Food For Thought Newsletter Spring 2019
Food Donation Center

Food Donation Guide

Many restaurants would like to donate food, but worry about the liability of doing so. They don’t want their good deed to result in claims of illness or bad press. The “Good Samaritan Food Donation Act” protects donors from criminal and civil liability if the food has been prepared and maintained safely throughout the process. It does not mean that donors or hunger relief organizations are exempt or don’t need to follow safety rules. They need to create and follow a process that keeps the food safe while donating.  This allows restaurants to help those in the community and reduce waste. 

Donating food does take some extra effort, so not all will be interested. But for those who are, the Washington State Department of Health has created a “Food Rescue Donation Guide” to help businesses donate food safely to hunger relief organizations.  Follow this guide and work with the Snohomish Health District to come up with a plan.  Here is a summary about how to donate:

  • Decide what food from the restaurant could be safely donated.
  • Work with a hunger relief organization to decide what food they need and can accept from a permitted restaurant.
  • Package and label foods in clean and safe containers.
  • Maintain proper temps. Keep food out of the danger zone (41°- 135° F).
  • Transport the food safely, maintaining temperatures and avoiding contamination.
  • Keep track of what is donated and the process that was used to maintain safety.

To view the “Food Rescue Donation Guide”, go to:

2018 Food Program Excellence Award Winners

List of 2019 Excellence Award Winners

PUD Commercial Kitchen Equipment Rebate Program

Did you know that the Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) has a rebate program to help replace old commercial kitchen equipment with energy-efficient upgrades?  This is great news if you are in the market for new equipment, or have been wanting to replace aging, inefficient equipment.  The new equipment must be on their list to qualify for the rebate.  Go to their website for all the details and list of qualifying equipment.  Take advantage of this opportunity!

Handwashing Requirements for Temporary Food Events

Handwashing is the most important thing that can be done to reduce cross-contamination or the spread of germs. As we get closer to summer, it is good to remind everyone that a handwashing station is required at temporary food event booths. Here are the temporary handwashing station requirements:

  • Five gallon thermal container to keep water warm (100° - 120° F)
  • Free flow spigot that allows the water to run continuously
  • Soap
  • Paper towels, with a holder to keep them from falling on the ground
  • Five gallon wastewater bucket. Grey water is not allowed to flow onto the ground
Temporary Handwash Station
Sanitizer Test Strips

Sanitizer Test Strips

Facilities are required to have sanitizer tests strips to measure the concentration of their sanitizer. Test strips are made for each type of approved chemical, so make sure to use the right strips to measure the sanitizer correctly.

Espresso Concessions Handout

The Snohomish Health District has created a handout outlining what concession stands are allowed to serve. 

Espresso stands equipped with one sink are only allowed to serve espresso drinks, Italian sodas, commercially prepared muffins or cookies, bagels and cream cheese, prepackaged sandwiches or salads, and prepackaged microwavable foods. Except for milk and cream cheese, all potentially hazardous foods must remain in the original unopened packaging. You may vent a package prior to microwaving. Some menu items may not be allowed if your concession does not have adequate refrigeration or storage space. 

To view and/or download this handout, as well as other materials, including this newsletter, go to:

Picture of Espresso Concessions Handout

New Online Food Worker Card Group Payment Option

The online Food Worker Card Class now has the option for a group payment. This is something that has been requested for a long time. This option should work great for teachers, volunteer groups, and facilities that wish to pay for cards for their employees. 

To use the new group payment option, create an account and then create a class, which gives you a class code. Give the code to each student you plan on paying for. Once the student has finished the class and test, they will enter the code and be placed on a completed class list. When you are ready, go into the class, make a group payment to pay for all of the cards, and then print the cards out. To start or review this process, go to the class website:

Welcome to Group Payment page
MCC Congratulations Certificate

Recently Certified Managers

Certificates were distributed to the following people who successfully completed the twelve hours of instruction in 
maintaining superior standards of sanitation and providing safe food for public consumption.

2019 Certified Manager List

Manager Certification Course

The Manager Certification Course (MCC) is now a 12-hour course. It’s divided into two days of five-hour instruction. The following week, a two-hour, 75-question test is administered. Testing appointments are set up individually with the instructor. 
The 2019 Course Schedule:
· Fall English course: October 2 and 9 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
· Fall Spanish course: September 4 and 11 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information on the English courses, please call 425.339.8752.  For information on the Spanish courses, please call 425.339.8684.
For course applications, go to:

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