Consumer Food Safety

You go out to eat with your family and don't have to worry about getting sick. That's public health.

Catering Requires a Permit

Plan on hiring a caterer? Check out this important information to help keep you and your guests safe.

Check out this list of all permitted Pierce County caterers.

General Food Safety Practices

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling raw meat.
  • Store raw animal foods below and away from all other foods.
  • Keep different kinds of raw animal meats separate.
  • Thoroughly cook animal foods. Use a digital food thermometer inserted into several
    of the thickest parts of the cooked meat to check temperatures.
  • Keep cold food at 40°F or below in a refrigerator or under ice and keep hot food at 135°F or above.
  • Do not cook for others if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea. 
  • Restaurant or other food establishment workers who are sick with symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea should stay home for at least a full 24 hours after getting better.


Learn how you can keep Norovirus at bay.

Beat the bug before it bites!


  • Is highly contagious.
  • Causes diarrhea and vomiting, often at the same time.
  • Is the same virus often heard in the news related to cruise ship outbreaks.

People who are sick with norovirus illness can often vomit violently or have explosive diarrhea without warning.

Noro Virus Infographic_Image

Cleaning for Norovirus

Clean vomit or diarrhea accidents immediately.

Step 1: Remove vomit or fecal matter.

  • All surfaces near the area should be promptly cleaned and disinfected.
  • Visible debris cleaned up with paper towels or other disposable absorbent material (double bag and discard).
  • For carpeted areas, use absorbent materials such as kitty litter or dry oatmeal to absorb liquid and dispose of it properly.
  • Do not use a vacuum cleaner to clean up vomit or stool to minimize aerosols.

Step 2: Sanitize.

  • Disinfect areas where illness happened by using the following methods:
  • Mix 1 2/3 cups of household bleach per gallon of water and allow for 1 minute of contact with hard surfaces.
    • Hard to clean and/or heavily soiled areas may require additional disinfection.
    • Linens (including clothing, clothes, towels, tablecloths, napkins) soiled to any extent with vomit or stool should be promptly washed in hot water and dried separately at high temperature (drier temperature 170ºF or hotter).
  • Carpets can be steam cleaned using the highest setting for heat.
    Remember to sanitize all handles and knobs in your house with the bleach solution.
  • Avoid cross-contamination (use separate sanitization cloths for bathroom and other surfaces).
  • Don't forget to clean and disinfect containers (e.g., buckets) - people will grab the nearest container when they get sick.


Wash hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 10-15 seconds, especially after cleaning, restroom use and before eating.