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Licensed Health Care Facilities FAQs

Why are Skilled Nursing Facilities and hospitals being inspected by Contra Costa Environmental Health (CCEH)?

- On July 1, 2007, a new law was passed called the California Retail Food Code (SB144) which included Licensed Health Care Facilities in the definition of a "food facility". Where the local enforcement agency, CCEH must now issue permits and conduct inspections under the California Retail Food Code, (CRFC).

Are patient kitchens in a General Acute Care Facility required to be permitted?

- Yes, a kitchen operated separately from the cafeteria in a General Acute Care Facility must be permitted by CCEH. This includes all food storage areas and food stations located throughout the facility.

What will CCEH do when it inspects the facility?

- CCEH will conduct inspections and enforce all sections of the CRFC.

How often will the facility be inspected?

- A minimum of three routine inspections per year will be conducted. Follow up inspections may be required to ensure that any critical violations are corrected.

What if the facility does not meet the structural codes?

- Facilities will be allowed to phase in compliance with structural requirements, on a schedule acceptable to CCEH. A plan review process may be necessary for correction of some structural defects.

What is the person-in-charge (PIC)?

- A person-in-charge means the individual present at the facility who is responsible for the operation of the food facility during all hours of operation.

Does the Licensed Healthcare Facility need to be food safety certified?

- At least one employee during all hours of operation must successfully pass an approved, accredited food safety certification exam. See our website for classes conducted in Martinez and Richmond.

Can storage of emergency food including bottled water be outside in sheds?

- No, all food including water must be stored inside a facility approved by CCEH.

Do I (PIC) need to replace the domestic refrigeration in the kitchen?

- Yes, all equipment used in the food facility must be certified or classified for sanitation by an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited certification program. Equipment replacement can be phased in on a schedule acceptable to Environmental Health.

Will the public have the right to see inspection reports?

- Yes, a copy of the last inspection report must be made available to the public whenever requested. The inspection report will also be posted on the County website, under Health Services - Environmental Health - Food Facility Inspection Search.

For further information, refer to requirements of the California Retail Food Code on the State of California website.