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Wash Your HandsConsumer Protection/Environmental Health

What is Consumer Health?

The consumer protection branch of the health department focuses on protecting the public from such things as food-borne illness and the transmission of various diseases that are directly related to personal hygiene and other unsanitary conditions.  We organize, coordinate and assist in many different programs that in some way will relate to every individual throughout his or her life.  


The Environmental/Consumer Health Division provides many services for the county, including:

Licensing and Inspections of:

  • Eating and drinking establishments
  • Retail food (such as grocery stores)
  • Hotels, motels and bed and breakfast establishments
  • Food service in schools, camps, day care facilities, and institutions (hospitals)
  • Barber shops
  • Public bathing facilities (spas and swimming pools)

We also perform investigations and consultations on:

  • Health related complaints
  • Possible food-borne disease
  • Potential rabies exposure


The health department will license and routinely inspect all food establishments. We also license temporary food establishments, such as the food vendors at our local fairs, arts & craft shows and other seasonal events scheduled around the county.


We work closely with the local police, animal control and the county sheriff's department in the management of animal bite incidents and possible rabies exposure in humans and animals.  The rabies virus can infect a host of animals including skunks, bats, dogs, cats and ferrets.  Skunks are the main carrier of rabies in our area. Rabies can be transmitted to humans through the lining of the eyes, nose, and open wounds such as a bite, cut or puncture associated with an animal that has been exposed to rabies.

Public Bathing Facilities

Staff also conducts routine inspections on the swimming pools and spas throughout the county.  We test the water for proper balance, including ph, chlorine and turbidity. Filtering systems are observed and checked for the necessary safety equipment that must be present at each pool location.

Barber Shops

Barber shops are inspected around the county for basic hygiene and sanitary conditions.  We ensure that suitable germicides are being used for proper sanitization of barbers' equipment. 

2017 Food Handler Classes

-Cost is $5 per person 

-There is no need to register, however due to limited seating, and a prompt start time, we recommend that you arrive early. 

-New hire employees may begin work immediately;however they must obtain a Food Handler Permit by the next available course date.

-Food Handlers Permits are valid for 2 years.


Cherokee County Community Building, 908 S. College in Tahlequah

English     Spanish  
February 2 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m. April 7 8:30 a.m.
March 2 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.   .
April 6 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.    
May 3 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.    
June 1 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.    
August 2 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.    
September 7 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.    
October 5 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.    
November 1 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.    
December 7 9:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.    

Questions?  Contact the Cherokee County Health Department 918-456-8826.

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