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Missoula City-County Health Department
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Frequently Asked Questions: Public Accommodations


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Q:  What is a public accommodation?

A:  A Public Accommodation is a business that provides sleeping quarters, linens, and janitorial service.  The janitorial and linen service can be provided by staff or the residents themselves under the supervision of the management.  This includes all hotels, motels, guest houses, and bed and breakfasts.


Q:  Does the health department inspect apartments?

A:  No, but there are resources available for renters.


Q:  How often are public accommodations inspected?

A:  Inspections are done once a calendar year.


Q: What is a public accommodation inspection?

A:  There are several items that are checked during an inspection, the most important being the following;

In guest rooms:

Are the floors, ceilings and walls intact?
Is the water coming out of the tap at least 100 ºF but not over 120ºF?
Is the furniture moveable and intact?
Is the room clean?
What cleaners are being used? 
Do they include a fungicide and a germicide?
Is there any sign of pest infestation, past or present?
If there are refrigerators, microwaves, or coffee machines, are they clean and how are they being cleaned and sanitized?

In the laundry room:

Is there a hand wash sink for employees stocked with soap, paper towels, and warm water?
Are the floors, ceilings and walls intact?
Does the wash water reach 130 ºF or higher?
Does the dryer reach 150 ºF or higher?
How are the clean and dirty clothes separated?

If a continental breakfast is offered to registered guests only:

Is there a hand wash sink for employees stocked with soap, paper towels, and warm water?
Is the food from a safe and reliable source?
Is the food stored and served in a sanitary and safe manner?
Where and how are the dishes washed?
Is the area sanitized before and after each food service?
What cleaners and sanitizers are being used?


Q: Why does the water in the rooms need to be below 120°F?

A:  The lower temperature protects guests from scalding.


Q:  How can you tell if bed bugs have been in a room?

A:  We look for stains, eggs, and/or bed bugs on the mattresses near the seams and around the bed.  Click here for a fact sheet with more information about bed bugs.


Have more questions?  Contact Us!


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