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(Effective until March 1, 2022.)

PDFWAC 246-215-03348

Preventing contamination from equipment, utensils, and linens—Refilling returnables (2009 FDA Food Code 3-304.17).

(1) A take-home food container returned to a foodestablishment may not be refilled at a foodestablishment with a potentially hazardousfood.
(2) Except as specified in subsection (3) of this section, a take-home food container refilled with food that is not potentially hazardousfood must be cleaned as specified under WAC 246-215-04650(2).
(3) Single service cups and personal take out beverage containers, such as thermally insulated bottles, nonspill coffee cups, and promotional beverage glasses, may be refilled by employees or the consumer if refilling is a contamination-free process as specified under WAC 246-215-04230 (1), (2), and (4).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050 and 43.20.145. WSR 13-03-109, § 246-215-03348, filed 1/17/13, effective 5/1/13.]
(Effective March 1, 2022.)

PDFWAC 246-215-03348

Preventing contamination from equipment, utensils, and linensRefilling returnables ( FDA Food Code 3-304.17).

(1) Except as specified in subsections (2) through (6) of this section, empty containers returned to a food establishment for cleaning and refilling with food shall be cleaned and refilled in a regulated food processing plant.
(2) A take-home food container returned to a food establishment may be refilled at a food establishment with food if the food container is:
(a) Designed and constructed for reuse and in accordance with the requirements specified in Part 4, Subparts A and B of this chapter;
(b) One that was initially provided by the food establishment to the consumer, either empty or filled with food by the food establishment, for the purpose of being returned for reuse;
(c) Returned to the food establishment by the consumer after use;
(d) Subject to the following steps before being refilled with food:
(i) Cleaned as specified under Part 4, Subpart F of this chapter;
(ii) Sanitized as specified under Part 4, Subpart G of this chapter; and
(iii) Visually inspected by a food employee to verify that the container, as returned, meets the requirements specified under Part 4, Subparts A and B of this chapter.
(3) A take-home food container returned to a food establishment may be refilled at a food establishment with a beverage if:
(a) The beverage is not a time/temperature control for safety food;
(b) The design of the container and of the rinsing equipment and the nature of the beverage, when considered together, allow effective cleaning at home or in the food establishment;
(c) Facilities for rinsing before refilling returned containers with fresh, hot water that is under pressure and not recirculated are provided as part of the dispensing system;
(d) The consumer-owned container returned to the food establishment for refilling is refilled for sale or service only to the same consumer; and
(e) The container is refilled by:
(i) An employee of the food establishment; or
(ii) The owner of the container if the beverage system includes a contamination-free transfer process as specified under WAC 246-215-04230 (1), (2), and (4) that cannot be bypassed by the container owner.
(4) Consumer-owned multiuse beverage containers may be refilled, including time/temperature control for safety food beverages, by employees or the consumer if refilling is a contamination-free process as specified in WAC 246-215-04230 (1), (2), and (4).
(5) consumer-owned containers that are not food-specific may be filled at a water vending machine or system.
(6) A food establishment under an approved plan may allow consumers to:
(a) Refill a visibly clean consumer-owned container with nonready-to-eat food, bulk food, and packaged food;
(b) Refill a visibly clean consumer-owned container with ready-to-eat food when dispensed from equipment, such as a gravity-flow unit, meeting standards for liquid food and ice in WAC 246-215-04230; and
(c) Request a food employee of the food establishment to refill a visually clean consumer-owned container with food using a contamination-free process.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.20.050 and 43.20.145. WSR 21-01-122, § 246-215-03348, filed 12/15/20, effective 3/1/22; WSR 13-03-109, § 246-215-03348, filed 1/17/13, effective 5/1/13.]
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