Food Safety FAQ

Are the food worker classes available in other languages?

The online food worker class is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Cambodian. The Washington State Food and Beverage Workers’ Manual (also known as the food workers’ booklet or the food handlers’ booklet) is available in English, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Punjabi. Both of these can be found at

How do I contact the Food Safety Program?

Information line: (360) 740-1222

Fax: (360) 740-1438


Imee (Imelda) Franks

I work in a restaurant kitchen. Do I have to stay home when I have a cold? When I have the stomach flu? If I have a cut or sore on my hand?

You must not work in food service when you have a cold, vomiting, or diarrhea. Call your employer and let them know that you are ill and should not be around food. Only return to work when all your symptoms are gone. You must wait 24 hours after any vomiting or diarrhea before working with food.

Cuts and sores should be bandaged and a glove should be worn over the bandaged area at all times.

What is the smoking ban I-901?

Smoking is prohibited in public spaces and most workplaces, as well as within 25 feet of all doors, windows and air intakes. This amendment to the Washington State Clean Indoor Air Act took effect December 8, 2005. Complaints can be directed to the Food Safety Program.

Where can I get a copy of the Food Code?

Copies of the Food Code are available at the Health Department office or by clicking here.

Does everyone serving food at a temporary event have to have a current food worker card?

No. There just has to be one person in the booth or kitchen at all times in charge of ensuring safe food service. The person in charge is the only one who needs a valid food worker card.

Our group is going to sell hot dogs and hand-dipped ice cream cones at our clubhouse over the weekend. Do we need a permit?

Yes. You need to apply for a Temporary Food Establishment Permit, and you must follow the Temporary Food Establishment Requirements.

Both of these can be found here: Food Program Forms

We want to sell soda in cans and popcorn. Do we need a permit?

There are a few food items that are exempt from a food permit: Examples are: popcorn, cotton candy, and vegetable samples. Therefore you may not need a permit; however you must submit an Application for Exemption from Permit.

This application can be found here: Food Program Forms