About the Food Safety Program
The Food Safety Program is responsible for permitting and inspecting retail food establishments in Whatcom County such as restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, school cafeterias and mobile food vendors. The Food Safety Program also permits and inspects farmer's markets, temporary food events and soup kitchens.
Food safety is important to each member of our community. The CDC estimates that 48 million Americans get sick each year from food borne illnesses.
Whatcom County permits about 1300 permanent food establishments. Managers and food workers are trained to handle food safety and must pass the Washington State food worker training test. All food establishments must comply with the Washington State Retail Food Code.
In addition to routine inspections, the food safety program staff help to prevent food-borne illness in Whatcom County by:
Power Outages in Food Establishments
The time to plan for an emergency is before one happens. These guidelines can help retail food businesses know what to do before, during, and after a power outage so they can protect their customers from foodborne disease and minimize product losses.
The biggest food safety concern is the condition of potentially hazardous food such as meats, eggs, dairy products, cooked vegetables, and cut melons. Potentially hazardous foods are usually moist, non-acidic, perishable foods and must be kept at temperatures below 41°F or above 135°F for safety.