Food Section

September is National Food Safety Education Month!
Each year, 1 in 6 Americans become sick from food poisoning. Protect yourself and your family from foodborne illness by checking out the resources below. 

  • Teach your kids how to stay safe in the kitchen with these 4 steps to food safety - CLICK HERE
  • Enjoy these recipes with easy food safety instructions - CLICK HERE
  • Learn more about foods most likely to cause food poisoning - CLICK HERE

Find more information on National Food Safety Education Month HERE

The food safety program is here to protect the public from foodborne illness by educating food workers about safe food handling practices and conducting regular inspections of food service establishments.

COMPLAINTS About Restaurants, or Other Food Related Concerns, in Grays Harbor County can be addressed to Kristina Hollatz or Haley Furstenwerth, OR CALL (360) 249-4222. (especially if you're reporting a potential FOODBORNE ILLNESS)

Kristina Hollatz, R.S.
Environmental Health Specialist III
Food Program / Indoor Air Quality
Rob King
Environmental Health Specialist II
Food Program / Schools

Scott Evans
Environmental Health Specialist
Drinking Water & Wells / Food Program

Haley Furstenwerth
Environmental Health Specialist II  
Food Program / Living Environment


NEW:  For more details on inspection results, please click the link below!


TEMPORARY FOOD SERVICE information can be found here




  1. Fill out and submit the proper application along with the appropriate application fees. If you intend to build, remodel a Food Service Establishment or extensively changing the menu, you must submit a New Food Service Establishment Application Packet. If you are purchasing an existing Food Service Establishment and are keeping the current menu then you must submit a New Owners,No Menu Change, Application Packet  NOTE: Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant unprocessed. We highly recommend you submit an application prior to starting construction.
  2. After you have submitted your application, the Environmental Health Staff will review your project to ensure compliance with Washington Administrative Code (WAC 246-215), Washington State Retail Food Code. Please remember that this process can take up to two weeks.
  3. Once reviewed, an Environmental Health Specialist will contact you to discuss any issues that may need to be addressed.
  4. A final walk through inspection will be schedule when all construction has been completed and all equipment is in place.
  5. Any plan revisions must be submitted in writing to Grays Harbor County for review. Failure to do so could lengthen the application process.


The following is a generalized list of equipment that will be required for most Food Service Establishments in Grays Harbor County. Please be aware that not all facilities are the same and therefore requirements may vary. Additionally, all equipment must be NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certified.


  • A three compartment sink with drain boards for soiled dishes and clean dishes is required. The size of the sink compartments must be large enough to accommodate the largest piece of equipment used in the establishment. If a commercial dishwasher is provided, you still must provide a three compartment sink to allow for dish washing in the event your dishwasher breaks down.
  • Handwashing sinks are required in all food preparation and warewashing areas. This means more than one handwashing sink maybe required for each food service establishment.
  • A food preparation sink may be required if raw fruits and vegetables are used or if meats are thawed. Food preparation sinks must have an indirect waste drain line.
  • A service sink (mop sink) is required.
  • The food service establishment owner of bars and taverns shall provide a sink compartment for disposing of liquid waste in addition to sinks necessary for cleaning and sanitizing of dishes.

Employee restrooms are required and must be located within 200 feet of the establishment. Public restrooms are required when seating is available for patrons on-site. Public restrooms must be conveniently located without being accessed through food preparation or storage areas.


  • Adequate refrigeration and freezer space must be provided. This is accomplished through the use of walk-in coolers, reach-in refrigerators, sandwich prep refrigerators, refrigerated display cases, freezers, etc. All units must be commercial grade, meaning NSF or ANSI certified. Make and model of all units must be provided.
  • Adequate hot holding equipment (steam tables, soup pots, etc.) must be provided.
  • All self service areas must be equipped with sneeze guards (buffet lines, salad bars, self service condiments, etc).


  • All surfaces including floors, walls and ceilings in all areas must be smooth, non-porous, durable and easily cleanable.
  • All floor wall junctions must have at least a four inch coved base. NOTE: Building code requirements in commercial building may require a six inch coved base.
  • Carpet is not allowed in food preparation, service or storage areas.
  • All wood surfaces (doors, trim, shelves, cabinets, etc.) must be sealed. This allows for a cleanable, non-porous surface.
  • No exposed plumbing or wiring is allowed.
  • Outer openings of a food establishment must be protected against the entry of insects and rodents.

Depending on the type of food service and preparation planned, mechanical exhaust ventilation systems maybe required. Please contact your local building department for specifications.


  • The water source shall be of sufficient capacity to meet peak water demands of the Food Service Establishment.
  • Hot water generator and distribution systems shall be sufficient to meet the peak hot water demands throughout the establishment.
  • Water shall be received from an approved public water system under WAC 246-290.


  • In areas where public sewer is not available, on-site sewage disposal is acceptable but must be approved by Grays Harbor County Environmental Health. The system must be designed and sized to accommodate the number of patrons in the Food Service Establishment, the type of food being offered and all other pertinent wastewater activities.
  • Please contact your public waste disposal district or Grays Harbor County Environmental Health Division for further details.


  • All light fixtures must be shielded or provided with shatter proof bulbs.
  • An employee locker room or area where employees can store personal items is required.
  • All food service personnel (i.e., cooks, wait staff, dishwashers, managers, etc.) must have a current Washington State Food Handlers Card. Food Handlers classes are held every Thursday at 3:00pm at the Grays Harbor County Public Health Department located at 2109 Sumner Ave, Aberdeen Washington. Registration begins at 2:15pm.

Temporary Food Service can be found here.