Food Safety Program
Thank you for doing your part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
Lewis County has been approved to enter Phase 3 of Governor Inslee's Safe Start plan, which means food establishments are able to offer or expand onsite dining if they meet all of the conditions of Phase 2 and Phase 3 (see below).
Please refer to the Safe Start webpage and the documents below for Phase 2 requirements. Some important points include:
- Face Coverings for Employees. Beginning June 8, most employees must wear a cloth facial covering or face mask. Exceptions include those who work alone, individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, or who communicate with someone who relies on language cues such as expression and mouth movements. Employers must provide facial coverings or masks to employees.
- Please note that the type of mask required is determined by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (L&I). Specific information can be found here.
- The customer log. Customers who dine-in are not required to leave their contact information with food establishments. If dine-in customers would like Lewis County Public Health to contact them in the event of a COVID-19 exposure, they may voluntarily provide the information noted. Food establishments must maintain these logs for 30 days.
- Reusable menus. Reusable menus may not be used at this time. Menu options include single-use disposable menus, reader boards, websites, and apps customers access on their personal devices.
- Customer self-service. Salad bars and buffets are not allowed at this time.
Each business or entity operating in Phase 3 of Safe Start Washington, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19 that is at least as protective as the requirements from the Department of Labor & Industry. A business may use this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan. This plan does not need to be submitted for approval but must be retained on the premises and be made available to regulatory agencies or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.
Establishments that meet the Phase 2 and Phase 3 requirements noted above may expand their operations as follows:
- Restaurants and taverns may operate at <75% capacity, with no more than 10 people per table.
- Bar seating in restaurants and taverns is allowed at <25% capacity.
- Theaters may operate at <50% capacity.
We will continue to provide additional information as we receive it. Please contact us at (360) 740-1222 if you have any questions.
Additional COVID-19 information for food establishments can be found here.
Washington State Food Code Revision
The Washington State Board of Health is updating our Retail Food Code to ensure it addresses current foodborne illness risks and best methods of prevention. For more information on this process, proposed changes, and how you can get involved, please visit https://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Food/FoodWorkerandIndustry/FoodSafetyRules/FoodCodeRuleRevision.
Health Department Classes: When and Where
The in-person food worker card classes have been canceled until further notice.
Food worker cards can still be obtained online at www.foodworkercard.wa.gov. Please call 360-740-1231 if you have any questions or concerns.
Study guides are available on the DOH Website.
PERMANENT FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS
If you would like to open a new grocery store, restaurant, or other type of food service establishment, please contact (360) 740-1222 to request an application packet. The packet includes instructions for completing the process, but if you have additional questions, it may help to speak with a health inspector. Application packets should be submitted at least 30 days before you plan to operate to allow time for review and any corrections that may be required.
TEMPORARY FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS
Before applying for a temporary event permit, please contact (360) 740-1222 for information regarding COVID-19 operating requirements or restrictions.
Completed applications may be submitted directly to our office or faxed to 360-740-1438.
Some foods may be offered without a permit, as long as a few simple food safety steps are followed. Please submit the following form to our office if you'd like to serve one of these items.
If you would like to provide samples of commercially prepared foods that do not require refrigeration, like cookies or candies, please submit the following Courtesy Application. There is no charge for this.