DAR File No. 42017

This rule was published in the September 1, 2017, issue (Vol. 2017, No. 17) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Health, Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Services

Rule R392-103

Food Handler Training and Certificate

Notice of Proposed Rule

(Repeal and Reenact)

DAR File No.: 42017
Filed: 08/14/2017 09:42:03 AM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

The amendments to Rule R392-103 remove outdated language and provide technical and conforming changes in accordance with the Rulewriting Manual for Utah. Training providers and local health departments have indicated a need for an improvement in the food handler applicant data transfer process. Advances in the recognition of food allergen dangers have facilitated a need to include requirements for food allergy training provisions to improve awareness of this important public health topic.

Summary of the rule or change:

Defined important commonly used terms, and modified the use of interchangeable and ambiguous terminology. Rewording of Section R392-103-1 for clarity. Section R392-103-2 is a new section recently added to specify the statute under which this rule is authorized. In Section R392-103-3, added definitions for: Certificate, Cross Contact, Cross Contamination, Double Handwash, Food Handler Applicant, Food Establishment, Local Health Department, and Person in Charge. Also amended the definitions for: food handler to include those working in food trucks, and approved Food Handler Training Provider to be simply "Training Provider". In Section R392-103-4, nonsubstantive changes include the rewording and restructuring of this section to clarify the intent to be more in line with the authorizing statute and the Rulewriting Manual for Utah. Requirements concerning when and how soon food handlers must receive a permit/certificate have not changed. The substantive changes include: addressing replacement of lost permits; only issued by local health departments who may charge a fee. Instead of five days, providers now have seven days to submit food handler applicant data to the local health department. Transmission of this information shall be emailed and accepted by the local health department. Transmission of this information shall be on a form approved by the Department. No one may make changes to what is required in the form unless approved by the Department. Applicants may have their permits mailed to the address of their choosing instead of to their home residence. In Section R392-103-5, no substantive changes made to this section. In Section R392-103-6, nonsubstantive changes include rewording and restructuring of this section. This reformatting makes clear that training needs to be in-line with the currently adopted food code. The four content sections have also been reworded for clarity. The content required has not changed, but this new language is less ambiguous and makes clear what is expected to be taught. These changes in no way proscribe how the content should be taught, but merely make it more clear what should be in a training program. A few items have been moved to different content sections, such as those items concerning unapproved source, to where they fit better. These content sections have been retitled for brevity and still are aligned with the CDC risk factors. Substantive changes include: adding a requirement to: define and give examples of the major food allergens, describe symptoms major food allergens may cause in an individual having an allergic reaction, identify steps to prevent contaminating food and food contact surfaces when handling items recognized as sources of major food allergens. Requiring instructors to have education in food safety equivalent to that of a food safety manager certification. This equivalency can be determined at the local health department for local classes, or by the Department for classes affecting students statewide. A representative of an online course must show the same equivalency. In Section R392-103-7, nonsubstantive changes include rewording for clarity. Substantive changes include: requiring training providers to inform students at the beginning of the course that permits are good for three years statewide and how to get a replacement permit; and being specific on how to prevent duplication of certificates. In Section R392-103-8, a statement has been added to state that currently approved providers have until three years after these changes become effective to come into full compliance. Subsection R392-103-8(2) has been removed as it is no longer relevant. A more descriptive list of items to be included with initial applications for approval has been added.

Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Section 26-15-5
  • Section 26-1-30

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

Repealing and reenacting Rule R392-103 will likely not result in a cost or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

Repealing and reenacting Rule R392-103 will likely result in a savings of $250 per year to the local government, particularly to the local health departments, due primarily to an improvement in the food handler applicant data transfer process. No costs to local governments are anticipated.

small businesses:

Repealing and reenacting Rule R392-103 will likely result in a fiscal impact to small business. There are six small businesses identified in Utah that will be impacted by these changes. The approximate expected cost to each affected business in the first year after implementation of the proposed rule is $795 with an ongoing cost of $45 for each year thereafter. One-time costs include those resulting from the development of new training information regarding food allergens, as well as the implementation of new food handler applicant data transfer protocols. Training providers will incur ongoing costs from obtaining and renewing food protection management training for instructors.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

Repealing and reenacting Rule R392-103 will likely result in a fiscal impact to business. There are two larger businesses identified in Utah that will be impacted by these changes. The expected cost to each affected business in the first year after implementation of the proposed rule is $795 with an ongoing cost of $45 for each year thereafter. One-time costs include those resulting from the development of new training information regarding food allergens as well as the implementation of new food handler applicant data transfer protocols. Training providers will incur ongoing costs from obtaining and renewing food protection management training for instructors.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

No one specific person will be affected by this rule change.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

There will be an impact on both local government and business. A small number of business will see a small fiscal impact during the first year of implementation due to the cost of implementing training regarding food allergens and updating data transfer protocols and then a very small annual ongoing cost for training instructors. The proposed changes will likely result in a savings of $250 per year to the LHDs due to improvement in the food handler applicant data transfer process. There are six small businesses and two larger business identified in Utah that will be impacted by these changes. The approximate expected cost to each affected business in the first year after implementation of the proposed rule is $795 with an ongoing cost of $45 for each year thereafter. One-time costs include those resulting from the development of new training information regarding food allergens, as well as the implementation of new food handler applicant data transfer protocols. Training providers will incur ongoing costs from obtaining and renewing food protection management training for instructors.

Joseph Miner, MD, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:

Health
Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Services
CANNON HEALTH BLDG
288 N 1460 W
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84116-3231

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Chris Nelson at the above address, by phone at 801-538-6739, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at chrisnelson@utah.gov

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

10/02/2017

This rule may become effective on:

10/09/2017

Authorized by:

Joseph Miner, Executive Director

RULE TEXT

R392. Health, Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Services.

