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§ 6-301. Food Establishments.

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(1) Every food establishment handling food shall be conducted, maintained and operated in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Title and such regulations as the Board may prescribe.

(2) No person, except for the following exempt entities, shall conduct, maintain, or operate any food establishment selling food unless such person has obtained one of the licenses provided for in subsection (4), below, in accordance with the provisions of § 6-503:

(a) Bona fide charitable organizations which distribute food without charge;

(b) Family day care homes;

(c) The establishments identified in subsection 6-305(1)(g);

(d) Operators of vending machines in connection with operation of the machines.

(3) Every person applying for such license shall supply such information and shall permit such inspection and examination of his food establishment and the food and persons handling food therein as the Board may by regulation prescribe to protect the health of ultimate consumers.

(4) The license fee for the issuance of a single license for food establishments selling food is as follows:

(a) For food establishments with permanent location where the primary business is the regular and customary preparation and sale of food for consumption on or off the premises, including but not limited to, eating and drinking establishments and caterers, as set forth in subsections (.1) and (.2), below. Such establishments shall obtain one of the following specific licenses:

(.1) Large Establishment license. For establishments with thirty or more seats regularly available for and accessible to customers to consume food on the premises – $415.

(.2) Small Establishment license. For establishments that do not have thirty or more seats regularly available for and accessible to customers to consume food on the premises – $275.

(b) Retail food establishments with permanent location, including, but not limited to candy stores and drug stores without soda fountains, grocery, meat markets, and other food stores, but excluding any such food establishment licensed under § 6-301(4)(a):

(.1) having less than 5,000 square feet of floor area.....$220;

(.2) having 5,000 square feet or more of floor area.....$550.

(c) Retail food establishments, without permanent location, including, but not limited to mobile vending units such as motor vehicles, movable stands and carts, newsstands, temporary special event establishments, $165 per unit, per year.

(d) Food establishments manufacturing, processing, or wholesaling food, including but not limited to food establishments for the manufacture of frozen desserts, milk plants and wholesale food establishments which deal in prepackaged food, $380.

(e) For group child care facilities caring for a maximum of 12 children for less than 24 consecutive hours, other than family day care homes, $50.

(f) The license fees set forth in this subsection 6-301(4) may be revised by regulations of the Department of Licenses and Inspections, to cover costs of program administration, that are effective on or after July 1, 2018, provided that no fee shall be increased to an amount higher than the fee as it existed on July 1, 2017, multiplied by the CPI Multiplier, as defined in Section 9-102 of the Code.

(5) A separate license shall be obtained for each and every food establishment described in § 6-301(4) which any person seeks to conduct, manage, or operate.

(6) Every food establishment shall be conducted, operated, and maintained in accordance with such additional requirements as the Board may by regulation prescribe to protect the health of the ultimate consumers of food handled in such establishment. Such regulations may include, but shall not be limited to, reasonable requirements as to:

(a) The building structure, maintenance, sanitation, lighting, ventilation and cleanliness of food establishments.

(b) The preparation, composition, service, display, storage and packaging of food therein.

(c) The personal hygiene and food service practices of persons handling food therein.

(d) The construction, cleaning, cleanliness, bactericidal treatment and storage of equipment and utensils.

(e) The disposal of liquid and solid waste.

(f) The handling, storage and protection of food in transit to and from food establishments within the City.

(g) The water supply.

(h) The control of arthropods and rodents.

(7) No food handled outside the City shall be sold or brought into the City for human consumption unless handled in such a manner as to comply with the requirements of this Title and such regulations as the Board may prescribe to prevent adulteration or contamination.

(8) Responsibilities of Food Establishments. Subject to the exemptions of Section 6-301(9), every food establishment that sells any non-prepackaged potentially hazardous food, as defined by the Board, shall:

(a) During hours when food is being prepared, manufactured, cooked, processed, dressed, served or distributed, have present and in its employ at least one (1) person with a valid Food Establishment Personnel Food Safety Certificate, issued pursuant to Section 6-301(10).

(.1) The establishment shall post in a conspicuous location the Certificates of all such persons. No expired or revoked Certificates shall be posted.

(.2) In the event of any period of non-compliance with Section 6-301(8)(a)(i), a food establishment shall not be considered in violation if the establishment immediately notifies the Department, in writing, of the reasons for such non-compliance and the steps being taken to timely comply, and if the Department determines that the establishment is taking all reasonable steps to timely comply.

(b) Conduct a minimum of one (1) self-inspection of the food establishment every three (3) months.

