District Environmental Services
The District Environmental Services Division (DES) is one of the two divisions of the Department of Environmental Health (DEH). The DES Division has regulatory control over all food and restaurant based programs, the food worker card exam, pools and spas, vector control, residential trash and sewage complaints and tobacco retail permitting.
DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES
Click here for a copy of the current food law (Cal Code)
Restaurant / Market Grading
Food Handler Certification
The Food Handler Certification program is designed to educate and test food facility workers within Riverside County. The certification assures that food handlers have knowledge of proper sanitation procedures and practices. The certification testing is offered at each of our Area Office locations. To prepare for the test, we provide our Food Handler Certification Manual at each of our offices, and also for viewing here in PDF format in English and Spanish. A more detailed description of the program can be obtained on our Food Handler Card Page.
Food Facility Plan Check
DES is responsible for all plan check and field inspections for all new facility construction or remodeling of existing facilities. We provide consultation as part of the food facility plan check process for remodeling and/or new construction. Go to our Forms and Guidelines page for a complete listing of guidelines, applications and other materials available for download.
We conduct inspections of utililty connections and safety conditions in mobilehome parks to assure safe and healthy living conditions for occupants.
Annual inspection are conducted at outdoor group living experiences. We check all of the following things: safety of camper health, emergency preparedness, food protection, boating and swimming activities, and maintenance and safety of the camp to insure compliance with state regulations.
Pools and Spas
Inspections are conducted at public swimming pools and spa facilities, including apartments, condos, hotels and motels. The random, unannounced inspections are done to check compliance with all applicable state and local requirements. The public pools and spas are checked for issues such as safe water quality, proper life-saving equipment, correct fencing/enclosure, proper safety signs and adequate water recirculation equipment.
For information on pool retrofits of anti-entrapment devices (Virginia Graeme Baker Act). Please go to our Pool Retrofit page.
Public complaint investigations are also done as needed at the same facilities. Complaints (no safety signs, unclean pool, etc.) can be made by calling your local area office, or by using our online complaint form.
American's with Disabilities Act - Effective March 15, 2012 all public swimming pools, spas and wading pools will be required to meet new ADA pool entry/exit requirements (i.e. pool lifts, sloped entries). California Building Code was updated in 2001 to include most of these changes and therefore pools built in California since 2001 may already be compliant. New Requirements for Pool Entry effective March 15, 2012
Inspection of poultry/egg ranches for compliances with state and local requirements. Contact our Hemet office for information.
Public Swimming Pools/Spas Construction Plan Check
Plan Check and field inspection of all new pool and spa construction. Consultation as part of the Food Facility Plan Check process provided for remodeling and/or new construction. Go to our Forms and Guidelines page for a complete listing of guidelines, applications and other materials available for downloading.
Retail Food Service
DES conducts inspections of all facilities that sell food and/or drinks to the public. The random, unannounced inspections are done to check compliance with all applicable state and local requirements. The facilities are checked for issues such as proper employee handwashing, safe food handling practices, food preparation techniques, food storage, facility cleanliness, insect or rodent infestations and sanitizing procedures. These facilities include restaurants, markets, vehicles, and schools, as well as temporary and occasional events, such as “ market nights” and festivals.
The permanent food facilities that handle open foods receive a grade at the end of an inspection. Each violation has a point value that is deducted from 100 possible points. Grades are given on the following scale of 100-90 points (A), 89-80 points (B), 79-Below (C). Grades of B and C, also known as “Downgrades,” are failed inspections, meaning that a facility did not meet minimum health standards at the time of the inspection. Click here for a listing of recently downgraded facilities.
Public complaint investigations are also done as needed at the same facilities. Complaints (foodborne illness, food contamination, improper employee handwashing, etc.) can be made by calling your local area office, or by submitting one with our online complaint form.
Temporary Food Facilities
Temporary food facilities are food facilities that are set up at a fixed location for a maximum of 25 days over a 90 day period. The events must be sanctioned, and of a civic, political, public or educational nature. Examples of temporary food facilities are state and county fairs, city festivals, circuses and other public gathering events that are approved by the Environmental Health Department.
Permits are required from your local Environmental Health Office to operate a temporary food facility. Temporary food facilities will be inspected on the day of the event, and throughout the event as needed, to check compliance with all applicable state and local requirements. Click to obtain the Temporary Food Facility Guidelines and the Temporary Food Facility Fees.
The District Environmental Services Division investigates complaints concerning the improper disposal/storage of household trash and garbage, and complaints concerning overflowing sewage from private septic systems in the unincorporated areas of the County and in certain contract cities (i.e. Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Canyon Lake, Murrieta, Temecula).
To file a complaint of the above issues, either call your local area office , or use our online complaint form .
For complaints regarding junk cars or other debris and dumping in open lots or areas, contact your area County Code Enforcement office.
We conduct monitoring and control efforts against principal arthropod-borne diseases such as encephalitis and plague, as well as general vector control complaint response, in the unincorporated areas of the County only, and in cites with contracts. Contact our Hemet office for information. Go to our Public Information page for information regarding West Nile Virus, Hantavirus, Lyme Disease and other vector control subjects. We also have more information available on our Vector Control page.