Portsmouth Health District serves a historic urban city with a diverse population of approximately 100,000 citizens, centrally located in the heart of Hampton Roads. Portsmouth is home to one of the largest Naval Hospitals on the east coast as well as the Mid-Atlantic fleet headquarters for the Coast Guard and the Naval Shipyard. The area offers a number of recreational, sporting and historical venues and draws a large number of tourists each year.
The Environmental Health staff includes 4 Environmental Health Specialists, 1 Administrative support staff and 1 Manager. Programs include inspections of over 500 permitted food facilities (restaurants, grocery stores, schools, daycare facilities, hospitals, nursing homes and mobile units)rabies prevention, complaint investigations, potential foodborne related outbreaks, tourist establishments (hotel, motels, bed and breakfasts), tattoo parlors, marinas, private wells and special events. Environmental Health Specialists are also heavily engaged in educational classes for food handlers and Certified Food Managers.
Food facilities are scheduled for routine inspections on a frequency based on the FDA and the Department of Health's risk assessment guidelines that evaluates food establishments’ menus and food preparation procedures to determine the frequency and nature of food protection services. Additional inspections may be required based on violations noted, critical violations or on consumer complaints received.
Tourist establishments are inspected twice a year and on complaint basis.
Tattoo Parlors (body art) are inspected every 3 months and on complaints.
Rabies prevention involves quarantining animals on receipt of bite reports, educating owner/victims and releasing animals from quarantine.
The Environmental Health Department works with many other agencies to protect and promote the health of its residents and visitors.