R392-103. Food Handler Training and Certificate.

[R392-103-1. Purpose.

(1) This rule requires that food handler training, testing, issuing of a food handler certificate, and fees follow uniform statewide standards.

(2) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified five risk factors associated with food - borne illness outbreaks. Four of the five risk factors result from improper handling of food by food handlers or poor personal hygiene of food handlers.

(3) Proper training allows food handlers the ability to apply the knowledge gained to prevent food - borne diseases. Testing of food handlers confirms that knowledge of correct food handling techniques was gained. A food handler permit that is recognized statewide provides a tool for the Department to verify that food handlers have received state approved training and testing.

(4) State and local monitoring of this process is critical to protect the public. Coordination between this process and inspection of regulated facilities is necessary to quickly and effectively respond to identified risks. Recognizing the essential work of state and local public health officials, with accountability to state and local elected officials, maintains control and responsiveness to public health concerns.

 

R392-103-2. Definitions.

(1) "Department" means the Utah Department of Health.

(2) "Executive Director" means the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Health or designated representative.

(3) "Food Handler" means a person who works with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensil, or food - contact surfaces for a food service establishment as defined in R392 - 100.

(4) "Food Handler Permit" means a permit issued by a local health department to allow a person to work as a food handler.

(5) "Food Handler Certificate" means the documentation of a certificate of completion of food handler training indicating passing of a Department approved exam before a food handler permit is issued.

(6) "Independent Instructional Design and Testing Expert" means a person who has received training and has a graduate degree from an accredited University with a certification in psychometrics and expertise in Instructional Design.

(7) "Local Health Officer" means the director of the jurisdictional local health department as defined in 26A, Chapter 1, or his designated representative.

(8) "Approved Food Handler Training Provider" means an entity that provides a food handler training program approved by the Utah Department of Health.

 

R392-103-3. Food Handler Permit Issuing Procedure, Reciprocity, and Renewal.

(1) A food handler must have a valid food handler permit issued by a local health officer in the local health district where the food handler resides at the time the certificate is issued. The local health officer shall issue a food handler permit by mail or in person to a food handler that has a valid certificate indicating they have taken a course and passed an exam from an approved food handler training provider unless R392-103-4(1) (a) or (b) applies.

(2) After a food handler applicant passes a Department approved exam, an approved food handler training provider shall issue a food handler a certificate of completion and transmit electronically or by mail notification of the certificate to the local health department where the applicant resides. To inhibit fraud, each certificate issued shall be uniquely numbered by the food handler training provider using their own numbering system. The certificate shall contain the name of the person to whom the certificate is issued, the date of issuing, and also list the food handler training provider who issued the certificate. The certificate shall be valid for 30 days toward getting a food handler permit and shall be valid statewide as proof of training and testing allowing the person to work as a food handler for 30 days from the initial date of employment. The food handler applicant must have a food handler permit within 30 days of the date of initial employment.

(3) The approved food handler training provider shall send notification to the local health department where an applicant resides that a certificate has been issued. This notification must take place within 5 business days after the applicant passes the exam. The local health department may use this information at any time to verify that an applicant has received a certificate from an approved food handler training provider.

(4) Local health departments shall accept food handler permits issued under authority of this rule until the date of expiration, revocation, or suspension of the food handler permit.

(5) A person may obtain a food handler permit by providing to the local health department a valid certificate of completion of an approved food handler training program, completing a local health department approved application either through the food handler training provider or at a local health department, and paying a food handler permit fee. The fee for the permit shall be no more than $15 and shall be uniform statewide.

(6) Food handler permits issued shall contain the following information:

(a) "Utah Food Handler Permit" as the title;

(b) Name of the food handler;

(c) Expiration Date;

(d) Identification number which begins with a two letter unique identifier of the training provider and up to 8 characters following the two letter identifier;

(e) Name of health department who issued the permit;

(f) "This Permit is Not a Legal Form of Identification" stated at the bottom of the permit;

(g) Utah State seal; and

(h) On the back of the permit, the following information must be presented:

(i) Permit must be presented upon request by the health authority;

(ii) Permit may be revoked for cause; and

(iii) No other food handler permit is approved in the State of Utah.

(7) Except when Subsections R392-103-3(11) through (13) apply, a food handler must possess a valid food handler permit issued by a local health officer before being allowed to handle food served to the public.

(8) With the exception of temporary events, food service establishments shall have a copy of the food handler permit of each employee that works in the establishment available upon request of the local health department inspector. If the food handler is working at a temporary event, at least one person must have a food handler permit to show to the health authority, if asked, but does not have to have a copy of the permit in an establishment file.

(9) Food handler permits shall be valid for 3 years from the date of issuance. Food handler permits must be renewed every 3 years by completing an approved food handler training course, passing an exam administered by an approved food handler training provider, and receiving a food handler permit from the local health department.

(10) Food handlers must successfully complete a training course within 14 days after the day on which the person begins employment, unless they already have a current certificate or food handler permit, and shall not handle food until they have received a certificate of completion qualifying them for a food handler permit.

(11) The local health officer shall accept a food handler permit issued to a back country outfitter by the United States Department of the Interior, or by a public health authority in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, or Wyoming. This applies only to food handling done at a back country food establishment that meets the exemption requirements of Section 26-15a-105(1)(i).

(12) A person working as a food handler for a food service establishment shall obtain a food handler permit no later than seven days after the expiration of an existing food handler permit.

(13) An individual certified as a food safety manager under R392-101 shall be exempt from the requirement of obtaining a food handler permit under this section.

