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Washington Food Industry Association. State Food Code Update April 13, 2012 Presenters: Jan Gee-President & CEO WFIA Michael Latham-Director of Food Safety & Loss Prevention-- Town & Country Market. Agenda: Review new rule timeline.

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washington food industry association
Washington Food Industry Association

State Food Code Update

April 13, 2012


Jan Gee-President & CEO WFIA

Michael Latham-Director of Food Safety & Loss Prevention-- Town & Country Market



  • Review new rule timeline.
  • Review progress to date on date marking of cheeses.
  • Needs for discussion of date marking of deli meats. Expertise?
  • Review of FDA Listeria Risk Assessment Data.
  • Repeat overview of food code proposed revisions.

Revised Timeline for Adoption of New Food Code:

Complete required analyses/File CR 102 August 22, 2012

Public Hearing October 10, 2012

Respond to stakeholder comments November 2012

File CR 103 December 2012

Train Stakeholders on new rule Jan.– Apr. 2013

Rule Effective May 2013

Update on Date Marking Requirements for Cheeses:

Grassroots information to the Dept. of Health Staff

Board of Health hearing – March 14, 2012

Next steps for cheese discussion.

why is the code changing
Why Is The Code Changing
  • From a microbiological point of view, the world is changing around us.
  • To gain uniformity with a model Federal food code that will be used throughout the USA.
  • To eliminate clarifications that must be issued to interpret language of intent that might be seen to have multiple meanings.

The Washington Food Industry Association’s goal is to objectively move toward adaptation of the language in the Federal FDA Food Code, speaking out on any areas of the codes language that might adversely affect the Independent Grocers in Washington, using science based data when available, to support our position.


Foodborne Disease in the U.S.

  • 48 million cases of foodborne illness
  • 3000 deaths
  • 128,000 hospitalizations
  • 1 in 6 Americans sick
  • Center For Disease Control (CDC) Data - 2011
date marking
Date Marking


  • Ensuring that wholesomeness is maintained for potentially hazardous products kept in refrigeration. (First In – First Out rule)
  • Minimizing the growth of food borne organisms by limiting a foods shelf life.


  • Listeria Monocytogenes.
  • It survives and grows incredibly well at refrigerated temperatures in addition to room temperature.
  • Service deli equipment not being in good working condition or not washed and sanitized well is one of the concerns for the introduction of this organism.
  • Over 50% of pregnant mothers miscarry after being exposed to this organism.
date marking con t
Date Marking(Con’t)
  • A PHF (keep refrigerated) that you prepare and put in cold holding for more than 24 hours must be date marked to not exceed 7 days.
  • A PHF received from a manufacturer and put in cold holding may remain there until the manufacturers use-by date.
  • If you open, cut, slice or re-package the manufacturers sealed product, it now will have a 7 day shelf life. (This includes most deli meats and some cheeses)

Deli salads, such as ham salad, seafood salad, chicken salad, egg salad,

  • pasta salad, potato salad, and macaroni salad, manufactured in accordance
  • with 21 CFR 110 Current good manufacturing practice in manufacturing packing, or holding human food;
  • (2) Hard cheeses containing not more than 39% moisture as defined in 21 CFR
  • 133 Cheeses and related cheese products, such as cheddar, gruyere, parmesan and
  • reggiano, and romano;
  • (3) Semi-soft cheeses containing more than 39% moisture, but not more than 50% moisture, as defined in 21 CFR 133 Cheeses and related cheese products, such as blue, edam, gorgonzola, gouda, and monterey jack;
  • (4) Cultured dairy products as defined in 21 CFR 131 Milk and cream, such as yogurt, sour cream, and buttermilk;
  • (5) Preserved fish products, such as pickled herring and dried or salted cod, and other acidified fish products defined in 21 CFR 114 Acidified foods;
  • (6) Shelf stable, dry fermented sausages, such as pepperoni and Genoa salami that are not labeled "Keep Refrigerated" as specified in 9 CFR 317 Labeling, marking devices, and containers, and which retain the original casing on the product; and
  • (7) Shelf stable salt-cured products such as prosciutto and Parma (ham) that are not labeled "Keep Refrigerated" as specified in 9 CFR 317 Labeling, marking devices, and containers.

