food samples, such as mixed salad, were processed in the public health lab, and 663 food violations (i.e., salad with high bacteria counts) required follow-up.

  • 29 three-hour training programs designed for the food establishment workforce were offered to reduce the threat of intestinal communicable diseases. More than 650 food handlers attended. Food handler classes were conducted in English, Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Korean and Spanish. Sanitary inspectors have offered feedback stating that there are fewer violations at facilities where food service staff have attended the food handlers’ course.

  • An 18-hour food manager-training course was offered three times; 87 people attended, more than 20 percent above the year 2000.

  • One food safety course was presented free of charge to older adults.

  • Click here to view information on how to obtain restaurant and food establishment inpection reports


Sanitary Inspections


  • 85 facilities, including swimming pools, wading pools, bathing beaches, spas, and hot tubs were inspected for compliance with state recreational bathing regulations prior to opening for the season. Bacteria levels, including camphylobacter, giardia, shigella and salmonella, were monitored to prevent disease. From Memorial Day to Labor Day), each bathing establishment was inspected at least twice. The department conducted oversight of weekly pool water testing by a private environmental laboratory.

  • 7 enforcement actions were taken, and 3 facilities were required to close temporarily for water quality violations.

Environmental Health Investigation/Follow-up

  • 1820 nuisance complaints (garbage, odor, weeds, barking dogs, etc.) were investigated, and 130 enforcement actions were taken.
  • No environmental investigations were required due to child blood lead level ≥20 mg/dL.
  • In addition to routine inspections, the Consumer Health Program responded to 27 emergency incidents such as fires, power outages and flooding.