Different agencies are responsible for different types of food safety inspections. Here is a summary of the work done by each of the food inspection partner agencies in Washington State.
Retail food establishment inspection - Local Health Departments
Retail establishments are those that sell food directly to the consumer. Whatcom County Health and Community Services, and other local health agencies are responsible for inspecting:
- Retail grocery stores
- Food trucks
- Coffee shops
- Taverns and brew pubs
- Temporary vendors at fairs, festivals, farmers markets, and fundraisers.
Follow this link to contact other local health jurisdictions in Washington State: Local Health Departments.
Tribal facilities and institutions (including retail food establishments on tribal lands) - Northwest Washington Indian Health Board
Hospitals, prisons, and ferries - Washington State Department of Health
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities - Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
Child care centers - Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families
Wholesale food processors - Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA):
Wholesalers sell food to retail stores or distributors. WSDA is responsible for licensing and inspecting:
- Custom meat facilities
- Seafood processing plants
- Dairy farms
- Coffee roasters
- Farms that process fresh produce
- Some internet food sales
- Wholesale processors preparing foods that are sold inside Washington State
- Except most meat products - see US Department of Agriculture
Wholesale food processors distributing interstate and internationally - US Food and Drug Administration (FDA):
FDA inspects wholesale facilities that process food for sale outside of Washington State. FDA partners with WSDA to inspect some processing facilities.
Wholesale meat processing - US Department of Agriculture (USDA):
USDA is responsible for inspecting wholesale facilities that process most meat products. Foods containing beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, duck, or goat are under USDA jurisdiction.