Working for the health of the people in Okanogan County  
 Report Violations
For Public Health emergencies after hours call 911. To report septic violations, food safety violations or illegal dumping contact us at 509-422-7140

Food Safety

Okanogan County Public Health's  Environmental Health division works to ensure food safety for the public through education and the enforcement of WAC 246-215 as referenced in Washington State Retail Food Code Working Document. For information, call (509) 422-7155.

Food & Beverage Worker Permits
All food service employees in Okanogan County who handle unwrapped foods or beverages are required to hold a current Washington State Food Handler Permit (WAC 246-217). Often called a “Food Handler Card,” the permit is obtained by taking the "Food Handler" class and passing a test. Permit fee is $10.

Take the Class

Option 1: Come to the Okanogan County Public Health (OCPH).
  • Take the class, the test, and pay for your card at OCPH. We are located at 1234 2nd Avenue South, Okanogan, WA 98840
  • Computer kiosks are available Mondays ~ Fridays – 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • You will need payment of $10.00. Payment can be made with cash, check or money orders. 
  • Testing area rules (pdf)
Option 2: Do everything online. 
  • Take the class, the test, and pay for your card online. You will print your card after successful completion of the test.
  • You must be able to make payment by credit or debit card and you must be connected to a printer.
  • If you qualify for a 3-year or 5-year card but did not obtain your current card using the online program, read these FAQs (pdf) before you get started.
  • Once you’re ready, start here: Food Worker Card - Online Class & Test
Option 3: Take the class and the test online – pay for & pick up your card at OCPH.
  • This option (or Option 1) should be used if you do not have a credit or debit card available for payment, or the ability to print a card. This is also a good option if you want to renew your card for 3 or 5 years and did not obtain your current card online. FAQs (pdf)
  • Take the online class and test and stop once you have taken and passed the test, and before you make payment online. 
  • Bring your photo ID and payment of $10.00 to OCPH, Monday ~ Fridays – 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. – and we will print your card for you.
  • Start here: Food Worker Card - Online Class & Test
Option 4: Take the class and the test on the 2nd Thursday of each month at OCPH.

Starting in May, 2016 the class will be offered in English or Spanish the 2nd Thursday of each month at 3:30 pm at 1234 South 2nd Avenue in Okanogan.  The class takes approximately 1½ hours.  We ask that you please try to arrive 15 minutes early to allow time to get signed in and pay for the class before it starts.  Daycare is not provided. Please make other arrangements.

Washington State Food & Beverage Workers Manuals are available at:

For your convenience, below are PDF files for the English and Spanish Food Handler Manuals

    English Food Handler Manual          Spanish Food Handler Manual

Card Renewal & Replacement
Your first Food Handler Card is valid for 2 years. Renewal of an expired card is also valid for 2 years. Renewal of a current card is valid for 3 years. You will be issued a 3-year card if your previous card is current.  A 5-year card is available to anyone who has taken an approved ServeSafe course and who is renewing their card.

Food Service Establishments
Retail establishments serving food to the public in Okanogan County are permitted and inspected at least annually. Annual food program permit fees vary based on the type of establishment. Plans for proposed remodeling or new construction of food establishments are reviewed by food program staff.

Temporary food event facilities are also permitted and inspected to help ensure food safety. This includes all food vendors at events open to the public. Temporary food event permit fees vary based on the length of the event and type of food served. A valid permit must be obtained before operating a temporary food event.

To apply for a temporary food event permit:

  1. Complete a Temporary Food Event application form (pdf).
  2. Provide details about the types of food to be prepared, how the food will be prepared and methods planned to keep foods hot and cold. Include information about how you plan to operate your booth safely and efficiently.
  3. Submit your completed application with payment to Okanogan County Public Health at least two weeks prior to the event.
  4. Food Program staff will review the application and work with you to make any necessary changes, well in advance of the event.

Food events offered to the public, which are sponsored by schools, private groups and others, are also permitted and inspected. Other events that are only open to members are not considered to be public events.

Refunds: Must be requested in writing within 90 days from the date of application. An administrative fee will be charged. If field work has been done, the fee is not eligible for refund.



1234 S. 2nd Ave.
P.O. Box 231
Okanogan, WA 98840
(509) 422-7140



Web Master: Marta Reed, Email