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Local food code goes low-cal as state’s beefs up, May 1

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. The local food regulations in Snohomish County have changed to conform to the newly revised state food laws. Three years of state-level meetings culminated in state-approved revisions to the food regulation, WAC 246-215, effective May 1. The Snohomish County Health Board passed a resolution to adopt the changes in the county at its monthly meeting, April 9.


The Snohomish Health District, which inspects about 3,250 food establishments in the county, hosted a training update to food service regulators, and posted the revised code and a summary of its changes to its website.


The new rules absorbed a good deal of the formerly more stringent local code, which is now trimmed to three areas: enforcement procedures; food service manager training and certification; and recertification training of restaurant managers and operators. 


The menu of statewide changes includes hot holding temperatures of 135°F or hotter. Cut leafy greens and cut tomatoes were redefined to be potentially hazardous foods and will be required to be kept at 41°F or below.


Other revisions include updated requirements for tracking and documentation of wild mushroom harvesting, more flexible guidelines for preschools, and deletion of all but dogs and miniature horses as service animals.


Local health jurisdictions and the food service industry were represented in the three years of deliberations. The Health District also facilitates a 20-member Food Advisory Council of local food establishment owners and operators, who have followed every step of the state revision process.

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier Snohomish County through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health Board and the Health District at