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Serving Food

Safe Environment

Our environmental public health experts protect our air, water, and food. They ensure wastewater systems are installed correctly to protect our drinking water. They make sure child care centers, hotels, and public swimming pools follow safety regulations. They help local restaurants understand and follow local and state food safety regulations. The services our staff provide benefit everyone who lives, works, plays, or visits our community.


Food Inspections

Our trained staff inspect about 200 food establishments in Phelps and Maries counties. Inspection frequency is determined by a "public health priority" rating system based on the type of food establishment, the extent of food preparation, past inspection history, and other variables.


We're working with food establishments to make sure the food they serve is safe.


Food Safety Training

We help food handlers in our community understand and follow local and state food safety regulations, including the Missouri Food Code. This protects everyone who eats in our restaurants, schools, and bars. We also help event organizers, food processors, senior nutrition sites, and retail food stores comply with food safety rules.


We're helping food workers understand the rules and regulations that guide food handling and assure food safety.


Water Testing

We provide free private water sample collection kits that contain a sterile 100 ml bottle, instructions, and a mailing label for the State Public Health Laboratory. For a $10 fee, the state lab will test your water for bacteria and mail you results in 7 - 10 days.


We can help you intepret the results and recommend methods for disinfecting your well, if necessary.


These water tests cannot be used as an "official" test needed to secure a home loan.

We're working to ensure your well water is healthy and safe.


Onsite Sewage

County ordinances adopt Missouri's state laws and minimum construction standards (Chapter 701.025 through 701.059 RSMo and 19 CSR 20-3.060 through 19 CSR 20-3.080) by reference, and regulate the installation and major repair of on-site sewer systems in the area.

Property owners must submit an application and obtain a construction permit from our office before putting in a new on-site sewer system or making major modifications to an existing system.


We're working to protect our drinking water and the environment with properly installed wastewater systems.


Child Care Inspections

Our Environmental Public Health Specialist (EPHS) conducts annual sanitation inspections of child care facilities licensed or regulated by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services' Bureau of Child Care. These include child care centers, group homes, family child care homes, Head Starts, and license-exempt facilities (such as a nursery school or a facility run by a religious organization).


Our staff attend annual training and recertification required by the Bureau of Child Care.



We're working to make sure your children have a safe and healthy child care environment.


Lodging Inspections

State law (Chapter 315 RSMo) requires that lodging establishments be inspected and licensed by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).


Our professional staff conduct annual sanitation and safety inspections of lodging establishments in Phelps and Maries County under a contract with DHSS.

Inspections are conducted according to 
standards (19 CSR 20-3.050) set forth by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services that became effective in early 2002.

We're working to make sure our visitors have a safe and healthy place to stay overnight.


Environmental Emergencies

Our professional staff, under contract with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), respond to a variety of environmental emergency situations such as food establishment fires, floods, power outages, or other disasters where food products are affected.

Our Environmental Public Health Specialist investigates incidents to assess the condition of food products. Foods that have been out of temperature, or are contaminated, adulterated or compromised such that they may cause a foodborne illness are disposed of to protect the public.

Our staff work with food establishments to submit insurance claims and reopen their businesses as soon as possible after an emergency incident.

We're coming alongside food establishments during a disaster.



We depend on people who live, work, and play in our community to let us know of any potential unsafe or unsanitary conditions.


You can help keep our community safe and healthy by calling us at (573) 458-6010 or filling out our contact form below if you have a concern or complaint about a food vendor, lodging establishments, wastewater system, or child care center.


Our staff review all complaints and conduct investigations as appropriate.

If you call in a concern or complaint, please provide your name, address, and telephone number so we can follow up if more information is needed.

We're working to address your concerns to keep our community healthy and safe.

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