Inspections & Licensing
The Food Safety and Recreational Licensing staff are responsible for managing programs that enforce applicable state administrative codes for the inspection and licensure of restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, public swimming pools including water park attractions, campgrounds, and tattoo and body piercing establishments.
- Restaurant, Lodging, and Recreation Establishment Application (.pdf)
- Retail Food Establishment Application (.pdf)
- Temporary Restaurant Application(.pdf)
- Special Event Campground Application (.pdf) or (.doc)
- Variance Application
Codes & Regulations
Bed & Breakfasts
Tattoo and Body Piercing
Certified Food Manager
- Wisconsin Food Code
- ATCP 75
- Food Safety Handouts
- Temporary Restaurant Guidelines
- Starting a Small Food Business Fact Sheet (.pdf)
- Food Employee Illness Reporting Agreement
- Pickle Bill Flyer
- Best Practices for Selling Home-Baked Goods
- Service Animals
Mobile Food Establishments
- Chapter 9 Wisconsin Food Code
- Mobile Food Establishments
- Mobile Food Service and Mobile Retail Food Establishments (.pdf)
- Mobile Food Establishment Operational Plan
- Service Base Sharing Agreement
- ATCP 72
- Tourist Rooming House Checklist
- A Guide to Renting Out Your Property for Overnight Stays
- Lodging and Sanitation Laws: Questions and Answers (.pdf)
- How Taxes Affect Your Operations (.pdf)
- Sleeping Room Size
- Utensil Sanitation Instructions
- Utensil Sanitation Poster
- Room Rate Cards
- Bunk Bed Requirements
- Condo Association Licensing
- Room Tax Collection Communities and Contacts
- Cleaning Crew Checklist
Recreational and Educational Camps
- ATCP 76
- Swimming in Healthy Water Videos
- Cleaning Up Body Fluid Spills on Pool Surfaces
- Fecal Incident Response Recommendations (.pdf)
- Fecal Accident Response Form (.pdf)
- Swimming Pool and Water Attraction Death, Injury and Illness Report (.pdf)
Water Testing & Beach Monitoring
Water Testing Lab
A water test for bacteria and nitrates should be done yearly. This can be done right through the Vilas County Public Health Department. Special sampling bottles must be used for water testing and are ready for pick-up at the the Health Department (330 Court Street, Eagle River), Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm.
Water samples should be taken the same day as they are brought in for testing and can be dropped off at the the Health Department, Monday-Thursday, from 8:00am-3:00pm. The cost is the following for these two tests and others:
- Bacteria: $20.00
- Nitrates: $15.00
- Arsenic: $20.00
- Lead: $30.00
- Cumulative Only: $10.00
- Homeowner Kit: Bacteria, Nitrates, Arsenic and Cumulative tests. (Cumulative test includes: Hardness, pH, Iron, Alkalinity and Chlorine): $55.00
Additional fee for collection of private samples in Vilas County by staff: $30.00
Additional fee for collection of private samples in neighboring counties by staff: $50.00
Additional fees apply for RUSH orders. Contact the Health Dept. at 715-479-3656.
Watch our videos below on how to properly take water samples:
Vilas County conducts beach monitoring at several locations starting Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend each year. The beaches are checked for fecal coliforms and Escherichia coli (E. coli). These bacteria show that there may be more hazardous bacteria in the water.
The intent of the Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act (BEACH Act) - 2002, is to preserve recreational waters and to protect the health of the public. The inland beach testing program is supported through a partnership between UW-Oshkosh and the Vilas County Public Health Department. All Vilas County beaches have been monitored since 2003 at no cost to the County.
UW-Oshkosh students monitor Vilas and Oneida County beaches once a week throughout the summer. Based on beach water sample results, a beach is:
- Open for swimming,
- Posted with an "Advisory", or
- Posted as "Closed" based on the number of E. coli in the water sample.
