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California

Food Facility Inspection Placard Open House
January 08, 2020

An open house is planned for 2 p.m.-3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, at Ettl Hall, 1333 Butte House Road, Yuba City, to provide information on proposed tri-color placard program that would provide visual indication at point of sale of a commercial food facility’s latest food safety inspection. Green is pass, yellow is pass with conditions, red is closed due to immediate health threat.


Sutter County Development Services is recommending the Board of Supervisors create a program which requires all retail food establishments to post a color-coded placard indicating compliance with state environmental health laws.


Why a placard program?

The placarding system is designed to minimize occurrence of the five most critical risk factors for foodborne illness in the United States as identified by the Center for Disease Control which are:

  • Food from unsafe sources
  • Improper cooking temperatures
  • Improper holding temperatures
  • Contaminated utensils and equipment
  • Poor employee health and hygiene

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in six, or 48 million, Americans contract a foodborne illness each year. (Fewer than one percent are hospitalized; and less than one in 1,000 die from the illness.)


Who enforces these laws?

Sutter County enforces state law by inspecting and filing reports on conditions of commercial food establishments in Live Oak, Yuba City, and the unincorporated areas of the County. Retail food establishments are already required to have a copy of their most recent inspection report available for customer review upon request, and Sutter County Environmental Health Division posts its inspection reports on the County’s website athttps://www.suttercounty.org/FacilityInspection


Is this happening elsewhere?

Food Facility Placarding Programs are becoming more common in many jurisdictions and are designed to provide customers with a quick visual indication of the overall results of the food facilities most recent inspection.


What would the placard program look like?

This program would require all retail food establishments to post a color-coded placard indicating the compliance status of their most recent routine inspection or re-inspection. A green placard indicates the establishment passed the inspection. A yellow placard indicated two or more major violations were discovered. And a red placard indicates the establishment is closed due to an imminent health hazard.


Where can I find out more information?

This matter was scheduled for a public hearing in front of the Board of Supervisors on October 22, but based on the response to letters the County mailed to commercial kitchen operators, there were a lot of questions about the program. Consequently, consideration of the proposal was postponed and, in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce, we will be providing an opportunity for retail food providers and members of the public to learn more about the proposed program, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, January 21 at Ettl Hall, 1333 Butte House Road, Yuba City.