Washington State University
SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL

PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY
6.20
Revised 2-12
Environmental Health and Safety
335-3041

Food Safety and Sanitation

PDF link

AUTHORITY

Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for enforcing food service safety and sanitation regulations at WSU facilities in Whitman County to prevent foodborne illnesses. (WAC 246-215) The Whitman County Health Department is responsible for locations and events on non-WSU properties in Whitman County. In other state of Washington counties, the local health department is responsible for food safety and sanitation regulations.

REPORTING COMPLAINTS/EMERGENCIES

Refer concerns, complaints, or suspected illnesses about a food product or a campus food service establishment to EH&S for prompt investigation.

During Regular Working Hours

In Whitman County, contact EH&S; telephone 509-335-3041.

Outside of Whitman County, contact the local health department.

During Off-Hours for Complaints

In Whitman County, contact the Facilities Services, Operations dispatcher; telephone 509-335-9000.

Outside of Whitman County, contact the local health department.

During Off-Hours for Emergencies

In Whitman County, dial 911.

Outside of Whitman County, dial 911 or contact the local health department.

ROLE OF EH&S

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

Services

EH&S performs the following services:

PERMITS, EXEMPTIONS, AND VARIANCES

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

At WSU facilities in Whitman County, EH&S issues temporary food service permits, permit exemptions, and variances to WSU groups only. Non-WSU entities that serve food at WSU facilities are required to obtain the appropriate permits from the Whitman County Health Department. Outside of Whitman County, contact the local health department.

For more information, permit applications, etc., go to:

http://ehs.wsu.edu/

Select Public Health, then
Select Food Safety link in the left column.

Types

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.

For a current list of permitted caterers and mobile permits in Whitman County, go to:

http://ehs.wsu.edu/

Select Public Health, then
Select Food Safety link in the left column, then
Select Whitman County Permitted Caterers.

Permit Exemptions

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.

In Whitman County

EH&S has an interagency agreement with the Whitman County Health Department (WCHD) to perform inspections of all permitted food service facilities on WSU property in Whitman County. In exchange for performing inspections (excluding temporary food service permit fees), the WCHD charges annual operating permit fees to applicable WSU departments and reimburses EH&S.

EH&S issues temporary food service permits and waivers; telephone 335-3041 for assistance.

EH&S assists departments with obtaining annual and mobile/catering permits from the WCHD; telephone 335-3041.

Temporary Permit and Exemption Applications, and Variances

Contact EH&S for temporary food service establishment permit and permit exemption application forms and variance requirements or go to the EH&S website at:

http://ehs.wsu.edu/

Select Public Health, then
Select Food Safety link in the left column.

Submit temporary permit and permit exemption applications to EH&Sno 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, permit exemptions, or variances.

FOOD WORKER CARDS AND EXAMINATIONS

Requirements

The Department of Health requires all food workers to attend classes and pass food worker examinations. 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 dates and locations of food worker classes and examinations:

http://ehs.wsu.edu/

Select Public Health, then
Select Food Safety link in the left column, then
Select Food Worker Card Exam Schedule in the right column.

Fee

There is a fee to take the food worker card examination, payable in cash only. See the WCHD schedule of food worker classes and examinations above for current fee costs.

Permanent or Catering/Mobile Establishments

All food service workers in permanent or catering/mobile establishments must have a current Washington State Food and Beverage Service Worker's Permit (Food Worker Card).

Temporary Establishments

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

http://ehs.wsu.edu/

Select Public Health, then
Select Food Safety in the left column, then
Select WSU Temporary Food Service Procedures.