If an advisory or closure is posted, the beach is resampled that day, and sampling will continue until bacteria levels are at a safe level for swimming. E. coli contamination of the water can come from a number of sources, such as waterfowl, dirty diapers, dogs, and rain water runoff.
For more information about the sampling process or procedure contact the Vilas County Health Department at 715-479-3656.
- Wisconsin Beach Health website - Information concerning Great Lakes and local swimming beach status (open, advisory, or closures)
- Wisconsin DNR Beach website - Information on local beaches.
Beaches being monitored in Vilas and Oneida Counties:
|Vilas County||Oneida County|
typcially affect young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems after coming in contact with polluted water. The bacteria gets in people's bodies usually through swallowing water or having the bacteria on your skin and then eating food or touching your mouth or eyes without washing your hands.
Symptoms or signs are generally short lived and not severe.The most common symptoms are the following:
- Fever, and
- Headaches, or
- Ear, eye, nose, and throat infections.
West Nile Virus (WNV) & Dead Bird Reporting
West Nile Virus, or WNV, is a disease transmitted by a certain breed of mosquito. The bite of an infected mosquito can spread the virus to humans, birds and horses. West Nile Virus can be fatal although most humans that get bitten do not become ill, and horses can be vaccinated.
In Wisconsin, WNV has been identified since the Summer of 2002. Surveillance for wild bird morbidity and mortality appears to be one of the most sensitive early detection systems for WNV. The virus can infect a wide range of bird species, with corvids (crows, jays, and ravens) being highly susceptible to WNV. Once a highly susceptible bird becomes infected with WNV, death can occur within five to seven days. Dead birds are most often found singly in one place at one time, not in mass die-offs.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends avian morbidity/mortality surveillance (dead bird surveillance) as a component of an arbovirus surveillance program. From May through October, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health (DPH) in collaboration with USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services (WS) conducts surveillance for WNV on crows, ravens, and blue jays (corvid birds).
- The DPH and WS collects information on sick/dead crows, blue jays, and ravens. Always wear rubber gloves when handling sick or dead birds. If you have no gloves, insert your hand into a clean plastic bag, pick up the bird with the bagged hand, invert the bag over the bird and seal the bag.
- Call the Wisconsin Dead Bird Hotline at: 1-800 433-1610 to report a dead bird. WS will collect samples from suitable specimens. Birds found dead must be in good postmortem condition. Indicators of suitable postmortem condition include no scavenging to the carcass, an intact body cavity, no maggot infestation or strong odor to the carcass. Birds with signs of trauma are acceptable.
- Priority testing based on geographic location or time of year may be required as the mosquito season progresses. Once two WNV positive birds are detected in a county, birds from that county may no longer be accepted for testing. However, reporting sick/dead crows, blue jays, or ravens should continue through the summer.
- West Nile Virus: What You Need to Know (CDC)
- West Nile Virus Surveillance Map of Wisconsin
- Press Release: State Activates Dead Bird Reporting Hotline to Track West Nile Virus (.pdf)
Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers in America and claims the lives of about 20,000 Americans each year. It is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and chemically inert radioactive gas. Formed by the natural radioactive decay of uranium in rock, soil, and water, radon occurs naturally at low levels in the earth throughout the United States. Unless it is specifically tested for, radon cannot be detected.
Radon Test Kits
To promote the awareness of radon risks, the Vilas County Public Health Department provides radon testing kits for $10.00 each. Stop by the Vilas County Public Health Department at 330 Court Street. Eagle River, Wisconsin to pick up a radon test kit. If a high radon level is detected in your home, you can take steps to fix the problem to protect yourself and your family. Call the Public Health Department at 715-479-3656 if you have any questions.
For more detailed information about radon, visit the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Radon page or review A Citizen's Guide to Radon (.pdf). For a list of Radon Measurement and Mitigation Contractors, visit: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/radon/radon-proficiency.htm
During the month of February, kits are available at the Vilas County Public Health Department for $10.00. Please call 715-479-3656 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to reserve your kit. Quantities are limited.