Washington State Department of Health
Food Code Snippets: Code Intent & Implementation Toolkit

Start your day with a quick discussion on the food code. These 30-minute sessions will discuss the new code requirement and implementation using the available Active Managerial Control templates. Questions are encouraged.

Snippet 4 – Bare Hand Contact
Thursday, November 17, 2022
8:30-9:00 a.m.

Bare hand contact is prohibited for ready-to-eat food except for in three scenarios.
  1. Washing produce
  2. Prepping food to cook
  3. Approved plans

Food establishments can apply for a variance for bare hand contact by getting a plan approved by their local health department. If you are creating a plan for your business to apply for an exemption, or because you want to reduce the potential of foodborne illness outbreaks, you should make sure:

  • Workers are well trained to know when they are too sick to work with foods.
  • You have two or more handwashing control measures. Add another level to routine handwashing like an extra step with sanitizer or scrubbing with a brush after regular handwashing.

In order to apply for a bare hand contact exemption you must have:

  • A written employee health policy
  • Two or more handwashing control measures
  • Employee training
  • Handwashing sinks near the bare hand contact areas
  • Engage in active managerial control. Have written rules for your employees and make sure they are trained on them.