 

R392-103-4. Suspension or Revocation of Food Handler Permits.

(1) The local health officer may revoke or suspend a food handler permit if:

(a) A food handler is ill with a disease that may be transmitted through the handling of food or,

(b) If two or more inspections within two years document that the same food handler has at least twice failed to apply the same learning objective listed in R392-103-5 or,

(c) A food handler shows willful disregard to food safety that has the potential to endanger the public.

(2) The local health department may confiscate any food handler permit which cannot be authenticated by a local health department, or that has been revoked or suspended.

(3) A food handler may re-apply to a local health department for reinstatement of a food handler permit by requesting a hearing with the local health department and demonstrating to the local health department to their satisfaction why the permit should be reinstated.

 

R392-103-5. Food Handler Training Requirements.

(1) A food handler training provider must receive approval from the Department before offering training to food handlers in the state. A food handler training provider must provide basic instruction focused on Utah Rule R392-100 (which incorporates the FDA national model food code standard), shall include at least 75 minutes of training time offered either in an internet based course or trainer led course or a combination of both, and shall contain basic training information regarding the Centers for Disease Control top five risk factors associated with food-borne illness outbreaks including the bulleted learning objectives as listed below (a) through (d):

(a) Proper hot or cold holding temperatures of food which requires time or temperature control for safety;

List the temperature danger zone.

Describe the correct procedure for holding cold foods and hot foods, receiving foods, and proper date and time marking.

List the appropriate temperatures for refrigerators, freezers and steam tables.

Identify the hazards of leaving potentially hazardous foods (foods that require time or temperature controls for safety, TCS) at room temperature.

Define potentially hazardous foods (foods that require time or temperature controls for safety, TCS).

List the population groups that are the most vulnerable to food-borne illness.

Discuss how bacterial growth occurs in food.

Identify the most common causes of food-borne illness.

List sources of microbes.

(b) Proper cooking, reheating, and cooling temperatures of food;

List the required final cook temperatures for foods.

List the final temperature for reheating leftovers.

Describe the relationship between cooking time and temperature in killing microorganisms.

Describe the steps used to cool food rapidly.

Describe the proper procedure to thaw frozen foods.

(c) Control of dirty or contaminated utensils and equipment including prevention of cross contamination and proper ware washing and sanitizing;

Discuss how a food handler might contaminate food.

Define cross-contamination.

List the possible sources of cross-contamination when handling food.

Identify the steps to prevent cross-contamination.

Stress the importance of eliminating bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food through utensils or gloving.

Define cleaning and sanitizing and correct procedures for each.

Identify the chemicals that can be used to clean and sanitize food-contact surfaces.

Describe the correct concentration of cleaning and sanitizing solutions used on food-contact surfaces and how to test the concentrations.

Identify when surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized.

Describe the correct procedures to use and store chemicals.

Describe the 3-sink method of cleaning and sanitizing pots and pans and how to correctly dry dishes.

Describe the correct procedure for cleaning and sanitizing using a dish machine.

Proper cleaning and sanitizing steps.

Describe the correct procedures for storing dishes and utensils.

Describe the correct procedures to handle trash and garbage.

(d) Employee health and hygiene requirements including food-borne illness prevention training, and using food from only approved sources;

List the personal hygiene practices that the food handler can take to prevent food contamination.

Describe the steps necessary for proper hand washing and when a double hand wash is required.

Describe how hands become contaminated and when and where hand washing should occur.

List appropriate clothing and hair restraints.

List the five major food borne illness diseases and symptoms that must be reported to the manager.

Describe the correct procedures to prevent food-borne illness from a cut, burn or other wound.

Describe under what conditions an employee may eat, drink or use any form of tobacco and the precautions to take after these activities.

Define a food-borne illness.

State how often a food handler permit has to be renewed.

Define approved source of food and what sources are and are not approved.

(2) An approved food handler training provider shall add training objectives and topics which the Department identifies by rule as being a cause of a food-borne illness outbreak or serious threat to the health of food service facility patrons.

(3) Each time a food handler permit is renewed, the food handler must take a training course from an approved food handler training provider before they may take a food handler exam.

(4) A person may not serve as an instructor of an approved food handler training program unless the person is registered with a local health department as an instructor.

(5) An approved food handler training provider must maintain a list of past and current trainers registered with a local health department denoting the dates the trainer taught food handler courses. The trainer list must be available for audit by the Department. On-line trainers must maintain a list of which course version is taught on-line by date.

(6) An approved food handler training provider must maintain a system to verify a certificate of completion upon request of the Department, or local health department, or food service establishment where the food handler is employed.

(7) An approved food handler training provider may charge a reasonable fee. An approved food handler training provider may collect both the training fee and food handler permit fee at the same time from the applicant when the applicant initially pays for the training course.

(8) A food handler training provider may not advertise to the public or represent to the public that they offer approved food handler training programs which will allow individuals to obtain a food handler permit in the state if they are not approved by the Department.

 

R392-103-6. Examination Requirements.

(1) An approved food handler training provider shall use the bank of food handler exam questions issued by the Department and obtained through application to the Department, or a Department approved set of questions as approved in R392-103-6(2). Exams must contain 40 multiple choice questions with 10 randomly selected questions from each category listed in R392-103-5 (a) through (d). An approved food handler training provider must routinely rotate exam questions from the exam question bank, the order of exam questions, and the answer order of the multiple choice questions.

