Do you own a business? Wanna make sure you follow local health regulations? Here’s the scoop! Contact the health department. This guide will let you avoid fines and keep your customers safe.
Ready to take the next steps?
When managing a business, watch out for red flags of health issues. If you spot any unsanitary food-handling procedures, breaches of health regulations, lack of employee hygiene, or other worrying behavior, take action right away.
Call the local health department. We’ve created this guide to help you. It includes the contact information you need and what to do next when reporting possible safety issues. It’s vital to take the right steps to keep customers and employees safe.
Reasons to Call the Health Department
The health department is key in protecting public health. Report any concerns over foodborne illness, sanitation, or workplace safety to the local health department. Call them if:
- A business is selling food without a license.
- Hygiene standards are not met, such as employees not washing their hands after using the restroom.
- Hazardous materials are stored or handled inappropriately.
- Food is contaminated, mislabeled, or outdated.
- Unhygienic conditions, like bacteria and mold growth, are present.
- llnesses often occur due to improper food handling.
- Employees report physical or verbal abuse.
What You Need to Know Before Calling
It’s essential to take preventative steps for health risks. If you think a business is breaking the health code, contact your local health department. Before you do, have the business’s name and address and the type of violation ready. Document overcrowding, a lack of ventilation or negligence in food safety practices like poor hand-washing or incorrect food temperatures. Also, note any rodents or pests.
When speaking to the health department, give specific details. Have dates and times of any violations ready. Provide documentation when asked and contact info for follow-up questions. This will help protect public health.
Who to Contact
To know who to contact at the health department, you will need to find out your business type, location, and purpose for calling. Generally, for environmental health issues concerning eateries or food businesses, like cafeterias, catering, or food vending operations, call your local environmental health inspector. This specialist inspects and enforces regulations about safe food handling. If a restaurant is in violation of these regulations, you may report it to them.
For other public health issues related to any type of business, contact someone from your local epidemiology program. When there are questions about hazardous materials, call occupational safety and protection officers. When the situation is urgent, go up the chain of command to get quicker action.
How to Make the Call
Calling the health department can be tricky. You’ll need your name, business name and location, as well as details of what you’re calling about. Be prepared and explain the issue clearly. Here’s how to get started:
- Find contact info for your local health department. Check online for regional numbers or visit your state’s Department of Health website for info on local health departments.
- Prepare for the call. Have a detailed description of any food service issues, like contamination or pest infestations. Have pictures or proof of the problems ready to show during the call.
- Call the health department. Give an overview of why you’re calling and provide all contact info. Describe the problem clearly.
- Take notes. Ask the representative’s name and advice on next steps. Keep records of the call. This could help if there are disagreements with the recommendations of local authorities. It could also help with an insurance claim. Make sure all forms are filled out correctly before submitting. Failing to do so could lead to fines. Be proactive rather than reactive.
What to Expect During the Call
When contacting the health department, be ready to answer questions about the business in question. Such as its name, address, any licenses and permits.
If the complaint is related to food service, they will likely ask what type of establishment it is. E.g., restaurant, takeout/delivery, etc. Additional questions may be asked about the menu and accommodations.
The health inspector may also inquire about people or businesses related to the issue.
Remain calm and provide clear information. The health department staff will explain their process for investigating complaints. This may include a visit to inspect the location and discuss concerns with those in charge.
Keep records of all communication with the health department, during follow-up visits or inquiries into possible violations.
Following Up After the Call
Call the Health Department and follow up if you don’t hear back after a while. They may take action if any violations are found. Ensure these violations are fixed fast to avoid extra risks.
If you call out of regular business hours, leave a voicemail with your details. Call back later if there’s no response. Some states have online forms for complaints, so check the website first.
The Health Department is responsible for making sure businesses keep to the laws. When reporting potential violations, provide all the needed info so they can investigate properly. Find out what type of info will help with your concerns.
Keep good records and document the contact with the Health Department. This will help get things done quickly, and provide proof of any violations. When getting in touch with a business or public health agency, stay safe and speak clearly. If feeling unsafe, ask another organization or professional for help.
To call the Health Department on a business, report violations, collect evidence, wait for a response and keep records. This’ll help businesses in the area stick to health regulations.