Washington State University
SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
6.20
Revised 5-17
Environmental Health and Safety
509-335-3041

Food and Beverage Safety

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AUTHORITY

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for enforcing food and beverage safety regulations at WSU facilities in Whitman County to prevent foodborne illnesses. (WAC 246-215)

The Whitman County Health Department is responsible for enforcing food and beverage safety on non-WSU properties in Whitman County. (WAC 246-215)

In other counties in Washington, the local health department is responsible for food and beverage safety regulations.

REPORTING CONCERNS/COMPLAINTS/SUSPECTED FOODBORNE ILLNESS

In Whitman County

Promptly report concerns, complaints, or suspected illnesses about a food product or food establishment to EH&S for assistance and investigation.

During Regular Working Hours

Contact EH&S; telephone 509-335-3041.

During Off-Hours

Contact the Facilities Services, Operations dispatcher; telephone 509-335-9000.

Outside of Whitman County

Contact the local county or district health department.

PERMITS, EXEMPTIONS, AND VARIANCES

In order to serve food and beverages for public events at WSU facilities, food service permits, exemptions from permit, and variances may be required. Such requirements are in effect regardless of whether or not there is a fee for the food or beverages.

In Whitman County

EH&S issues temporary food service permits, exemptions from permit, and variances to WSU entities that serve food or beverages at WSU facilities in Whitman County.

Non-WSU entities that serve food and beverages at WSU facilities are required to obtain the appropriate permits from the Whitman County Health Department.

Outside of Whitman County

Outside of Whitman County, contact the local health department for food service permits, exemptions from permit, or variances.

Types of Permits

Temporary Permits

Temporary food service permits are required for temporary establishments operating at fixed locations with fixed menus for not more than:

Annual Permits

Annual permits are required for permanent establishments.

Catering/Mobile

Catering/mobile permits are required for establishments that operate at various WSU locations throughout the year.

Exemptions from Permit

In order to serve certain foods (e.g., popcorn, roasted nuts), an Application for Exemption from Permit is required, rather than a permit. Contact EH&S, the local health department, or see WAC 246-215-191 (subpart 8-301.12 of the Food Code) for more information.

Variances

EH&S and/or local health departments may issue variances from permit requirements when no health hazard will result from the variance.

FOOD WORKER CARDS AND EXAMINATIONS

Requirements

The state of Washington Department of Health requires all food workers to obtain a Washington State Food and Beverage Service Worker's Permit (Food Worker Card) within 14 days of employment. See below.

Availability

Food Worker Cards are available from the Whitman County Health Department (WCHD), as well as from all county health departments in the state.

Classes (Whitman County)

For information regarding taking classes and exams online or for dates and locations of food worker classes and examinations, contact the WCHD; telephone 509-332-6752 (Pullman) or 509-397-6280 (Colfax).

Permanent or Catering/Mobile Establishments

All food service workers in permanent or catering/mobile establishments must have a current Food Worker Card.

Temporary Establishments

For temporary establishments, refer to the EH&S website for Food Worker Card requirements:

http://ehs.wsu.edu/

ROLE OF EH&S

EH&S has developed food safety policies and enforcement procedures for all WSU facilities.

In Whitman County

EH&S performs the following services:

Temporary Permit and Exemption Applications, and Variances

Contact EH&S for assistance with temporary food service establishment permits, exemption from permit application forms, and variance requirements; telephone 509-335-3041.

Submit temporary permit and exemption from permit applications to EH&S no later than 14 days prior to the event, otherwise food may not be served at the event per WAC regulations.

Outside Whitman County

Outside of Whitman County, contact the local health department for food service permits, exemptions from permit, or variances.