Food Safety Program

The CDC estimates 48 million people get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from food-borne diseases each year in the United States. Surveillance systems and surveys provide vital information, but they do not capture every illness due to the small fraction of illnesses that are diagnosed and reported.

Island County Public Health's Food Safety Program works to ensure the provision of the safe food served in food establishments within the county. Our mission is to protect and promote the health and well-being of Island County's residents and visitors. We accomplish this with professionalism, integrity and fairness through education and regulations in food safety, disease prevention, environmental sanitation and emergency response.

In addition to permitting and performing routine inspections of retail food establishments, our food safety staff prevent food-borne illness by:

  • Investigating reported food-borne illnesses
  • Investigating complaints about unsanitary conditions
  • Consulting with individuals currently operating or wanting to start a food business
  • Educating industry and the public about safe food handling


Effective Jan. 1, 2023

Food Establishment Permits / Licenses

A Food Establishment is an operation that stores, prepares, packages, serves, and vends food directly or indirectly through a delivery service to the consumer or otherwise provides food for human consumption. This includes but not limited to: restaurants, catering operations, satellite or catered feeding locations, commissary kitchens, food carts and/or mobile units.

Prior to opening a new food establishment or making changes to an existing food establishment in Island County, the Food Code requires plans to be reviewed and approved by Island County Public Health. This review process will help ensure your plans and equipment meet state and local health requirements. Failure to undergo plan review process prior to changes may delay or halt construction and/or can result in the closure of your food establishment.

Food Safety & Illness Complaints

Use the online form to submit a complaint for a permitted food establishment in Island County. Providing contact information is recommended, especially if the complaint is related to a suspected food borne illness. An inspector or a nurse may contact you if additional information is needed to properly investigate the complaint. Anonymity may be requested by checking the box in the form. See the handout below for additional information on reporting a food borne illness complaint.