The Role of An Environmental Health Officer

What strikes your mind when you hear the term “environmental health officer”? The chances are that you just think of a person who is responsible for taking care of the environment and ensuring that everything is in the best possible condition around.

However, this somewhat is true, but there’s a lot more than an environmental health officer has to do, and that’s what we are here to talk about today. In the environmental health profession, there’s one and only one motive, and that is “prevention is better than cure”. Now you can guess a little what an officer working in this department does. Let’s give an example, say you are a facility that handles different canisters filled with oil drums (auto shop), gases (hospital), and so on, you need to make sure that they are being stored correctly and safely, this may mean getting bunded storage from STOREMASTA to keep everything contained. If you do not have something like this, then an officer could come and say that spillage may occur or contamination, putting the environment and people at risk.

If you are still unsure exactly about what they do, then stick along till the end because we are now going to explain it all to you in detail.

Food Safety

The very first job of an environmental health officer is to ensure that the food that’s being consumed by people around, it’s safe and healthy. In simpler words, it’s the task of these officers to ensure that all the food businesses around are meeting the obligations that are legislative. Not only this, but the officer also has to check if the food products are labeled correctly and if there’s any illegal ingredient used in them.

In order to perform the duties that we just talked about, the officer has to pay a visit to different businesses to;

  • Investigate if there are any foodborne illness
  • Auditing businesses to check if they are following food safety practices that are compulsory.
  • Investigation of the complaints coming from consumers and checking if the products are mislabelled.
  • Educating the businesses to provide safe food to people around and telling them about the practices they are supposed to follow.
  • Spreading awareness among those who run food businesses on how they can improve the safety standards of their food and how they can make sure that it’s all healthy.
  • Sending improvement notices and prohibition orders etc to those businesses who aren’t following the safety rules strictly.

Water Inspection

It can be evident that with all the food inspections, water inspection is also imperative, and that’s what an environmental health officer does. He is supposed to check if the water source of a particular area is clean and safe to drink or not. He is the one who has to investigate if there are any complaints regarding water contamination or waterborne illnesses. There are people out there who do take care of the food they consume, but they forget that clean water is equally important to them. This is where such officers come into play. They ensure that people are careful about what they are consuming, whether it’s water or food. They may have to do an inspection at the commercial as well as industrial level. To ensure that companies don’t jeopardize public health, there are compliance acts at play to ensure businesses follow all the rules and regulations. As an aid to these businesses, there could be a few environmental consulting firms that guide these companies to reduce the chances of violations. It could be one of the health inspector’s duties to check if businesses are adhering to all the set regulations.

The long story short is that the work of an environmental health officer is quite tough, but at the same time, it’s interesting too. You get to investigate the food market around you. You get to be the enforcer who has to make sure that everything is clean and safe around.


If you are here, it seems like you are interested in this career option, and you just wanted to know if this is the wiser thing to do. Well, guess what? It definitely is, and you should consider working as an environmental health officer who works for a good cause. Honestly, this job is especially for those people who are concerned about the environment and want to make a difference in the world. So if you are one of those people, then you sure should try getting into this field.

Infographic created by Boston Analytical – premier analytical testing laboratories