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COVID-19 Information for Food Establishments

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What will Reopening Phase 2 mean for food establishments?

We’re waiting for Governor Inslee to announce when Reopening Phase 2 will begin. We want to help you be ready when the time comes. Use this guidance to operate safely during phased re-opening.

What does the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order mean for food establishments?

Allowed

  • Permitted food establishments can sell food and beverages for takeout or delivery.
  • Customers can order, wait or pick up food inside the establishment. Make sure everyone stands 6 feet apart.

Not allowed

  • Food establishments can't provide indoor or outdoor seating.
  • Customers can't self-serve, including:
    • Food (e.g., buffet).
    • Beverages.
    • Single-use items (e.g., utensils, straws, cup lids, condiments, etc.).
  • Customers can't eat or drink in the establishment or on its premises.
  • Food establishments can't make major changes to their facility, operations or menu.
  • Food establishments can't operate without a permit.

Protect customers' health.

  • Remove self-serve condiment dispensers.
  • Clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces and objects, like counters, payment systems, pens, door handles, restrooms, etc.
  • Disinfect reusable menus after each use, provide disposable menus or post menu signs. 
  • Consider using an automated ordering and payment system.
  • Consider using no-contact payment systems, like PayPal, Venmo or Zelle.
  • Ask customers to run their own card through the payment machine.
  • Disinfect touchpads after each use.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching cash.

Protect employees' health.

  • At the start of each shift, screen employees for COVID-19 symptoms, including fever of 100.4°F or higher.
  • Sick employees should not work. Don't require a healthcare provider note to validate an employee's sickness. 
  • Train employees to recognize COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Train employees to wash their hands as required.
  • Make sure handwash sinks have soap and paper towels.
  • Make sure alcohol-based hand sanitizer is available to employees.
  • Make sure employees stay 6 feet away from each other.
  • Encourage employees to wear cloth masks.
    • Train employees to not touch their mask.
    • Train employees to wash their hands after touching their mask.
  • Organize work schedules as much as possible to keep the same employees working together to reduce the risk of exposure among employees.

Want to open your food establishment that closed during COVID-19?

Use the Pre-Opening Checklist for Food Establishments Closed During COVID-19 (also available in SpanishKorean, Russian, Tagalog, Vietnamese and Simplified Chinese).

Some of the things you'll need to do:

  • Make sure utilities are working.
  • Flush water and plumbed food equipment.
  • Assess food and discard any that's unsafe.
  • Make sure equipment is functioning properly and maintaining required temperatures.
  • Wash, rinse and sanitize food contact surfaces.
  • Clean and sanitize all frequently touched surfaces and items.

See more information about reopening guidance.

Billing changes due to COVID-19

We won't apply late fees until Aug. 1, 2020.

If your facility is open for business, you must have a valid permit. We will continue to send invoices for reinspections and other charged services. But we won't apply penalties for late payments or non-payment until Aug. 1, 2020.

If the Governor extends the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, we may adjust our timeline.

Questions? Contact Jamie Titus at jtitus@tpchd.org or (253) 798-3542.

Resources to help you operate safely

Keep your employees and customers healthy.

Post healthy reminders for your employees.

FAQs

  • Should I worry about COVID-19 contamination on my food?
  • Can customers pay with cash?
  • Can customers eat in outdoor seating areas?
  • Are there any additional requirements when I deliver food?
  • If I run a hotel or bed and breakfast, can I serve a continental breakfast?
  • I am a food employee. Do I need to take any special precautions when preparing food?
  • What businesses are affected by Governor Inslee’s statewide closure of all on-site food or beverage services?