WSR 02-18-031



[ Filed August 26, 2002, 1:13 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 99-23-087.

Title of Rule: WAC 246-217-025 Issuance of food worker cards -- Fees.

Purpose: Increase the application fee for food worker cards from eight dollars to ten dollars. WAC 246-217-025 sets the requirement for food worker training programs and exams; card description and issuance; and fees for obtaining food worker cards. Chapter 69.06 RCW requires the fee to be uniform throughout the state.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 69.06.020.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 69.06.020.

Summary: Increase the application fee for food worker cards from eight dollars to ten dollars. This fee is set by the State Board of Health and is consistent statewide.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The application fee for food worker cards was last increased in 1992 to eight dollars. In the past ten years, inflation and specific training requirements added by rule have resulted in a large majority of local health jurisdictions not being able to fully fund their food worker card programs with existing fee.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Ned Therien, P.O. Box 47824, Olympia, WA 98504-7824, (360) 236-3071; Implementation and Enforcement: David Gifford, P.O. Box 47824, Olymia, WA 98504-7824, (360) 236-3074.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Health, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 246-217-025 sets the statewide application fee for food worker cards. Local health jurisdictions administer this rule. The same fee must be charged by all local health jurisdictions and their designated representatives for food worker card applications. This rule revision will increase the fee from eight dollars to ten dollars and will help the majority of local health jurisdictions to fully fund their food worker training and education programs.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: The proposal would change one word in existing WAC 246-217-025(2). "Eight" would be changed to "ten" regarding the fee for food worker card applications.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. Rules which are described in RCW 34.05.310(4) are exempt from the small business economic impact statement requirements per RCW 19.85.025. This proposal is for the rule type described in RCW 34.05.310 (4)(f), because it is a rule that sets fees pursuant to a legislative standard. As a result, the proposal is one of the categories of rules specifically exempted from the small business economic impact statement requirements. Also, the food worker card fee is charged to individual food workers, not to businesses.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. Rules that set or adjust fees or rates pursuant to legislative standards are exempt from legislatively significant rule-making requirements under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vi). However, the Department of Health has elected to prepare a significant analysis. A copy may be obtained by contacting Ned Therien at (360) 236-3071 or

Hearing Location: State Board of Health Meeting, Wenatchee Convention Center, 201 North Wenatchee Avenue, Wenatchee, WA 98801, on October 9, 2002, at 10:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Marianne Seifert by September 30, 2002, TDD (360) 833-6388.

Submit Written Comments to: Marianne Seifert, P.O. Box 47990, Olympia, WA 98504-7990, fax (360) 236-4088, by October 1, 2002.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 9, 2002.

August 23, 2002

Don Sloma

Executive Director


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 99-13-019, filed 6/7/99, effective 7/8/99)

WAC 246-217-025   Issuance of food worker cards -- Fees.   (1) In order to qualify for issuance of an initial or renewal food worker card, an applicant must demonstrate his/her knowledge of safe food handling practices by satisfactorily completing an examination conducted by the local health officer or designee.

(2) Each applicant for a food worker card must pay a fee in the amount of ((eight)) ten dollars. The fee shall be used by the jurisdictional health department or designee to defray the costs of food worker training and education, administration of the program, and testing of applicants. Photographic identification may be required at the time of application.

(3) The local health officer or designee shall furnish to the applicant a copy of the latest edition of the "Food and Beverage Service Workers' Manual" or similar publication, as prepared or approved by the department.

(4) Effective January 1, 2000, prior to conducting the examination of the applicant(s), the health officer (or designee) shall provide at least thirty minutes of instruction, including both audio and visual presentations. Instruction content shall include topics related to safe food preparation, storage and service. At a minimum, topics shall include: Food borne illness overview; basic bacteriology as it relates to food borne illness; proper cooking, hot holding, cold holding and cooling of potentially hazardous foods; cross-contamination prevention; and proper hand washing techniques.

(5) The food worker card examination will be uniform statewide and will be prepared by and/or approved by the department; except that jurisdictional health departments may include additional questions to address local health concerns. The examination will cover topics identified in subsection (4) of this section, as required instruction topics. An exam must be approved by the department prior to its use. To pass the examination the applicant must answer at least eighty percent of the questions correctly.

(6) Upon payment of the required fee and the applicant's satisfactory completion of the examination, the applicant will receive the food worker card.

(7) A copy of the card or the applicable information shall be kept on file at the jurisdictional health department.

(8) Copies of food worker cards for all employed food service workers shall be kept on file by the employer or kept by the employee on his or her person and open for inspection at all times by authorized public health officials.

(9) All food worker cards shall be issued and signed by the local health officer. The local health officer may contract with persons to provide the required training or testing within his/her jurisdiction. The contracts shall include test security provisions so that test questions, scoring keys, and other examination data are exempt from public disclosure to the same extent as records maintained by state or local government agencies.

(10) The health officer or designee shall make test accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act for those requesting such accommodations.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 99-13-019, 246-217-025, filed 6/7/99, effective 7/8/99.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office