Retail Food Service Chapter 246-215 WAC
Rule Revision Proposed Changes and Comment Period June 2019

Proposed Retail Food Rule: Top 10 Changes

A draft of the revised rule is available for review and comment. While there are several proposed changes, the following highlighted items are likely to affect a wide variety of food establishments.

1. Person in Charge (PIC): Knowledge & Duties

At least one PIC will need to be a Certified Food Protection Manager by July 1, 2021 and will need to ensure Active Managerial Control.

2. Employee Health

Establishments must notify employees about reporting illness to the PIC and be able to verify they provided the notification. In addition to vomiting, diarrhea, or jaundice, employees are required to report illness with Salmonella, E. coli, hepatitis A, norovirus, or Shigella.

3. Clean up of Vomiting and Diarrheal Events

Operators will need to have a written plan on how to clean up vomit and diarrheal events in the food establishment.

4. Bare Hand Contact with Ready-to-Eat Foods

Establishments wanting to prepare food with bare hands will need to demonstrate active managerial control in order to be approved.

5. Date Marking for 7-Day Shelf-Life

Most ready-to-eat, refrigerated, perishable foods in opened packages will need to be marked and used within a 7-day shelf-life.

6. Refilling Reusable Consumer-Owned Containers

Establishments have the option to allow customers to bring in a clean container to fill, refill, or reuse.

7. Dogs in Outdoor Areas

Dogs may be allowed in outdoor areas if an operator follows set procedures with a written, approvable plan.

8. Mobile Food Units

Several changes were made for mobile food units based on recent state law changes and comments received.

9. Donated Foods

Several sections were changed to clarify approvable food sources and reduce limitations to help safely rescue food.

10. Food-Specific Changes

• Hamburger and other ground meats will need to cook to 158°F instantaneous (instead of 155°F for 15 seconds)
• Partially-cooked fresh fish may be served with a modified consumer advisory on the potential parasitic concern

Public Presentations and Comment Interested stakeholders may attend a public presentation on the proposed rule. The presentations will include a review of the proposed changes and time for questions and comments. Comments will be accepted until the end of July 2019.

Kennewick: July 16, 2019
2:00-4:00 pm
Benton-Franklin Health District
Classroom (1st floor)
7102 West Okanogan Place
• Spokane: July 17, 2019
9:00-11:00 am
Spokane Regional Health District
Auditorium (Room 104)
1101 West College Avenue

• Bellingham: July 22, 2019
1:00-3:00 pm
Ferndale Library
Ferndale Meeting Room
2125 Main Street
• Renton: July 23, 2019
1:00-3:00  pm
Renton Technical College
Blencoe Auditorium
3000 NE 4th Street

• Seattle:  July 23, 2019
5:30-7:30 pm
Green Lake Library
Green Lake Meeting Room
7364 East Green Lake Drive North

Vancouver: July 24, 2019
2:00-4:00 pm
Vancouver Community Library
Columbia Room
901 C Street

Webinar: July 25, 2019
9:00-11:00 am

Register by emailing: [email protected]

For more information about the Food Service rule review, visit

Retail Food Code Revision or contact Susan Shelton at 509-212-1206 or [email protected]