Welcome to Orange County’s Food Safety Home Page


Orange County to be in Orange Tier

Effective Wednesday, March 31st, 2021, Orange County will be in the Orange Tier.

  • Restaurants and bars where a meal is provided can offer indoor dining with modifications. Indoor dining must be limited to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Movie theaters can also offer indoor operations limited to 50% capacity or 200 people, whichever is fewer.
  • Fitness centers may open at 25% capacity. Indoor pools may open, but indoor hot tubs, saunas, and steam rooms shall remain closed.
  • Bars where no meal is provided may open outdoors with modifications. Check with your city or other regulatory parties to ensure compliance with any specific conditions.

You may visit here for further guidance and checklists.

Effective January 1, 2021, California law AB 685 requires employers to report workplace outbreaks to the local health departments per Cal OSHA and California Department of Public Health. This means the food facility must have a process to investigate COVID positive cases, alert the local health department, and identify and isolate close workplace contacts of infected employees until they are tested. An outbreak is defined as 3 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases among workers at the same worksite within a 14-day period. To report a workplace outbreak to the Orange County Health Care Agency, click here and complete the two-step process within 48 hours. For questions, please call our hotline at (714) 433-6418 or email us at ehealth@ochca.com. You may also reference the County Health Officer's Order and Recommendations for further information. 

Our Public Lobby is Open by Appointment Only

In an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the Environmental Health lobby at 1241 E. Dyer Rd, Suite 120, Santa Ana, will be closed to the public for walk-in visits until further notice. To schedule an appointment, please call our main line at (714) 433-6000 or email us at ehealth@ochca.com.

For Plan Check questions, please call 714-433-6074.

For questions regarding COVID-19 specifically, please visit here or call 1(800) 564-8448.

Guidance for Food Operations Regarding

Please reference the documents below for your operation:

Additional reference documents for dining:

For guidance on non-food related industries, please visit here.

Water and COVID-19 FAQs

Click here to find more details about drinking water, recreational water, and wastewater and COVID-19.

Certificate Pass

Restaurant Inspections

Search the inspection records for food establishments in Orange County within the last 2 years.

Inspector Initiated Closures

Search the inspection records for food establishments in Orange County that were closed within the last 60 days.

Operator Initiated Closures

Search the inspection records for food establishments in Orange County that were closed within the last 60 days.

New Law Requires Tamper-Evident Delivery Methods

Effective January 1, 2021, California AB 3336 requires food facilities to seal with tamper-evident methods any ready-to-eat food delivered by a third-party food delivery platform. This bill does not apply to food being transported as part of a charitable feeding program or food being donated to a food bank.

Non-Latex Gloves

As of January 1, 2020, California retail food facilities shall use nonlatex utensils, including scoops, forks, tongs, paper wrappers, gloves, or other implements when handling food. Approved materials include, but are not limited to, nitrile, polyethylene, or vinyl.

Special Events Information

Want to know more about Community Events? Take a look at this TFF Event overview presentation.

Limited Service Charitable Feeding Operations

As of January 1, 2019, AB 2178 regarding Limited Service Charitable Feeding Operations (LSCFO) became law. The law was designed to make it easier for nonprofit charitable organizations to meet essential food safety rules while addressing food insecure members of our community.

More details on AB 2178 can be found here.

Award of Excellence (photo: drinking glasses)

2020 Award of Excellence

The Food Protection Program has initiated an incentive program for food establishments which identifies and awards a certificate to food establishments that routinely exhibit excellent food safety and sanitation practice.

Microenterprise Home Kitchens

As of January 1, 2019, AB 626, known as the Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations Act, became law. The law authorizes local governing agencies to implement a program for the permitting of home kitchens for retail use. It is important to note the County of Orange has not authorized the permitting of home kitchens for retail food operations at this time. As such, anyone who operates a retail home kitchen from their residence in Orange County is in violation of the California Retail Food Code. Violators are subject to closure and further enforcement actions.

The County of Orange, Health Care Agency, Environmental Health Division is the lead agency for retail food operations and is working with the local governing bodies of the County and Cities on the implementation of AB 626. Please check back frequently as details on implementation are established.

Full details on AB 626 can be found

Shared Food Facilities

If you would like to learn more about making food out of a shared commercial food facility, please refer to the following documents:

Shared Use Kitchen Guidelines
Shared Food Facility Agreement
Shared Kitchen Review Form
Limited Term Food Production Agreement

CBD Not Approved in Food or Drinks

Click here for information from the California Department of Public Health on Industrial Hemp and Cannabidiol (CBD) in Food Products.

