Thurston CountyOlympia 98506
Full Time
||none||Environmental Health Specialist I – Food And Environmental Services||Thurston County|| ||||">

Environmental Health Specialist I – Food And Environmental Services

Thurston County
Full Time 412 Lilly Rd NE, Olympia, WA 98506, United States


This employment opportunity will remain open until filled. Thurston County Public Health & Social Services reserves the right to close the recruitment at any time. To ensure consideration for this position, please submit your application as soon as possible.

Thurston County Public Health & Social Services (PHSS) is recruiting for an

Environmental Health Specialist I in the Food and Environmental Services Section

. You would join a team of six inspectors, primarily conducting food safety inspections.  

As an Environmental Health Specialist I in the Food and Environmental Services Section,you provide education and enforcement in specific health programs in order to improve conditions that might otherwise lead to pollution and/or disease transmission. State and local standards are applied in evaluating facilities, identifying violations, and working with operations of facilities to make corrections. You will collaborate with and educate community members in the food industry about food safety, but, when necessary, use enforcement actions to protect the health of the community.

This position reports directly to the Senior Environmental Health Specialist.

Essential functions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Investigate foodborne and zoonotic illness complaints, interviewing the ill and others to identify possible contamination sources and conducting field inspections in an attempt to stop disease transmission.
  • Issue, withhold, or withdraw licenses and permits based in an analysis and evaluation of proposed or existing health-related systems and/or practices.
  • Review applications and plans for new or existing food establishments, schools, and pools; conduct pre-opening inspections to see that requirements are met.
  • Record violations found during inspections, evaluate findings, discuss with owner or manager, and determine correction priorities.
  • Make follow-up evaluations and initiate enforcement procedures, if necessary
  • Offer technical support and education to the public concerning food, pool, and school safety, and zoonotic disease prevention.
  • Interpret laws and policies; assist with program development, draft policies and make recommendations for consideration by department management and the Thurston County Board of Health
  • Perform other work as required or assigned including but not limited to a 24/7 response during public health emergency situations and disease outbreak investigations.
The ideal candidate will possess:
  • Knowledge of theory, principles, and practices of environmental health science, biology, and epidemiology
  • Knowledge of retail food handling equipment and procedures, and swimming pool equipment and water chemistry
  • Knowledge of the US FDA Food Code and related state or local sanitation regulations.
  • Ability to utilize a personal computer and related software packages to perform word processing, analysis, information retrieval and tracking.
  • Ability to compile and maintain complete and accurate records.
  • Ability to interpret and enforce complex regulations.
  • Ability to exercise skill and judgement in dealing tactfully with the public while educating and maintaining good public relations.
  • Ability to use measuring and testing equipment.
Work may be performed in an office and outdoors. Employees in this classification may be exposed to a variety of weather conditions, walking in rough terrain, or boating in rough waters. May be exposed to pathogenic bacteria. Heavy lifting in excess of 50 lbs. may be required.

What we offer our employees:
  • Work-Life Balance: We are committed to ensuring that our staff experience the reward of public service, while also sustaining a routine that suits each individual’s lifestyle.
  • Plan for Your Future: As a member of our team, you enjoy great employee benefits, including a retirement plan, pre-tax savings accounts, as well as comprehensive health care and dental/vision care for you and your family. Please visit our website for more information. 
  • Paid Leave: Full-time regular employees earn a minimum of 12 paid vacation days per year in addition to 11 paid . 
  • Robust Training Program: Employees are encouraged to attend County-paid training to help them further their career, learn new skill sets, and stay on top of emerging trends in our industry. We also encourage staff to participate in professional organizations and attend conferences.  
  • Flexible Work Schedules:  Options some employees may take advantage of include alternative or compressed schedules and/or remote working.
  • See under Benefitslater in this job description for detailed information about the many other benefits the County offers.
Why you’ll love it here:
Thurston County is located between Seattle and Portland in Western Washington’s South Puget Sound Region. Perched between the mountains and the ocean, the area boasts the perfect blend of year-round outdoor activities including boating, hiking, skiing, and more. The region is also home to the state capital city of Olympia, known for its many restaurants, microbreweries, coffee shops, farmers markets, kids’ activities, history, and art events. Discover more about life in Thurston County at .
  • Bachelor's degree in environmental health, biology, bacteriology or related field.

  • One year of professional environmental health work experience requiring extensive public contact.

  • Must have current Washington State Driver's License.

Desired Skills

Respect and Organizational Culture:

  • Create an environment where employees and partners can safely express needs or concerns and where employees can make and correct mistakes
  • Effectively interact with sensitivity while working with persons from diverse cultural, socioeconomic, educational, racial, ethnic, and professional backgrounds, and persons of all ages, gender identities, sexual orientations, and lifestyles
  • Thrive in a fast-paced, robust organization maintaining a positive work environment
  • Serve the public in a timely, complete, accurate, and professional manner while ensuring that written and verbal communication is clearly understood by others
  • Maintain cultural competency to support diverse perspectives in developing, implementing, and evaluating policies, programs, and services that affect the health of the community
  • Strong oral communication for networking and interpersonal relationships
  • Excellent written communication including the ability to craft correspondence, reports, and articles or web postings with minimal grammatical and syntax errors
Goal Setting and Accomplishment:
  • Use strategic thinking and planning for goal setting and evaluation
  • Effectively plan, organize, and manage competing priorities and challenges under pressure
  • Create a sense of mission by articulating and modeling confidentiality, professional values, and ethics with honesty and integrity
  • Operate with a high degree of flexibility, initiative, attention to detail, and commitment
  • Delegate and use persuasion and negotiating skills for shared responsibility and acceptance of change