Food Safety Programs

Orange County in Yellow Tier

Effective Wednesday, May 19th, 2021, Orange County is in the Yellow Tier. 

  • Restaurants and bars where a meal is provided can offer indoor dining with modifications with indoor dining limited to 50% capacity. 
  • Movie theaters can also offer indoor operations limited to 50% capacity.
  • Gyms and fitness centers can have indoor operations limited to 50% capacity.
  • Bars where no meal is provided may open indoors with modifications, limited to 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is fewer. 

You may visit here for further guidance and checklists or covid19.ca.gov

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.

Water and COVID-19 FAQs

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

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. 

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

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 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 Citites on the implementation of AB 626. Please check back frequently as details on implementation as established. 

Full details on AB 626 can be found here

CBD Not Approved in Food or Drinks

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

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.

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.

<div data-cdc-widget="FoodRecall" data-instance-name="Food%20Recall%20Widget" data-widget-max-width="500px" data-news-feed-type="xml" data-news-feed="https%3A%2F%2Fwww2c.cdc.gov%2Fpodcasts%2Fcreaterss.asp%3Fc%3D146" data-widget-title="Food%20Recalls" data-widget-min-height="400px" ></div> 
 <script src="https://tools.cdc.gov/1M1B"></script>

Food Safety Tips

Video is also available in Spanish