WSR 06-05-008



[ Filed February 2, 2006, 7:29 a.m. , effective March 5, 2006 ]

Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

Purpose: This rule-making order amends WAC 246-217-015 to incorporate legislative changes conditionally exempting adult family home employees from the requirement to obtain a food worker card. This order also amends WAC 246-217-025 to require that a brief discussion or materials on food allergies be included in all food worker card training.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 246-217-015 and 246-217-025.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 43.20.050.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 05-24-116 on December 7, 2005.

A final cost-benefit analysis is available by contacting David Gifford, 111 Israel Road, Tumwater, WA 98501-7824, phone (360) 236-3074, fax (360) 236-2257, e-mail

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Date Adopted: January 11, 2006.

Craig McLaughlin

Executive Director


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

WAC 246-217-015   Applicability.   (1) All food service workers must obtain a food worker card within fourteen calendar days from the beginning of employment at a food service establishment, except as provided in subsection (4) of this section.

(2) In the case of temporary food service establishments, at a minimum the operator or person in charge each shift or during hours of operation ((shall)) must have a valid food worker card obtained prior to the event.

(3) Employers at any food service establishment (permanent or temporary) must provide information or training regarding pertinent safe food handling practices to food service workers prior to beginning food handling duties if the worker does not hold a valid food worker card. Documentation that the information or training has been provided to the individual must be kept on file by the employer and be available for inspection by the health officer at all times.

(4) A food service worker in an adult family home, as defined in RCW 70.128.010, is exempt from possessing a food worker card, if the worker:

(a) Began working in an adult family home after June 30, 2005, has successfully completed basic or modified-basic caregiver training, and has documentation of receiving information or training regarding safe food handling practices from his or her employer prior to providing food handling or service for clients of the adult family home; or

(b) Held a valid food worker card prior to June 30, 2005, and obtained 0.5 hours of continuing education in food handling safety per year since June 30, 2005.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 99-13-019, 246-217-015, filed 6/7/99, effective 7/8/99.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 02-22-079, filed 11/5/02, effective 1/1/03)

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 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)) must 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)) must 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)) must 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)) handwashing techniques. Instruction content must also include the topic of food allergy awareness that is presented and/or distributed to each applicant.

(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, except food allergy awareness, 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)) must be kept on file at the jurisdictional health department.

(8) Copies of food worker cards for all employed food service workers ((shall)) must 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)) must 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)) must 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)) must make test accommodations in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act for those requesting such accommodations.

[Statutory Authority: Chapter 69.06 RCW. 02-22-079, 246-217-025, filed 11/5/02, effective 1/1/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050. 99-13-019, 246-217-025, filed 6/7/99, effective 7/8/99.]