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  • Northwest ICE Processing Center

    We promote healthy food and waste practices at NWIPC.

    2023 legislation established Chapter 70.395 RCW, granting Washington State Department of Health (DOH) authority to receive, respond, and enforce penalties for health, safety, and human rights concerns reported against the Northwest Detention Center.  

    Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department plays a limited role in regulating food safety and infectious waste at the Northwest Ice Processing Center (NWIPC) in Tacoma. 

    We also provide limited voluntary support for health services at the facility.

    Food safety

    We began providing regulatory oversight of food safety at NWIPC’s request in 2004. Under agreement with DOH, we will continue to provide food inspection services and food safety complaint investigations. 

    We perform 3 routine, unannounced inspections each year.

    We use the same process as the one we perform at other food establishments in Pierce County. We inspect the main preparation kitchen and assess critical food safety practices like:

    • Hand hygiene.
    • Employee illness policy.
    • Food sources.
    • Cross-contamination.
    • Proper cooking and holding temperatures.

    NWIPC makes corrections we require and we conduct unannounced follow-up inspections if necessary.  You can find its last 3 years of inspection reports on our website.

    Infectious waste management

    We also began providing regulatory oversite of NWIPC’s waste management at its request in 2004.

    Every other year, we conduct a scheduled inspection of its medical care facility. We use the same inspection process we perform at other facilities that handle infectious waste. We review the facility’s:

    • Infectious waste management plan.
    • Annual training records.
    • Infectious waste storage and collection locations.
    • Disposal records.

    NWIPC has a detailed infectious waste management program and complies with local regulation.

    Our Waste Management program has provided regulatory oversight of the facility’s infectious waste management practices since 2004. We conduct scheduled inspections every other year to the medical care facility under Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s Environmental Health Code Chapter 6, Infectious Waste. The inspections review the medical facility’s infectious waste management plan, annual training records, infectious waste storage and collection locations, and disposal records. NWIPC has a detailed infectious waste management program and complies with local regulations.