EMD Latest News and Information

Safe Recreational Water Practices - Blue Green Algae Information


It is important to know that our rivers, lakes and streams are an open resource for the public, animals and wildlife. These water sources are considered non-potable (not safe to drink) because of their inherent risk contamination from potentially harmful organisms such as Blue-Green algae and E. coli (a bacteria in the waste of animals/birds/humans).  Under the right conditions, these organisms or the toxins they produce can make people and animals sick if ingested or absorbed through open cuts or wounds.

It is recommended that everyone visiting rivers, lakes or streams practice these general safe and healthy habits for swimming:

  • Avoid areas that have algae or discolored water
  • Individuals who are immunocompromised should avoid contact with the water
  • Wash hands and shower after swimming or playing in the water
  • Do not drink or cook with the water
  • Do not swim if you are sick or have open cuts or wounds
  • Do not enter the water for several days after a significant rainstorm
  • Do not swim near any pipes that are draining water into the area

Individuals who suspect they may have gotten sick after swimming in rivers or streams in Sacramento County should report it to the Sacramento County Division of Public Health (https://dhs.saccounty.net/pub/pages/pub-home.aspx) at 916-875-5881 so that the source of the illness can be investigated.

AB 626 - Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations

 Assembly Bill No​​. 626- Microenterprise home kitchen operations became effective January 1, 2019.  This bill amends state law, the California Retail Food Code, and establishes a “microenterprise home kitchen operation” (MEHKO) as a new type of retail food facility. A MEHKO is operated from a private home and would allow a home chef to store, handle, prepare, and serve food to consumers. 

The law allowing MEHKOs only becomes effective if the City or County “opts in”. The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors is expected to consider whether or not Sacramento County will “opt in”. 

At this time Sacramento County EMD is not be able to issue permits for MEHKOs.  To be placed on an email list for MEHKO updates, please call (916) 875-8440 or e mail FoodProgram@SacCounty.net​.

New laws in 2019 that may apply to your food facility​

Beverage included with children’s meals may only be one of the following (unless otherwise requested):

  • Water, Sparkling Water, Flavored Water (with no added natural or artificial sweeteners)
  • Unflavored Milk
  • A nondairy milk alternative that contains no more than 130 calories per serving

Drinks with Children's Meals

Full-service restaurants are restricted from providing single-use plastic straws unless requested by a customer.

Plastic Straw Restrictions

EMD recognizes Food Safety Excellence

The Environmental Management Department recognizes the food safety efforts of 475 local food businesses.  Of the 475 recognized, one establishment from each supervisorial district has been chosen to receive their award on Sept 11 at the Board of Supervisors meeting. The list of Award of Excellence recipients can be found on our Awards of Excellence in Food Safety Page.

Donating Surplus Food

Donating surplus food from restaurants and other food facilities can be a sustainable and simple way to help local non-profit and charitable organizations serve those in need in our community. More Information can be found on our Food Donations Page.

Managan Park Lead Clea​​​​nup Project​

Most recent ​​site assessments of the Mangan Park Area​

Getting the Facts on Trans Fats

Important information regarding new FDA regulations involving partially-hydrogenated oils.

Trans fat-Getting the Facts on Trans Fats

Making changes to Your Food Facility? New video explains EMD requirements.


Are you making changes to your food facility? Make sure your changes meet EMD requirements before you start.  If you are adding new equipment, service areas (e.g. bar) or making menu changes, check with EMD first.  This video explains what types of changes may require plan review and how to get it approved.

EMD Makes a New Hazardous Materials Spill Reporting Video Available

This quick 2 minute video update explains when and how to report a hazardous materials spill.

Charitable Foodservice for the Homeless

As many in the community seek to participate in efforts aimed at assisting those experiencing homelessness, the Sacramento County Environmental Management Department often receives inquiries regarding charitable foodservice for the homeless. Visit the Charitable Food Distribution page for more information. 

Be Storm Ready

If you are prone to flooding during major storms - don't wait to get sandbags and other flood protection supplies.  For more information  Go to StormReady.org for more sandbag information and watch this short video.

Can Your Kitchen Pass Inspection?

You can prevent foodborne illness during the holidays with safe food handling practices at home. Take the EMD Home Kitchen Self-Inspection Quiz to see if your kitchen passes inspection. Once you pass, go ahead and proudly display your “Green” placard in your kitchen.  For the complete story, please see this Saccounty News item.

Addressing Potential Hazmat Emergencies

The Environmental Management Department (EMD) completed its CalOES grant- funded Area Plan Update for Emergency Response to Hazardous Materials Incidents in Sacramento County. Hazardous material emergencies may be the result of threatened releases, highway accidents, clandestine drug laboratories, train derailments, pipeline transportation accidents, fire and/ or spills at fixed facilities or even disasters. The Area Plan, a collaborative effort with a wide range of area stakeholders, describes the responsibilities of local, state and federal agencies during incidents involving the release and/ or threatened release of hazardous materials in Sacramento County. To learn more, go to the Incident Response Program page.

EMD’s Abandoned Well Program Receives the CSAC Merit Award

Sacramento County Environmental Management Department (EMD) received the California State Associ​ation of Counties (CSAC) Merit Award for an innovative program to identify and properly close abandoned water wells which are a hazard and a potential source of groundwater contamination. Wells constructed prior to the County’s permitting programs and now abandoned or improperly sealed are difficult to locate. This program uses a database management system with integrated GIS mapping along with public outreach to identify and properly address abandoned wells that pose a threat to groundwater quality and are a falling-in hazard to people and animals. As of June 2015, more than 770 abandoned wells have been identified.

Abandoned Well Identification Project Now in Progress!

EMD is asking for your help in identifying abandoned wells in Sacramento County. Visit the Abandoned Wells ​Program page for more information.

View USDA Well Destruction Video YouTube​