What Does a Public Health Inspector Do?

Public-Health-InspectorA public health inspector is a public employee who inspects establishments to ensure that they are clean, healthy and up to the local health codes. There are public health laws and state sanitation codes that must be followed. The Health and Human Services organization together with the US Department of Agriculture announced in June of 2013 that there will be new guidelines available to public health inspectors to ensure an even greater level of cleanliness among the businesses that they inspect.

Professional Duties of a Public Health Inspector

Public health inspectors conduct routine inspections as well as look into complaints and concerns that are brought to their attention. During an inspection, public health inspectors do a thorough evaluation of the property to check for any violations of health codes. During and following an inspection, detailed reports are written and the inspector decides if the establishment is following the local laws or not.

What Kinds of Places Does a Public Health Inspector Inspect?

There are several places where a public health inspector may do an inspection. Some of those places are:


When most people think about a public health inspector, they think about restaurant inspections. The public trusts that when eating at an establishment, the food is being prepared in a healthy and sanitary fashion and they are not at risk of contracting food poisoning or other conditions due to unsanitary restaurant conditions. Public health inspectors ensure that restaurants are clean, the food they are serving is fresh and the staff keeps up to code with their own good hygiene and proper food handling.


Camps are another area where public health inspectors go to make sure they are being run properly. Camps often host day campers, sleep away campers and adult staff, providing meals for all of them during their stay at camp. Camp kitchens, food storage and food preparation areas must all follow the local health codes. Public health inspectors go into the camp to make sure that they are clean and sanitary.


It is so incredibly important that hospitals remain sanitary and clean. Public health inspectors inspect not only the food service areas of a hospital, but cleaning and sanitation areas as well. Inspectors ensure that the hospital is disposing of medical waste properly, preparing food for patients and guests in a clean kitchen and that patient areas are sanitary and hygienic.

Hotels and Campgrounds

Hotels and campgrounds are places where individuals and families go to get away from their daily stresses and relax. Public health inspectors make sure that these vacation spots are clean and healthy. Inspectors check food facilities, rest rooms and house keeping/sanitation services to see if the facility is up to code.

Swimming Areas

Inspections of bathing beaches and public swimming pools are conducted regularly during the swimming season. Public health inspectors check not only the water conditions, but also the conditions of any snack stands, restrooms and other areas open to the public.

The job of a public health inspector is an incredibly important one. Public health inspectors keep the community safe and ensure that the public can trust the cleanliness of local establishments. A career as a public health inspector is interesting and rewarding. Inspectors are faced with unique situations on a regular basis and work hard to keep the town they work in healthy.