(2) If a food handler training provider elects not to use the Department issued questions, the food handler training provider may request approval of a different bank of exam questions. For approval, the food handler training provider shall pay to the Department a fee to review the exam questions. The fee shall reflect actual costs, but shall not exceed $500. The food handler training provider shall also submit to the Department the proposed bank of at least 200 exam questions organized by the required learning objectives listed in this rule with at least 25 questions from each objective. In addition, the food handler training provider shall contract, at their own expense, with a Department approved independent instructional design and testing expert to evaluate the proposed bank of exam questions. The independent instructional design and testing expert shall analyze a food handler training provider's bank of exam questions to determine if the exam questions effectively measure the applicant's knowledge of the learning objectives outlined in this rule and meet the appropriate testing standards for question structure. To be approved, the independent instructional design and testing expert must provide the Department with a positive recommendation based on their analysis. The Department must approve any change in the provider offered bank of exam questions before implementation. Exam approval is good for three years, after which a provider must re-apply for exam approval.

(3) The Department may require changes to the exam questions if the Department finds that the questions inadequately test the learning objectives. An approved food handler training provider shall update the exam questions used within thirty (30) days of written notice of the change.

(4) A person taking a food handler exam must answer at least 75% of the questions correctly to pass the examination to be eligible to receive a food handler permit.

(5) A food handler examination offered by an approved food handler training provider may be written, oral, or on-line. Oral exams may be conducted individually when circumstances require it such as when an applicant's language or reading abilities interfere with taking a written or an on-line exam.

(6) An approved food handler training provider shall implement procedures to ensure that cheating on examinations does not take place. An approved food handler training provider shall ensure that exams are protected from being compromised, protected from unauthorized access, and available to candidates only during exam time.

(7) An approved food handler training provider shall routinely randomize the exam question order.

(8) An approved food handler training provider shall inform persons taking a food handler course, at the beginning of the course, that downloading exams onto a flash drive or other portable electronic devices or distribution of any exam by the individual in any way to other persons is strictly prohibited. An approved food handler training provider shall also notify persons taking a food handler exam that note taking, use of a cell phone or other recording device, talking to or receiving aid to answer questions from another person during the exam process is strictly prohibited. Violation of the exam security requirements shall invalidate the certificates of completion of all those involved, and a training provider shall report violations to the local health department. A provider shall not issue a certificate of completion to those involved in violation of on-line exam security unless the next successfully completed exam is proctored.

(9) An approved food handler training provider must maintain records of each candidate's name, address of residence including street, city, county and zip code, date of birth, gender, date of examination, pass or fail certificate status, and name of instructor for at least three years and provide this to the local health department within the jurisdiction that the applicant resides. The provider shall send this information to the local health department within whose jurisdiction the applicant resides within 5 business days as required in R392-103-3(3).

(10) An approved food handler training provider shall offer a course evaluation to persons taking approved courses and exams.

(11) An approved food handler training provider must implement procedures to prevent the duplication of certificates of completion.

(12) An approved food handler training provider who offers exams in person either written or on a computer at the facility must proctor the exam. An approved food handler training provider shall require a person taking a course and exam to provide a signature attesting that the person has complied with exam requirements.

(13) An approved food handler training provider who offers exams on line must implement procedures to reasonably inhibit fraudulent attempts to circumvent the food handler training and exam requirements in this rule such as a person taking an exam in place of another person, and procedures to reasonably ensure an individual taking an approved course and exam is focused on training materials and actively engaged throughout the training period.

(14) An approved internet based food handler training provider's exam offered over the internet shall meet the following exam protocols:

(a) An approved internet based food handler training provider shall submit documentation to the Department on initial approval, audit, or by request regarding the security measures taken to inhibit fraud. Exam protocols will be evaluated by the Department or local health department during the approval process and may be audited by the Department at any time to determine if the protocols are preventing fraudulent activities.

(b) An approved internet based food handler training provider shall require a food handler applicant to provide all applicant information required by this rule and shall electronically link the information to the exam before the exam may be offered. An approved internet based food handler training provider administrator shall document any repeat taking of the exam and shall require a food handler applicant to retake a food handler training course after no more than three failed attempts to pass the exam.

(c) The start and end time of the exam shall be logged.

(d) An approved internet based food handler training provider shall track the Internet Protocol address or similar electronic location of an individual who takes an on-line course and exam.

(e) An approved internet based food handler training provider shall present pre-exams at the end of each learning section and at a minimum of four pre-exams per course. The pre-exams must be completed at a 75% correct rate before allowing a person to the next section. All pre-exams must contain a minimum of four questions and be completed before allowing the exam to be provided to a person.

(f) An approved internet based food handler training provider shall provide technical support to users by way of the internet, phone, or other method in case technical difficulties occur.

(g) An approved internet based food handler training provider shall require persons taking a course and exam to provide an electronic signature attesting that the person has complied with exam requirements.

(15) An approved internet based food handler training provider must monitor exam protocols and periodically (at a minimum of monthly), perform a self-review to assess that the system is working and to ensure that each exam meets exam protocols before issuing a certificate of completion. Any instance of suspected violation of exam protocols must be reported to the local health department where the applicant resides.

 

R392-103-7. Food Handler Training Provider Approval, and Auditing.

(1) An approved food handler training provider must offer both training and testing to be approved by the Department in consultation with the local health department before they may offer food handler training and testing in the state.

(2) An approved food handler training provider that has been approved by the Department or a local health department before the effective date of this rule may continue to provide food handler training and testing for 90 days from the effective date of this rule. After 90 days, all food handler training providers must be re - approved by the Department according to the requirements of this rule to continue operating in the state.

(3) As part of the approval process, the Department or local health department designee shall provide prospective food handler training providers a copy of this rule. Food handler training providers must sign an affidavit provided by the Department that states the provider will comply with the requirements of this rule and shall abide by confidentiality agreements if the provider chooses to use the Department provided exam. A food handler provider must present to the Department a summary of how the training program meets the training objectives contained in R392 - 103 - 5.

