The Oregon Health Authority’s Food, Pool & Lodging Health and Safety Program works in partnership with local health departments, the regulated industry and the general public to implement intervention and regulatory strategies to prevent illness and injury as a result of patronage of food, pool and lodging facilities.
Oregon has approximately 25,000 licensed food, pool and lodging facilities throughout the state. Facilities are licensed and inspected at the county level by local environmental health staff. These facilities include restaurants, mobile units, commissaries, warehouses, vending operations, swimming pools, spas, traveler’s accommodations, recreational parks and organizational camps.
Inspections are unannounced and focus on items most likely to cause illness or injury to patrons of these facilities, but also include items such as general cleanliness and maintenance. In a food service facility, the focus is on approved food sources, cooking temperatures, holding temperatures of food, personal hygiene of food handlers and contaminated/dirty equipment. For a public pool or spa, the emphasis is on proper disinfection, clarity, entrapment concerns, proper filtration and the pool enclosure. Tourist facilities are evaluated for safety and general sanitation concerns.
Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast facilities are assigned a sanitation score as a result of the inspection. All other inspections are non-scored. Violations that are considered critical in nature are required to be corrected at the time of inspection or may result in a re-inspection of the facility.
Oregon evaluates food service facilities using the Oregon Food Sanitation Rules, which are modeled on the 2009 Food and Drug Administration Food Code. The Food Sanitation Rules grade violations based on whether they are Priority, Priority Foundation or Core in each food service facility: A Priority item (P) is a provision that has a direct connection to preventing foodborne illness and compliance is a priority. A Priority foundation item (Pf) includes an item that requires specific actions, equipment or procedures by management to control risk factors, such as; personnel training, equipment, documentation, record keeping and labeling. And a Core item (C) includes an item that is usually related to general sanitation, operational controls, sanitation standard operating procedures (SOPs), facilities or structures, equipment design or general maintenance.
There are two scores assigned to each inspection, a P/Pf scored that is based on a maximum of 100 points with the number of violations deducted. This score is based on items that are directly related to foodborne illness (like food out of temperature, lack of proper handwashing, etc.). The Core items are totaled on each report itemize violations around the general cleanliness and structural issues present as well.