Notice on Partially-Hydrogenated Oil Use in Food for Human Consumption

On June 18, 2018, partially-hydrogenated oils (PHOs) will no longer be recognized as safe for human consumption by Order of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA defines PHOs as those fats and oils that have been hydrogenated, but not to complete or near complete saturation, and with an iodine value (IV) greater than 4.

Any party may seek food additive approval from the FDA for the use of PHOs with data that demonstrates no harm of the proposed use.

The Order DOES NOT apply to:

A. Naturally occurring trans fat (ingredients from ruminant sources)

B. The use of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)

C. Partially hydrogenated methyl ester of rosin

D. Fully hydrogenated oils

E. Edible oils that contain Industrially-Produced Trans Fatty Acids (IP-TFA) as an impurity.

The Order is available at Final Determination on Partially Hyrdogenated Oils

An extension has been granted until June 18, 2019 for the manufacturing of specific, limited petitioned uses of PHOs. This will allow time for reformulation. By January 1, 2021 all of these products should have worked their way through distribution and no longer be sold.

Extension of compliance date: Federal Register: Notification; declaratory order; extension of compliance date

California Retail Food Code, Chapter 12.6, Section 114377 is preempted as a result of the FDA order.

Food Safety Seminar PowerPoint Presentations

Food for Thought brochure (cover image and link)

Food for Thought

Greetings from the Orange County Health Care Agency's Environmental Health Food and Pool Safety Program. Our team of inspectors are here to partner with our food businesses to ensure food prepared or sold within Orange County is safe for consumers. As such, our inspectors share the latest Food for Thought brochure during each routine inspections. These brochures include information about important topics like keeping food at proper temperatures; the importance of handwashing; and food worker training and certificate programs.

If you would like to offer suggestions for future issues, please email ehealth@ochca.com.

There are many food facilities that are already contributing and we thank you for your food donations and supporting those in need. If you would like to learn more about donating food, please visit the website for Waste Not OC, www.wastenotoc.org. This is a coalition established of various food outreach organizations and food industry groups, which are working together in the fight against hunger and food insecurity. If you would like to donate excess food, please contact our Waste Not OC coalition partner at (855) 700-9662.

If you have questions related to the safe donation of food, please contact Environmental Health at (714) 433-6000.

Waste not OC website (logo and link)

Start Your Own Food Donation Program

This toolkit contains customizable forms, labels, food safety checklists and general guidance that your business or organization can use to start a food donation program. Use this downloadable document to access additional tips, legal references, liability protections, and applicable tax deduction information. This guide also lists local resources including Orange County's own WasteNotOC program to help you in your efforts to donate surplus food. Click on the link HERE.

Food Safety Recall "Widget"

A food recall occurs when there is reason to believe that a food may cause consumers to become ill. A food manufacturer or distributor initiates the recall to take foods off the market. In some situations, food recalls are requested by government agencies (USDA or FDA).

Some reasons for recalling food include:

  • Discovery of an organism in a product which may make consumers sick
  • Discovery of a potential allergen in a product
  • Mislabeling or misbranding of food. For example, a food may contain an allergen, such as nuts or eggs, but those ingredients do not appear on the label.

The widget available on this page is provided by the Department of Health & Human Services.


Food Safety Tips

Video is also available in Spanish

Prevent Foodborne Illness Outbreaks Brochure

Available in the following languages:

The Art of Handwashing Campaign

You've got a mystery on your hands! In recognition of Global Handwashing Day, the Food Protection Program is excited to launch our new handwashing campaign: The Art of Handwashing. Explore our art-inspired handwashing signs and new oral culture storyboard.

Need to pay your Annual Health Permit Invoice? Good news, you can now pay online!

Spotlight on Norovirus

Norovirus is the leading cause of illness from contaminated food or water – but food isn't the only way people get this illness. It also spreads easily from person to person and spreads quickly in groups of people. Read here to find out more about Norovirus.

Food Safety Education Month

Food Safety Education Month may be over, but the information is relevant year-round. Please click on the link to access great information on food safety and learn what you can do to prevent food poisoning.

Every year, an estimated 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die from eating contaminated food. Some people are more likely to get a foodborne illness (also called food poisoning) or to get seriously ill.

Click here for additional information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Food Booths 

Food Booths
Truck/Cart at Events
Contact Supervisor

Cottage Food

List of Approved Operators
Food Handler Class

Restaurants & Markets

Restaurant Inspections
Restaurant Closure
Public Notification System
Award of Excellence

Trucks & Carts

How to get a permit
Operational Procedures
Construction Guidelines
Plan Check Submittal Checklist

Plan Check

Unpackaged Food
Prepackaged Food
Food Processing – Wholesale
Prepackaged – Warehouse


Wholesale Food Processing
Food Sanitation Act
Good Manufacturing Practices
Fee Schedule