(4) A food handler training provider shall be open to audit during the initial approval process and also during any subsequent audits to Department authentication of the following information:

(a) Any documents used in the food handler training, and

(b) Identity of instructors and providers.

(5) A food handler training provider must submit an application for re - approval to the Department every three years. The food handler training provider shall follow the requirements of R392 - 103 - 7 to apply for re - approval.

(6) A food handler training provider is subject to Department audit to determine compliance with this rule. A food handler training provider shall allow the Department unrestricted access to provider course training and testing materials, provide unrestricted on - line access to training sites, and unrestricted access to classroom training sessions. The Department may conduct audits either at random or on a complaint basis to determine compliance with the requirements of this rule.

(7) If the Department finds that an approved food handler training provider is non - compliant during an audit, the Department shall revoke the registration and the food handler training provider shall cease offering training classes and food handler certificates until the Department mandated corrective action is taken to correct the violation. Until the violation is corrected, certificates issued by this food handler training provider shall not be accepted for the issuing of food handler permits by the local health officer from the date the food handler training provider was found to be non - compliant.

(8) An approved food handler training provider shall comply with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) access requirements irrespective of the size of the training operation.]

R392-103-1. Purpose.

(1) This rule requires adherence to uniform statewide standards for training and testing food handlers, issuing food handler certificates and permits, and paying and receiving fees.

(2) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified five risk factors associated with foodborne illness outbreaks. Four of the five risk factors result from improper handling of food by food handlers or poor personal hygiene of food handlers.

(3) Proper application of the required training principles will empower food handlers to prevent and safeguard against foodborne illnesses. Testing of food handlers confirms that the food handler gained an understanding of correct food protection principles. A food handler permit that is recognized statewide provides a tool for local health officers to verify that food handlers have received state approved training and testing.

(4) State and local monitoring of the food handler training, certificate, and permitting process is critical to promoting and protecting public health. Coordination between this process, the routine inspection of regulated facilities, and the investigation of foodborne illness outbreaks is necessary to respond quickly and effectively to identified and suspected risks to public health.

 

R392-103-2. Authority.

This rule is authorized by Section 26-15-5 and Section 26-1-30.

 

R392-103-3. Definitions.

(1) "Certificate" means the documentation of food handler training completion indicating passing of a Department approved exam.

(2) "Cross Contact" means the unintentional transfer of an allergen from a food or food-contact surface containing an allergen to a food or food-contact surface that does not contain the allergen.

(3) "Cross Contamination" means the process by which microorganisms are unintentionally transferred with harmful effect to food or food contact surfaces from other food, food contact surfaces, food handlers, or equipment.

(4) "Department" means the Utah Department of Health.

(5) "Double Handwash" means to wash hands in a handwashing sink immediately after using the toilet room or changing a diaper and then washing the hands again after entering the food preparation or food service area, but before handling food.

(6) "Food Handler" means a person who works with unpackaged food, food equipment or utensils, or food-contact surfaces for a food establishment or food truck as defined in R392-100 or R392-102 respectively.

(7) "Food Handler Applicant" or "applicant" means a person who is seeking or receiving training from an approved food handler training provider, or a person who holds a certificate and has made application with a Local Health Officer to obtain a food handler permit.

(8) "Food Handler Permit" or "permit" means a permit issued by a local health department to allow a person to work as a food handler.

(9) "Food Service Establishment" has the same meaning as provided in Section 26-15a-102(3).

(10) "Independent Instructional Design and Testing Expert" means a person who has received training and has a graduate degree from an accredited university with a certification in psychometrics and expertise in Instructional Design.

(11) "Local Health Department" has the same meaning as provided in Section 26A-1-102(5).

(12) "Local Health Officer" means the director of the jurisdictional local health department as defined in Section 26A, Chapter 1, or designated representative.

(13) "Person in Charge" means the person present at a food service establishment or temporary food service event who is responsible for its operation at the time of inspection by the local health officer.

(14) "Training Provider" means an entity that provides a food handler training program and exam approved by the Utah Department of Health.

 

R392-103-4. Food Handler Permit Issuing Procedure, Reciprocity, and Renewal.

(1) Except when Subsections R392-103-4(15) and (16) apply, a person may not work as a food handler for a food service establishment or temporary event unless the person:

(a) obtains a certificate within 14 days after the day on which the person begins employment as a food handler; and

(b) obtains a food handler permit within 30 days after the day on which the person begins employment as a food handler.

(2) A food handler shall obtain a food handler permit no later than 7 days after the expiration of the food handler's existing permit.

(3) Replacement of lost permits shall only be issued by the local health department having jurisdiction.

(a) A local health department may charge a fee for replacement of a lost or misplaced permit.

(4) A training provider shall promptly issue a certificate to any food handler applicant who receives the training provider's Department approved training and passes a Department approved exam.

(5)(a) Using a data template approved by the Department, a training provider shall transmit via email the information described in Subsection R392-103-7(10)(a) to the local health department having jurisdiction within seven days of a certificate's issuance.

(b) This data transmission shall serve as notification to the local health department that an applicant has completed an approved course and exam.

(i) A training provider shall provide all information required by the Department-approved data template.

(ii) No provider or local health department may require changes to the data template or require additional information unless approved by the Department.

(6) To prevent fraud, the training provider shall number each issued certificate using a unique numbering system.

(7) The certificate shall contain the following information:

(a) Name of the person to whom the certificate is issued;

(b) Date of issuance; and

(c) Name of the issuing training provider.

(8) Upon issuance, the certificate shall be valid for 30 days. A local health officer shall accept the certificate as proof that the food handler applicant completed Department approved training and testing.