(.1) The self-inspection shall be conducted by a person with a valid Food Establishment Personnel Food Safety Certificate. The self-inspection shall include a thorough and complete examination and evaluation of:

(i) the physical premises, both interior and exterior;

(ii) all food that is processed, manufactured, transported, or served on the premises; and

(iii) the manner in which such food is handled and stored.

(.2) The food establishment shall complete a self-inspection form, on a form made available by or acceptable to the Department, after each self-inspection. Such forms shall be completed by the person conducting the inspection. Completed self-inspection forms shall be maintained by the food establishment and be available for review upon request by the Department for a minimum of one (1) year.

(c) Initiate any improvements found to be needed as a result of any self-inspection. Such improvements shall be made as soon as possible, but in no event later than the next self-inspection. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in Section 6-301(8) shall relieve any food establishment of its obligation to comply immediately with any other provisions of this Title.

(d) Promptly notify the Department of any known or suspected foodborne illness of an employee or customer. Such notification shall be made immediately upon learning of such illness or suspected illness, but in no event more than forty-eight (48) hours after the first knowledge. A single isolated instance of illness which the establishment reasonably believes is not traceable to the establishment need not be reported, but any pattern of multiple illnesses must be reported immediately.

(e) To the extent required pursuant to Board of Health regulations, ensure that any person engaged in the preparation of food at or under the supervision of the food establishment wears protective gloves and a suitable head covering or hair restraint, all to protect the food from contamination.

(f) Restroom facilities.

(.1) For establishments that, on or after January 1, 2018, are newly constructed or substantially altered or have their zoning use changed, have on the premises, regularly available for all customers whenever the establishment is open for business, such restroom facilities as are required by the Plumbing Code.

(.2) For all other establishments, by no later than May 1, 2018, if required to obtain a Large Establishment license pursuant to subsection (4)(a)(.1), have a minimum of one toilet room with sink regularly available for all customers whenever the establishment is open for business.

(.3) Restroom facilities shall not be considered available for all customers if customers must pass through a food preparation area to access the facilities.

(.4) Nothing in this subsection (f) is intended to supersede or excuse compliance with any other restroom requirements, including those set forth in the Plumbing Code.

(g) Customer access. By no later than January 1, 2021, the Department of Licenses and Inspections shall promulgate regulations to provide for the use or removal of any physical barrier that requires the persons serving the food in any establishment required to obtain a Large Establishment license, as provided in subsection (4)(a)(.1), either to open a window or other aperture or to pass the food through a window or other aperture, in order to hand the food to a customer inside the establishment.

(9) Exemptions. The following establishments shall be exempt from the requirements of Section 6-301(8):

(a) those portions of establishments inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture;

(b) a bed and breakfast homestead or inn, meaning a private residence which contains ten or fewer bedrooms used for providing overnight accommodations to the public and in which breakfast is the only meal served and is included in the charge for the room;

(c) establishments that only serve potentially hazardous food which has been commercially prepared and prepackaged and is served in the original packaging, without further handling;

(d) temporary food operations without permanent location that operate for a period of time not to exceed seven (7) days; and

(e) such other establishments which have applied to the Department for an exemption and have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the Department that the circumstances of that particular food establishment at that time are such that the protection of the public health does not require the presence of a certified food establishment employee. The exemption shall remain valid only as long as the conditions under which the exemption was granted remain unchanged.

(10) Food Establishment Food Safety Certificate.

(a) The Department shall issue a Food Establishment Personnel Food Safety Certificate to any person who:

(.1) Demonstrates knowledge of established and recognized food safety procedures by:

(i) Showing proof of successful completion of a food protection course approved by the Department, or of passing the examination required for completion of such course; or

(ii) Possession of a valid certificate of registration from a food protection certification program of the Educational Testing Service for Occupational and Professional Assessments; or

(iii) Such other means as determined by the Department to be equivalent to the foregoing, including possession of a valid certificate of completion from a food protection course determined by the Department to be substantially equivalent to the courses approved by the Department.

(.2) Pays a reasonable fee to be established by the Department to defray the costs of administering this Certificate program established by Section 6-301(10).

(b) A Food Establishment Personnel Food Safety Certificate shall be valid for such period of time as the Department shall determine, and shall not be transferable.

(c) The Department may revoke a Food Establishment Personnel Food Safety Certificate upon a finding that the Certificate holder has not complied with his or her obligations under this Section or applicable regulations. Such revocation, and any appeal therefrom, shall be conducted in accordance with the procedures for license suspension and revocation set forth in this Title.

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