Almost Any Type Of Food Can Spread Illness

  • When you combine:
  • Leafy Greens
  • Vine
  • Together, makes up the largest percentage of bacterial outbreaks occurring in the USA

Cut Leafy Greens & Uncooked Tomatoes

  • Both items have been added to the potentially hazardous foods. (PHF category)
  • Both items will now require being cold held at 41 F.
  • The term leafy greens does not include herbs like cilantro or parsley.
  • Whole heads of lettuce that have only
  • had exterior leaves removed and/or
  • butt trimming, do not require refrigeration.
  • Bagged lettuce will now require refrigeration.

The Majority Of Food Borne Illnesses

Can Be Linked To:

  • Food Employees That Are Sick Who Are Making Or Handling Foods That Others Will Eat
  • Poor Hand Washing or No Hand Washing At All
  • 3. Bare Hand Contact With Ready To Eat Foods

Employee Illness

These Are Conditions That Must Be Reported

  • An Employee Cannot Work In Food Service Environment If They Have:
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • (OR)

The “Big Four”(Employee Illness)

  • Salmonella spp.
  • Shigella spp.
  • Shiga Toxin Producing E.coli
  • Hepatitis A Virus

Clarification on Norovirus with new code: An employee returning to work, must be over symptoms and not working in a highly susceptible population.


Hand Washing

  • Scrubbing is the most important step in hand washing. Should include wrists.
  • Hand washing time must be a full 20 seconds. Lot’s of scrubbing.
  • Water temperature must be at least 100 F.
  • WFIA strongly opposed the 45 second timeframe proposal.

The timeframe requirement of 100 F in 45 seconds,

was removed from the proposed code


Bare Hand Contact with RTE Foods

  • This has become an important concern in our industry.
  • It has been linked to the spread of norovirus / norwalk
  • The rule applies only with ready to eat foods (RTE).
  • A variance can be applied for with your local Health Department
glove changes jewelry
Glove Changes & Jewelry


  • In the current Code, once you remove gloves, you must wash your hands prior to putting on another pair of gloves. This makes sense in many applications.
  • The new Code will be re-written to allow an exemption to this practice. If an employee is performing a similar task (example: making sandwiches) and removing and re-gloving between different consumers sandwiches, the washing step, is not required.


  • Only one ring on one finger, on one hand, is allowed.
  • No watches or bracelets are allowed to be worn while preparing and serving food.

Wild Harvested Mushrooms

(Not Commercially Produced)

  • A list of wild harvested mushrooms was created by a group of experts to eliminate the risk of toxic species from being available for retail to the public
  • The wild harvested mushroom growers/pickers/distributors must provide identification/documentation to the retailer that the mushrooms have been expertly identified.
  • Documentation must be kept on file for 90 days.
mushroom washing
Mushroom Washing
  • It was proposed that mushrooms be washed to remove soil and other contaminants, prior to consumption. This would affect the use of mushrooms in salad bars and like application and dramatically affect the life of the product.
  • WFIA strongly opposed this change to the code, mainly due to the lack of science to support the position. Also a field study test was performed to show shelf life of water soaked (rinsed) mushrooms.
  • The proposal was removed….. No washing/rinsing is required
hot holding
Hot Holding

Great News………..

  • The current Hot Holding temperature is 140 F.
  • The new hot holding temperature will be 135 F
time as a public health control
Time As A Public Health Control


  • Currently potentially hazardous foods are allowed to be out of refrigeration for a maximum of four (4) hours.
  • Once the 4 hours has passed, the food(s) must be destroyed.
  • It cannot be re-refrigerated and used later or given to Food Banks.

The proposal to the Core Workshop was to increase the timeframe up to 6 hours….It was rejected due to the complexity of trying to manage different foods under the provision.

food donations to food banks kitchens
Food Donations to Food Banks/Kitchens
  • All potentially hazardous foods (refrigerated) must be kept refrigerated until the point of pick-up. These food items cannot be left at room temperature.
  • In the current code, restaurants and food service operations have been limited to what can be offered, not allowing leftovers.
  • In the new code, it will make it much easier to be able to serve the needy by not having to throw away perfectly safe but un-saleable leftovers.

Handwashing for Food Demonstrations

Temporary handwashing stations may be used unless the demonstrator is handling/preparing raw meats, fish, or poultry prior to sampling them

contact information
Contact Information

Jan Gee

President & CEO

WA Food Industry Association

Phone: 360-753-5177

E-mail: jangee@wa-food-ind.org

Webpage: www.wa-food-ind.org

Michael Latham

Director of Food Safety & Loss Prevention

Town & Country Market

E-mail: mchlatham@tc-markets.com

David Gifford, R.S.,

WA State Dept of Health

Phone: (360)236-3074



web page: