Comments on Proposed Food Safety Rule
September 29, 2020
PCC submitted comments on the Washington State Department of Health’s (DOH) final proposed rule for updates to the Food Safety Code, expressing overall support for DOH’s efforts but also continuing to push for expanded refillable container options.
Last year, DOH started the process of updating its food safety rules (WAC 246-215). While most of the proposed changes aim to align our state’s food safety rules with the more recent version of the Food and Drug Administration Food Code, PCC and other environmental and consumer advocates pressed for changes that would allow for more use of refillable containers, reducing single-use waste.
The DOH responded to these requests and the revised proposed rule is significantly better than the first version. However, there would still be limitations under the proposed final rule on being able to use your own container for ready-to-eat items like the salad bar or hot bar.
PCC’s comments on the final proposed rule reiterate the importance of allowing reasonable options for customers to use refillable containers. Additional comments called for greater clarification of some ambiguously worded sections and urged the DOH to make the submission of plans for reusable container use mandatory, rather than optional for food establishments.