(9) A local health officer shall issue a food handler permit when:

(a) an applicant provides to the local health department a valid certificate of an approved food handler training program; or

(b) the local health department has received notification of an applicant receiving training and passing an approved exam by the training provider as required in Subsection R392-103-4(5); and

(c) The local health department has received a food handler permit fee.

(i) The food handler permit fee shall be no more than $15 and shall be uniform statewide.

(10) The front of an issued food handler permit shall contain the following information:

(a) Title that reads, "Utah Food Handler Permit";

(b) Name of the food handler;

(c) Permit expiration date;

(d) Identification number that includes the training provider's 2-letter unique identifier followed by up to 8 alphanumeric characters;

(e) Name of local health department issuing the permit;

(f) The phrase, "This Permit is Not a Legal Form of Identification" stated at the bottom of the permit; and

(g) Utah State seal.

(11) The back of an issued food handler permit shall contain the following statements:

(a) "Permit must be presented upon request by the local health officer"; and

(b) "Permit may be revoked for cause".

(12) A local health officer shall accept any food handler permit issued under authority of this rule until the date of expiration, revocation, or suspension of the food handler permit.

(13) Except for temporary food service events, the person in charge of a food establishment shall provide, upon request of the local health officer, a copy of a food handler permit for each food handler working in the food establishment. For temporary events, the person in charge is not required to maintain copies of food handler permits, but at least one present person must be able to show that person's current food handler permit to the local health officer.

(14) Food handler permits shall be valid statewide for 3 years from the date of issuance. Food handler permits may be renewed every 3 years by completing an approved food handler training course, passing an exam administered by an approved food handler training provider, and receiving a food handler permit from a local health officer.

(15) The local health officer shall accept a food handler permit issued to a back country outfitter by the United States Department of the Interior, or by a public health authority in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, or Wyoming. This applies only to food handling done at a back country food establishment and meeting the exemption requirements of Section 26-15a-105(1)(i).

(16) A person who has met the requirements of Rule R392-101 to become certified as a food safety manager shall be exempt from the requirement to obtain a food handler permit under this section.

 

R392-103-5. Suspension or Revocation of Food Handler Permits.

(1) A local health officer may revoke or suspend a food handler permit if:

(a) A food handler is ill with a disease that may be transmitted through the handling of food;

(b) The local health officer documents in two or more inspections within two years that the same food handler has at least twice failed to apply the same training objective listed in Subsection R392-103-6(2); or

(c) A food handler shows willful disregard for food safety or food protection in a manner that has the potential to endanger public health.

(2) The local health officer may confiscate any food handler permit that the local health officer cannot authenticate or that has been revoked or suspended.

(3) A food handler may reapply to a local health department for reinstatement of a revoked or suspended food handler permit by requesting a hearing with the local health officer and demonstrating to the local health officer's satisfaction that the food handler permit may be reinstated.

 

R392-103-6. Food Handler Training Requirements.

(1) A person or entity shall receive approval from the Department before offering training to food handlers in the state. An approved food handler training program shall:

(a) include at least 75 minutes of training time offered either in an internet-based course, a trainer-led course, or a combination of both;

(b) contain basic training information regarding the Centers for Disease Control top 5 risk factors associated with foodborne illness; and

(c) only contain information that is consistent with the FDA national model food code standard incorporated by reference in R392-100.

(2) A training provider shall ensure that the food handler training program contains each of the following specific training objectives:

(a) Food Protection - Limiting Harmful Pathogens

(i) Define potentially hazardous foods (foods that require time or temperature controls for safety, TCS).

(ii) Provide a comprehensive list of foodborne pathogen sources.

(iii) Discuss ideal conditions for bacterial growth in food.

(iv) List the temperature danger zone.

(v) List proper hot and cold holding temperatures of food which requires time or temperature control for safety.

(vi) List the appropriate temperatures for refrigerators and hot holding equipment.

(vii) Describe the approved procedures for thawing frozen foods.

(viii) Describe the approved methods for cooling food.

(ix) Describe approved and unapproved food sources.

(x) Describe the correct procedures for date marking and discarding food.

(xi) Identify the conditions in which time can be used as a public health control without temperature control.

(b) Food Protection - Destroying Harmful Pathogens and Preventing Food Contamination

(i) List the required final cook temperatures for foods.

(ii) Describe the procedure and list the final temperature for reheating leftovers for hot hoolding.

(iii) Describe the relationship between cooking time and temperature in killing microorganisms.

(iv) Define cross contamination.

(v) List the possible sources of cross contamination when handling food.

(vi) Discuss how a food handler might contaminate food.

(vii) Identify steps to prevent cross contamination.

(viii) Stress the importance of eliminating bare-hand contact with ready-to-eat food.

(ix) Describe how, when, and where to use utensils or gloves.

(x) Define and give examples of the major food allergens.

(xi) Describe the range of symptoms, including the types of mild reactions to anaphylactic shock or death, that an individual having an allergic reaction may experience after exposure to a food allergen.

(xii) Identify steps to prevent cross-contact of food allergens, and stress that cooking does not remove an allergen from food.

(c) Equipment, Utensils, and Linens

(i) Explain the difference between cleaning and sanitizing, and describe the correct procedures for each.

(ii) Identify when surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized.

(iii) Identify the commonly-used chemicals approved for sanitizing food-contact surfaces.

(iv) Describe how to test chemical concentration of sanitizing solutions used on food-contact surfaces, and stress its importance.

(v) Describe the 3-compartment sink method of cleaning, rinsing, and sanitizing utensils and how to correctly dry dishes.

(vi) Describe the correct procedure for cleaning and sanitizing utensils and equipment when using a warewashing machine.

