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About the Health Department


The Howard County Health Department and State Offices will be CLOSED Wednesday, November 26th through Friday, November 28th for a State Service Reduction Day, Thanksgiving and American Heritage Holidays.  There will be NO Birth Certificate services available. We will reopen for normal business hours on Monday, December 1, 2014. 

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 Click HERE or above to go to current Health News  

 WEEK OF: November 24, 2014: 



 Wednesday, December 3, 2014 

1:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

 Gary J. Arthur Community Center at Glenwood 

2400 Rt. 97

Cooksville, MD 21723

 Thursday, December 11, 2014 

1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

 Miller Branch Library 

9421 Frederick Rd.

Ellicott City, MD 21042

Thankgsiving Day Food Preparation and Safety

Purchasing the Turkey
Be prepared! Before purchasing your turkey, make ample space in your refrigerator, moving shelves if necessary.
Never defrost turkey on the counter! Turkey can be thawed in the refrigerator or in cold water. The refrigerator method is the safest and will result in the best finished product. Leave the bird in the original packaging and place in a shallow pan and allow refrigerator thawing time at a rate of 4 to 5 pounds per 24 hours. To thaw in cold water, keep turkey in the original packaging, place in a clean and sanitized sink or pan and submerge in cold water. Change the cold water every 30 minutes. The turkey will take about 30 minutes per pound to thaw. Cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed. Do not refreeze.
Once thawed, remove neck and giblets from the body cavities and keep bird and parts (if using) refrigerated at 40 °F or below until it is ready to be cooked.

Cooking Time and Temperature
Time to cook. There are several methods for cooking your turkey (see recipes) . The single most important thing to know, no matter the cooking method, is that the turkey must be cooked to the proper internal temperature as measured with a food thermometer. A stuffed turkey will take additional time to cook.
Stuff safely. Stuffing should be prepared and stuffed into the turkey immediately before it's placed in the oven. Mix the wet and dry ingredients for the stuffing separately and combine just before using. Stuff the turkey loosely, about 3/4 cup stuffing per pound of turkey. Bake any extra stuffing in a greased casserole dish. Cooked inside or outside the bird, all stuffing and dressing recipes must be cooked to a minimum temperature of 165 °F. (For optimum safety and more even cooking, it’s recommended to cook your stuffing in a casserole dish.)
Take the temperature! Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching bone. Cook to a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, cook turkey to higher temperatures but not to exceed 170 °F in the breast and 180 °F in the thigh. (If the turkey is done and the stuffing is not yet 165 °F, remove the stuffing from the turkey and place it in a greased casserole dish to continue cooking to temperature.) Use the timetable below to estimate approximate cooking time.

Limits of Leftovers

Having leftover turkey and other dishes means you can have additional tasty meals the day after your feast. There are limits on how long you can safely keep leftovers. Temperature and time cause bacteria to grow, which is why it is so important your refrigerator be cold enough and you not keep leftovers too long. Even when refrigerated properly (at 40 °F), leftovers should be eaten, frozen or discarded within 3 to 4 days.
When heating and storing leftovers keep the following in mind:
• Refrigerate cooked leftovers promptly - within 2 hours. Use an appliance thermometer in your refrigerator to ensure your refrigerator is at 40 °F or below.
• Divide leftovers into smaller portions and store in shallow containers in the refrigerator.
• Wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after handling food.
• Reheat cooked leftovers to 165 °F as measured with a food thermometer. Sauces, soups and gravies should be reheated by bringing them to a boil.
• When microwaving leftovers, make sure there are no cold spots in food (where bacteria can survive). Cover food, stir and rotate for even cooking.

For food information, videos and more click on the following: Holiday Food Safety Success Kit (provided by Partnership for Food Safety Education)


The 2014 Ebola epidemic is a virus primarily affecting four countries countries in West Africa; Sierra Leone, Liberia Guinea and Mali. The most recent case of Ebola Viurs Disease is that of Dr. Martin Salia, a Sierra Leonian native and permanent resident of the United States living in Maryland, who was taking care of the ill in Sierra Leone.  Dr. Salia was transported from Sierra Leone to the University of Nebraska Medical Center on Saturday, November 15, 2014.  On  Monday, November 17, 2014, he succomed to the disease.  All previous cases of Ebola cases in the United States have been resolved. Both nurses from Texas Presbyterian recovered and were released from their respective hopitals.  The Doctors Without Borders doctor in New York City recovered and was released from the hospital on November 11, 2014.  The Maine nurse treating patients in West Africa was never positive for Ebola and her 21 day monitoring period is complete.

The situation continues to be monitored nationally by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Howard County Health Department is working with the State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) and local partners to prepare for this, or any other infectious disease situation that might arise locally. 

While a very fluid situation, current information and guidance may be found on our  Ebola page.  The website will be updated as new information becomes available.  


 You Can't Get Ebola:  

  • Through the Air
  • Through the Water
  • Through Food

Protect Yourself Against Ebola (and other viruses):  

  • Wash Your Hands or Use Alcohol-Based Sanitizer
  • Don't Touch Face (Eyes, Nose, Mouth)
  • Avoid Contact with Sick People

For more information detailed information on this website, Click HERE 

A Class Using a Simple Spray to Save Lives Begins in Howard County

The Howard County Health Department is offering FREE Opioid Overdose Response Program trainings to become certified to administer naloxone for Howard County residents 18 years of age and older.  Learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of overdose, perform rescue breathing, give intra-nasal naloxone (a medication that reverses the effects of an overdose by restoring a person's ability to breathe) and learn to care for the individual until help arrives.  Click HERE to read more.
Call our Bureau of Behavioral Health at 410-313-6202 for more information and to register.   

Opiod Overdose Response Program Video Class/Written Exam Now Available Online

Howard County Health Department offers an Opiod Overdose Response Program trainings to become certified to administer naloxone, the prescription medicine that reverses an opioid overdose.  In order to become certified you may either come to our class  OR you may watch the video course and take the test, THEN schedule your class to come into the Health Department and complete the Hands-On portion of the training to receive your certificate and Naloxone kit.  To view the online training click on the following: OORP Video Training Link 

To Request the Health Department at Your Next Health Event 


 Health Fair Graphic(2) 

Contact Numbers:

Administration:    410-313-6300 

Toll Free: 1-866-313-6300 

Columbia Health Center:    410-313-7500 

North Laurel Health Center:    410-313-0630 

Behavioral Health Services/Substance Abuse Services:    410-313-6202 

Environmental Health:    410-313-2640

Or you may send an e-mail to:

Howard County Health Department  8930 Stanford Blvd. Columbia, MD 21045