OLYMPIA – On Tuesday, December 15, The Thurston County Board of Health voted unanimously to extend food establishment permit expiration dates by six months. Food establishment permits were scheduled to expire on Sunday, January 31, 2021. This extension will allow more than 1,083 food establishment permit holders to delay renewal payments, if desired, as a result of COVID-19 economic hardships.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions across all sectors of our local economy, including our local food and dining industry," said Tye Menser, Thurston County Board of Health Chair. "We hope our local food vendors can benefit from having one less bill to pay at the end of the year."
Food establishments such as espresso stands, grocery stores, food trucks, restaurants and bars, are required to have current permits and follow local and state health codes and laws. Food establishments must undergo regular health and safety inspections and pay annual fees to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department (PHSS). The fees fund the food establishment inspection program for Thurston County.
"The Board of Health made a similar extension in the summer," said Sammy Berg, Senior Environmental Health Specialist with PHSS. "The permit fees will be the same and will still need to be paid by Saturday, July 31, 2021."
New food permits will be mailed out to currently permitted establishments beginning next week.