(vii) Describe the correct procedures for storing cleaned dishes and utensils, laundered linens, and single-service and single-use articles.

(viii) Describe the procedures for safe chemical storage and use.

(ix) Describe the correct procedures for handling, storage, and removal of solid waste.

(d) Employee Health and Hygiene

(i) List the reportable foodborne illness diagnoses as well as reportable symptoms, past illnesses, and history of exposure that a food handler must report to the person in charge.

(ii) Describe the personal hygiene practices a food handler must follow to prevent food contamination.

(iii) Describe the proper hand washing procedure and when a double hand wash is required.

(iv) Describe how hands become contaminated and when and where hand washing should occur.

(v) List approved jewelry, clothing, and hair restraints.

(vi) Describe the correct procedures to prevent a foodborne illness from a cut, burn, or other wound.

(vii) Describe the conditions in which an employee may eat, drink, or use any form of tobacco as well as the precautions to take after these activities.

(viii) Define a foodborne illness.

(ix) List the population groups that are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness.

(3) Each time a food handler permit is renewed, the food handler must take a training course from an approved food handler training provider before the food handler may take a food handler exam.

(4) A person may instruct an approved food handler training program only when the person is registered with a local health department as an instructor.

(5) Prior to registration, each instructor of a trainer-led food handler course shall demonstrate to the local health department that the instructor has received food protection management training equivalent to the requirements of R392-101-3, as determined by the local health officer or the Department.

(6) Prior to training program approval, a representative of an internet-based food handler course shall demonstrate to the Department that the representative has received food protection management training equivalent to the requirements of R392-101-3, as determined by the Department.

(7) A training provider shall maintain a list of past and current instructors registered with a local health department denoting the dates the instructor taught food handler courses. A training provider shall provide the instructor list to the Department upon request. Online training providers shall maintain a list or database of courses taught online according to course version and training date.

(8) A training provider shall maintain a system to verify a certificate upon request of the Department, the local health department, or the food establishment where the food handler is employed.

(9) A training provider may charge a reasonable fee. A training provider may collect both the training fee and food handler permit fee at the same time from the applicant when the applicant initially pays for the training course.

(10) If a person or entity is not approved by the department to provide an approved food handler training program, the person or entity may not represent, in connection with the person's or entity's name of business, including in advertising, that the person or entity is a provider of an approved food handler training program or otherwise represent that a program offered by the person or entity will qualify a person to work as a food handler.

 

R392-103-7. Exam Requirements.

(1) A training provider shall use the bank of food handler exam questions issued by the Department and obtained through application to the Department, or a Department approved set of questions as described in R392-103-7(2). Exams shall contain 40 multiple choice questions with 10 randomly selected questions from each content section listed in Subsection R392-103-6(2)(a) through (d). A training provider shall routinely rotate exam questions from the exam question bank, and randomize the order of exam questions as well as the answer order of the multiple-choice questions.

(2) If a training provider elects not to use the Department issued questions, the training provider may request approval of a different bank of exam questions. For approval, the training provider shall pay to the Department a fee to review the exam questions. The fee shall reflect actual costs, but shall not exceed $500. The training provider shall also submit to the Department the proposed bank of at least 200 exam questions organized by the required content sections and covering the learning objectives listed in this rule with at least 25 questions from each content section. In addition, the training provider shall contract, at their own expense, with a Department approved independent instructional design and testing expert to evaluate the proposed bank of exam questions. The independent instructional design and testing expert shall analyze a training provider's bank of exam questions to determine if the exam questions effectively measure the applicant's knowledge of the learning objectives outlined in this rule and meet the appropriate testing standards for question structure. To be approved, the independent instructional design and testing expert must provide the Department with a positive recommendation based on the expert's analysis. The Department must approve any change in the provider offered bank of exam questions before implementation. Exam approval is good for three years, after which a provider shall reapply for exam approval.

(3) If the Department finds that a question inadequately tests comprehension of the learning objectives, the Department may invalidate the question and may require the training provider to revise or remove the exam question. A training provider shall update any invalidated exam questions no more than 30 days after receiving written notice from the Department.

(4) In order to pass the required exam, a food handler applicant shall correctly answer at least 75% of the exam questions.

(5) A training provider may offer a written, oral, or online food handler exam. As circumstances dictate, a training provider may offer an oral exam individually to a food handler applicant having language or reading comprehension difficulties or other mental or physical limitations that may interfere with the applicant's ability to complete a written or an online exam.

(6) A training provider shall implement procedures to prevent cheating on exams. A training provider shall ensure that exam questions are protected from:

(a) Unauthorized access;

(b) Copy or alteration; and

(c) Access to food handler applicants outside of established exam time.

(7) A training provider shall inform a food handler applicant, at the beginning of the course, that:

(a) food handler permits are valid for 3 years statewide; and

(b) lost or misplaced permits may be reissued by the applicant's local health department for a fee.

(8) A training provider shall inform a food handler applicant, at the beginning of the course, that the food handler applicant is strictly prohibited from engaging in any of the following practices:

(a) Downloading exams onto a flash drive or other portable electronic device;

(b) Distributing the exam in any way to another person;

(c) Taking notes during the exam;

(d) Using a cell phone or other recording device; or,

(e) Conversing with any other person or receiving aid to answer questions during the exam process.

(9) A training provider shall invalidate the certificates of any food handler applicant involved in the violation of any of the exam security requirements listed in Subsection R392-103-7(8). A food handler applicant involved in violation of the exam security requirements shall receive a certificate from a training provider only after the food handler applicant has successfully completed an additional training course and a proctored exam.

