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Mission Statement:

“We protect and promote the health and well-being of Hawaii’s residents and visitors.  We accomplish this with professionalism, integrity and fairness through education and regulation in the areas of food safety, disease prevention, community sanitation and emergency response.”

Program Function:

The Sanitation Branch is a Statewide program responsible for enforcement of the Hawaii Revised Statutes and departmental administrative rules. These responsibilities are divided into four (4) areas:

  1. Inspections and enforcement of regulations
  2. Issuance of permits and licenses
  3. Licensing of professionals
  4. Education


The branch conducts inspections of and issues permits or licenses to food establishments, milk plants, dairy farms, public swimming pools, tattoo establishments and mortuaries.

Inspectional services are also performed on regulated industries (barber shops, beauty salons and massage establishments), schools, medical facilities, care homes, and transient accommodations (hotels, hostels, etc.).

Review and approval of building plans in accordance with departmental administrative rules are conducted of newly constructed or renovated food establishments and public swimming pools. Preliminary liquor dispenser plans are also reviewed as part of the food establishment’s application for a liquor license.

The branch is also responsible for licensing embalming and tattoo professionals, which involves administering tests and issuing licenses.

Educational classes on food protection and safety are provided to the public, food industry and other agencies through the branch’s Food Handlers Education Program. Community outreach on proper hand washing is provided by sanitarians at various schools and community fairs.