Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

WHAT’S NEW IN ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH

Important message for services provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Division:

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, following an announcement by California Governor Gavin Newsom on March 15, 2020, announced that
all Los Angeles County facilities will be closed to members of the public indefinitely beginning Monday, March 16,
in response to the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. Following this directive, the Environmental Health Division, will be
closing all service locations to members of the public, including at its headquarters located at 5050 Commerce Drive, Baldwin Park, and the following locations:
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/DSE/districtOffices.htm

Environmental Health will be responding to complaints of an emergency nature along with monitoring for compliance with the
Health Officer order
pdf icon
issued on March 16, 2020.

Specific program impacts:

  • Theaters and other businesses. Refer to
    Health Officer Guidance
    pdf icon
    for how this may impact your business.
  • Food facilities are subject to restrictions. Refer to
    Guidance for Food Facilities
    pdf icon.
  • Community Events: Effective immediately, until April 30, 2020 (with the possibility of additional extensions), in response to California Governor, Gavin Newsom, regarding public health gatherings and the need for social distancing to control the spread of COVID-19, permit for community events will not be issued. These include those associated with
    Certified Farmer’s Markets
    pdf icon.

Please call (888) 700-9995, if you should have any questions, or contact the following District offices or programs directly by visiting:
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/DSE/districtOffices.htm
or
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/eh/docs/pserv.pdf
pdf icon.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding and continued support of public health.

For the most recent information on COVID-19, please visit
http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/

BEWARE: HEALTH INSPECTOR IMPOSTERS

Scam artists posing as health inspectors are targeting restaurants across Los Angeles County trying to gain financial advantage by manipulating food facility owners.

While owners of food businesses, such as a restaurant or market, are normally aware of local agencies and personnel who routinely conduct inspections, food facility owners should be on alert for signs of a scam. Food facility owners are reminded:

  • Under no circumstances will a genuine Environmental Health Specialist (“Health Inspector”) ask for payments, either for letter grades, other signs, or equipment.
  • Scheduling appointments for routine inspections for restaurants and markets is not consistent with the current operating practices of Environmental Health Specialists.
  • To require a health inspector or anyone visiting to show appropriate photo identification.

If there are any doubts about the identity of any inspector, the facility owner can contact their local Environmental Health Office to confirm that they are a current employee. If the office is unable to confirm the “health inspector’s” identity, the facility owner should contact their local law enforcement agency.

The impersonation of a public officer is a criminal offense. Anyone found impersonating a health inspector or any government employee is committing a misdemeanor.

For any questions and/or information regarding fraudulent activity contact Environmental Health at (888) 700-9995.

Massage Establishment Inspection Information (updated: 02/12/2020)

On February 4, 2020, the Board of Supervisors approved the Massage Ordinance from the County of Los Angeles, Office of County Counsel that requires massage establishments to obtain a public health permit and comply with new health and safety requirements. Environmental Health (EH) will issue permits to massage establishments that meet the new requirements and are located within the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County or in cities that adopt the ordinance.

Please visit our
Massage Establishment Information page
for more information such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) in English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Vietnamese and a list of entities or individuals that are exempt from the requirements of the ordinance.

Power Outages and Your Business

To reduce wildfire risks during times of strong winds and low humidity, Southern California Edison (SCE) may proactively shut off power in high fire risk areas, for public safety. In addition, the expected high winds may result in downed power lines resulting in extended power outages.

The Department of Public Health (DPH) recognizes the impact that power outages have on your business operations. To assist retail food facility and public swimming pool operators, the DPH Environmental Health Division has developed important food and pool safety information for business operators to consider during power outages.

Food and pool safety information for business operators:
Power Outage Guidelines for Food Facilities
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Public Swimming Pool Safety Related to Power Outages
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Signage on Smoke-Free Outdoor Dining, Bar Establishments, and Mobile Food Vendors in Unincorporated Los Angeles County

On Tuesday March 26, 2019, the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors passed amendments to strengthen the County’s Ordinance on smoke-free environments and close loopholes where smoking is permitted. Updates to the new ordinance are now effective.

For more information please check our
Signage on Smoke-Free Outdoor Dining page.

The Department of Public Health Expands Eligibility for Free Lead Paint Clean up

The HUD Grant Program has been expanded to include the communities of Bell, Boyle Heights, Commerce, East Los Angeles, Maywood, and South Los Angeles. Owners of properties built prior to 1978 may qualify for free repairs of peeling and chipping paint, replacement windows or doors, and other minor repairs. For more information please check our
Free Lead Paint Cleanup for Qualifying Homes Flyer
pdf icon,
HUD Grant FAQ
pdf icon,
Map of the Target Area
pdf icon, and
List of “Lead Safe” Housing Units
pdf icon.

Para informacion en Espanol, Consulte nuestro
folleto gratuito de limpieza de pintura con plomo para casas calificadas
pdf icon,
las preguntas frecuentes sobre la subvención de HUD
pdf icon,
el mapa del área objetivo
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Lista de unidades de vivienda “sin plomo”
pdf icon.

FDA Advisory Involving Contaminated Tattoo Inks

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is alerting consumers, tattoo artists, and retailers of the potential for serious injury from use of tattoo inks that are contaminated with bacteria. Tattoo inks contaminated with microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious health injuries when injected into the skin during a tattooing procedure, since there is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken. Please visit
FDA Contaminated Tatto Inks Advisory page
for more information.

AB 377: Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations

Home kitchen

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 Los Angeles 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 the County of Los Angeles is in violation of the California Retail Food Code. Violators are subject to closure and further enforcement actions.

Currently, there is an assembly bill
AB 377
that is going through the legislative process to address and clarify authorization language, inspection authority, and food sanitation exemptions. Upon enactment, the Public Health Department will recommend authorization to establish a permitting and inspection process for Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations by the Board of Supervisors for the County of Los Angeles. The County of Los Angeles, Department of Public Health’s, Environmental Health Division is the lead agency for retail food operations. Please check back frequently as details on implementation are established.
for more information.

Potholes, graffiti, bad
swimming pools? Give ’em The Works.

the works bannerThe
Los Angeles County Department of Public
Health joined the Department of Public
Works recently in launching an update to “The Works”
mobile application.

LA County residents can now take
advantage of this award-winning
app to report potential swimming pool
violations at hotels, motels, and
apartments like unclear or cloudy
pool water, broken pool gates or fences,
and missing pool lights or drain covers.
In addition, residents can also report
potholes, graffiti, illegal dumping,
facility maintenance for County parks,
and other issues.

The Works app will also help users stay
up-to-date on road closures and upcoming
events.

You can read more about
the app in the recent

press release
, or visit Public
Works’

website
for more!

Available for download
for iPhone or Android.
 
app store logo

google play logo

The Environmental Health Division strives to promote
health and quality of life by identifying, preventing,
and controlling harmful environmental factors in Los
Angeles County. 

The mission of Environmental Health is to assess
environmental conditions and reduce exposure to health
risks, and to educate the public on sources of
environmental risk so they are empowered to protect
themselves, their families, and their communities.

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