During implementation of the 2010 Regulations Governing the Sanitation of Food Establishments and in working with industry and professional organizations, the Environmental Health (EH) Division has updated some internal policies and interpretations of the regulations.
The following FAQs have been developed in an effort to inform operators of these updates, as well as to provide clarification on questions that the EH Division has received.
Person in Charge (PIC) Using Certification to Demonstrate Knowledge
What classes are approved for the person in charge (PIC) to demonstrate knowledge?
The food protection manager certification program must use an accredited test such as Servsafe, Prometric or the National Registry of Food Safety Professionals. The name of the class may be different than the test used, as there are training courses that use their own training program in conjunction with an approved exam.
The certificate issued for successfully passing the training program must state the accredited test used. Regulation references: 2-102.11(B), 2-103.11.
How do I use my food protection manager certificate to demonstrate knowledge?
You must be able to show the inspector an original copy of the certificate (full size or wallet size) with the accredited test name during the inspection.
How long is my certified food protection manager credential valid?
Until the expiration date as stated on the certificate.
Posting Grade Cards
Where can I post my grade card(s)?
All grade cards for facilities that serve the public must be posted in view of the public upon entering the food establishment. Regulation reference: 8-303.11.
Restaurants/food establishments that serve the public with one permit must post their one grade card conspicuously to the customer upon entering the establishment.
Restaurants/food establishments that serve the public with multiple permits must post ALL their grade cards in view of the public. Grade cards may be posted in their specified areas as long as one grade card is posted conspicuously upon entering the food establishment.
For example, a buffet may post the grade card for the buffet upon entering and post the other grade cards in their specific areas (American station, Chinese station, Mexican station, salad bar, dessert, etc., depending on how they are permitted) or a grocery store can post the grocery permit upon entering and post the other grade cards in their specific areas (deli, meat, bakery, etc.) or a restaurant with multiple permits and two bars can post all the kitchen grade cards conspicuously upon entering the restaurant and post each bar grade card at the applicable bar.
Food establishments that do not serve the public can post their grade cards within the permitted area. This would apply to main kitchens, bakeries, garde mangers, butchers, etc. that produce food to be taken to other food establishments to be served to the public. This also applies to room service and banquet kitchens due to the lack of a specific service area.
Am I able to set my tables from one day to the next?
You are able to preset tables with unprotected tableware as long as you remove any unused settings from the table when a customer is seated or clear the entire table of all tableware at the end of the meal. Regulation references: 4-604.11(B), 4-604.13.
Does my lobster, crab or finfish tank need a waiver?
Only molluscan shellstock (oyster, clams, mussels and scallops) life support system tanks require a waiver (and HACCP plan).
Crustacean (lobster, crab, shrimp), finfish and molluscan shellstock tanks must meet the equipment and maintenance requirements in 4-402.24 and therefore the requirements outlined in 9-204.12. Other regulation reference: 3-502.11(E).
When do I have to come into compliance with seafood tank requirements?
Existing facilities with a molluscan shellstock tank have until November 1, 2012 to submit the required waiver and HACCP plan. The requirements of 4-402.24 and 9-204.12 must be met at the time of waiver/HACCP plan submittal.
Existing facilities with crustacean and finfish tanks will also have to meet the requirements of 4-402.24 and 9-204.12 by November 1, 2012.
New facilities with a seafood tank or existing facilities that add a seafood tank must comply with all regulations before approval of the tank will be issued. Other regulation reference: 3-502.11(E).
Spray Bottles for Sanitizer
Must I have a sanitizer bucket or can I use a sanitizer spray bottle?
Sanitizer spray bottles may be used in addition to sanitizer buckets as long as they are stored and used correctly in the food establishment. Sanitizer spray bottles may replace sanitizer buckets in facilities with limited food service (such as a service deli in a grocery store). If spray bottles are used the sanitizer solution must be at the proper concentration and meet minimum exposure times.
Spray bottles cannot be used around open food; the food must be put away or securely covered prior to the use of a sanitizer spray bottle. A waiver or operational plan is not required to use sanitizer spray bottles to replace sanitizer buckets in such cases. Regulation references: 3-304.14, 4-407.11(B).
What type of thermometer do I need at my three compartment sink and where does it need to be stored?
A thermometer needs to be provided and readily accessible to the dishwasher when washing dishes to measure the temperature of water used for washing and sanitizing. A specific type of thermometer is not required.
The dishwasher must have access to a thermometer whenever manually ware washing at the three compartment sink. The thermometer is not required to be at a specific location, but must be readily available. Regulation reference: 4-204.12(A).
Does all my hot and cold holding equipment need a thermometer?
Enclosed equipment (such as refrigerators and hot holding boxes) requires a thermometer. Equipment that is open to ambient air (such as calrod units, heat lamps, cold plates, bain maries, steam tables, and salad bars) does not require a thermometer. Regulation reference: 4-202.11(B).
What type of thermometer do I need and where do I secure it inside enclosed hot and cold holding equipment?
The thermometer must be accurate to ±2°F, be easily readable and located by the door of the unit (the warmest part of a refrigerator or coldest part of a hot holding cabinet). Only one accurate thermometer is required. It may be placed inside the equipment or it may have an external readout (dial or digital display on the outside of the unit).
Thermometers should be installed in a way that keeps them at the desired location, but it is not necessary to screw them into the side of the equipment (unless they are designed to do so and do not void the equipment certification).
Hanging thermometers that stay near the door and adhesive thermometers placed on the inside wall of the equipment near the door are both acceptable. Regulation references: 4-202.11(B) & (C).
Three Compartment Sink for Raw Animal Products as Ready to Eat
Do I need a separate three compartment sink because I serve raw animal products as a ready-to-eat (RTE) food (raw oysters, sushi with raw fish, etc.)?
If you have designated area that is used to process/prepare raw animal products as a RTE menu items, (such as a sushi bar, oyster bar or an area in the kitchen to prepare ceviche) then a separate three compartment sink is required to help prevent cross-contamination.
Contact the Food Plan Review section for a remodel permit if you need to install a three compartment sink. If you require a three compartment sink but are not able install one due to structural limitations, you may apply for a waiver.
If you prepare a limited number or occasional raw animal products as a RTE menu item, a separate three compartment sink is not required. Regulation reference: 4.202.12(C).