(10)(a) A training provider shall maintain records for at least three years of each food handler applicant's:

(i) Name;

(ii) Mailing address;

(iii) Email address;

(iv) Primary phone number;

(v) Date of birth;

(vi) Date of exam;

(vii) Exam score;

(viii) Certificate expiration date; and

(ix) Name of instructor.

(b) A training provider shall provide this record to the local health department receiving application from the food handler applicant within seven days as required in Subsection R392-103-4(5).

(11) A training provider shall implement procedures to prevent the duplication of certificates such as the use of a void pantograph, invisible watermarks, copy-evident or security paper, or the use of electronic copy protection features.

(12) A training provider shall proctor any exam offered in person either in written form or on a computer located at the training facility.

(13) A training provider shall require a food handler applicant to provide a signature attesting that the applicant has complied with exam requirements.

(14) A training provider shall offer a course and exam evaluation to food handler applicants.

(15) An internet-based training provider shall implement procedures to reasonably inhibit fraudulent attempts to circumvent the food handler training and exam requirements in this rule such as a person taking an exam in place of another person. A training provider shall implement procedures to reasonably ensure a food handler applicant taking an approved course and exam is focused on training materials and actively engaged throughout the training period.

(16) An internet-based training provider offering an exam over the internet shall meet the following additional protocols:

(a) The training provider shall log the start and end time of each online exam.

(b) The training provider shall monitor any repeat attempts to pass an online exam, and shall require a food handler applicant to retake a food handler training course after three failed attempts to pass the exam.

(c) The training provider shall track the Internet Protocol (IP) address or similar electronic location identifier of a food handler applicant who begins an online exam.

(d) The training provider shall require a food handler applicant to provide an electronic signature before taking an online exam to attest that the applicant will comply with exam requirements.

(e) The training provider shall require a food handler applicant to provide all applicant information required by this rule and shall electronically link the information to the exam before the exam may be offered.

(f) The training provider shall present a minimum of four pre-exam questions at the end of each learning section. The food handler applicant shall correctly answer 75% of the pre-exam questions before being allowed to proceed to the next section. The training provider shall ensure that the food handler applicant completes all pre-exam questions before proceeding to the online exam.

(g) The Department and local health officers will evaluate exam protocols during the training program approval process. The Department may audit the training program at any time to determine that the existing protocols are preventing fraudulent activities.

(17) An internet-based training provider shall maintain all documentation of fraud prevention measures required in Subsection R392-103-7(16)(a) through (e) for 3 years, and may be required to submit copies of this documentation to the Department in response to any of the following events:

(a) Upon initial application submittal to the Department for food handler training program approval;

(b) When applying to the Department for training program revalidation as required in R392-103-8(5);

(c) During an audit by the Department; or

(d) At the written request of the Department.

(18) An internet-based training provider shall provide technical support to users by way of the internet, phone, or other method in case technical difficulties occur.

(19) An internet-based training provider shall monitor exam protocols and perform a self-review at least monthly to assess that the system is working and to ensure that each exam meets exam protocols before issuing a certificate.

 

R392-103-8. Training Provider Approval and Auditing.

(1) A food handler training provider that has been approved by the Department before the effective date of this rule may continue to provide food handler training and testing as previously approved until three years from the effective date of this rule, at which time full compliance with this rule is required.

(2) To be considered for approval after the effective date of this rule, a prospective training provider shall submit to the Department:

(a) a completed application;

(b) a written summary describing how the training program meets each training objective listed in Subsection R392-103-6(2);

(c) a copy of the course curriculum, including slides, handouts, talking points, script, videos, brochures, or any additional information used during the course, or full access to the online course; and

(d) a copy of the exam questions, if applicable, as described in Subsection R392-103-7(2).

(3) As part of the approval process, the Department shall provide prospective training providers with either a hard copy or electronic copy of this rule. Training providers shall sign an affidavit provided by the Department stating that the training provider will comply with the requirements of this rule and abide by confidentiality agreements when using Department provided exam questions.

(4) During the initial approval process and any subsequent audits, a training provider shall grant access to the Department to audit or authenticate any documents used in the food handler training as well as the identity of instructors and training providers.

(5) A training provider shall submit an application to the Department for training program revalidation every 3 years from the date of initial approval by the Department. The training provider shall follow the requirements of Subsection R392-103-8(2) to apply for revalidation.

(6) In order to determine and verify compliance with this rule, the Department may conduct an audit of the training provider's program. The Department may conduct audits routinely, randomly, or in response to a complaint. A training provider shall allow the Department unrestricted access to the following:

(a) Course training and testing materials; and,

(b) Online training sites; and,

(c) Classroom training sessions.

(7)(a) If the Department finds that a training provider is non-compliant during an audit, the Department shall revoke the registration and remove the training provider from the list of approved food handler training providers in Utah. The training provider shall then immediately cease and desist training and issuing certificates until the Department has verified that the issues of non-compliance have been corrected.

(b) The Department shall notify the local health departments when a training provider has been removed from or added to the list of approved food handler training providers in Utah.

(c) The local health officer shall refuse to accept certificates issued by a training provider as described in Subsection R392-103-8(7)(a) from the date the training provider was found to be in non-compliance until the violation is corrected and the Department has again issued written approval and placed the training provider on the list of approved food handler training providers in Utah.

(8) A training provider shall comply with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) access requirements regardless of the size of the training operation.

 

KEY: food handler training, food handler certificates, food handler permits, food handler [testing]exams

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [August 1, 2013]2017

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 26-1-30[(2)](4); 26-15-5; 26A-1-114(1)(h)


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2017/b20170901.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets ([example]). Text to be added is underlined (example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Chris Nelson at the above address, by phone at 801-538-6739, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at chrisnelson@utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.