Food Safety

The goal of our food safety program is to protect the citizens of Walla Walla County from food-borne illness. The food safety program touches every Walla Walla citizen in one way or another whether it’s dining out, buying food to go, or visiting one of our tasting rooms. We are out inspecting these facilities to ensure that food safety practices are being followed. During our inspections the Inspectors look for compliance in two categories:  critical and non-critical.

Inspectors are trained to focus primarily on critical items as they have the greatest potential to cause illness or harm to the public.  Some examples of critical areas of focus are:

  • Current food worker training for all workers (www.foodworkercard.wa.gov)
  • Proper hand-washing facilities
  • Proper cold holding temperatures
  • Raw Meats stored below or away from ready to eat foods
  • Proper food cooling and hot holding procedures
  • Use of barriers (glove and tongs) to prevent bare hand contact with ready to eat food items
  • Fruit and vegetable washing
  • Ill food worker discussions (restriction/exclusion of ill food workers) 
 Hand Washing
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Restriction/Exclusion of Ill Food Workers
Healthy food employees are important factors in foodborne illness prevention.  Sick food employees are required to notify the Person in Charge (PIC) of illness if it can be spread to food.

The PIC is required to exclude (prevent employees form working in the food establishment) or restrict (keep workers from handling unwrapped food, utensils, or clean food service items) workers with the following conditions.
The PIC must notify the Regulatory Authority if a food employee has jaundice or a diagnosed illness that can be transmitted through food.

PIC must exclude food employees with:

PIC must restrict food employees with:

  • Symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, or jaundice
  • A diagnosed illness from Salmonella Typhi, Shigella, Shiga toxin producing E.coli, or hepatitis A
  • A diagnosed illness from Norovirus or any Salmonella if serving a highly susceptible population
  •  Infected, uncovered wounds
  • Discharges from the eyes, nose, or mouth (persistent sneezing, coughing or runny nose)
  • Sore throat with fever (exclude if serving highly susceptible population)
  • Exposure to an environment, food, or people with diagnosed foodborne illnesses/outbreaks if serving highly susceptible population



Food Safety Information


State Food Rules
Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) regulates the following activities:
Cottage food production – The Washington Cottage Food Operations Law allows people to make low-risk food in their home kitchens and sell directly to consumers.  Gross sales of cottage food products may not exceed $25,000 annually.
Meat or dairy food production – If you process, manufacture, store or handle any food or dairy products for wholesale or retail distribution, or if you custom slaughter or custom cut meat, you need to contact the WSDA Food Safety Program, for licensing and/or inspection information.
If you want to sell beer, wine or hard alcohol, you need to contact the Washington State Liquor Control Board.
Other state business contacts
Washington State Department of Revenue
Washington State Department of Licensing
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries