The Washington State Retail Food Safety Advisory Council (FSAC or Council) works in partnership with the Washington State Department of Health to provide guidance for the consistent education, application, and implementation of food safety requirements to regulatory, industry, and other partners.
The mission of the Retail Food Safety Advisory Council is to foster public-private sector communication and cooperation and to promote food safety through the consistent implementation and evidence-based application of the Washington State Retail Food Code.
The Council reviews submitted issues concerning inconsistent practice and evaluates technical interpretations to promote food safety through evidence-based application of the state's retail food code. The Council also reviews application of food safety laws and rules, emerging food safety issues, and novel practices within Washington retail food facilities to provide suggested comments to DOH for rule modification proposals to the state board of health.
The scope of the Council includes:
- Reviewing new or emerging food handling practices and processes ineffectively or inequitably addressed in the Washington State Retail Food Code.
- Evaluating guidance on equivalency determinations and adopting uniform, sound procedures that can be accepted by regulatory agencies and industry.
- Communicating stakeholders' issues and advocating within stakeholder groups for food safety determinations produced by the Council.
- Facilitating communication to all stakeholders regarding FSAC-related food safety activities and actions.
- Providing recommendations to the Washington State Board of Health for revisions to Chapters 246-215 or 246-217 WAC.
Council Structure and Representation
The structure of the FSAC reflects diverse stakeholders within retail food service. While stakeholder alternates are encouraged to participate, each stakeholder group has the following voting members:
Local Health Jurisdictions – 4 (2 eastside / 2 westside)
David Kavanagh, Klickitat County Public Health, 509-493-6211
Steve Main, Spokane Regional Health District, 509-324-1594
Jessica Pankey, Clallam County Health Department, 360-417-2418
Jessica Gehle, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, 253-798-4444
Timm Taff, Alternate, Adams County Public Health, 509-488-2031
Lisa Breen, Alternate, Spokane Regional Health District, 509-324-1585
Kristina Hollatz, Alternate, Grays Harbor County Health Department, 360-964-1673
Food and Drug Administration – 1
David Engelskirchen, Food and Drug Administration, 206-452-9762
Restaurant – 1
Samantha Louderback, WA Hospitality Association, 360-789-7477
Grocery – 1
Michael Latham, WA Food Industry Association, 206-423-4076
Schools/Institutions – 1
Donna Parsons, Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, 360-725-6210
Mobile Food Unit – 1
Lori Johnson, WA State Food Truck Association, 360-223-3801
Farmers' Market/Local Food/Temporary Food – 1
Colleen Donovan, Washington State Farmers Market Association, 206-706-5198
Tribe – 1
Karin Knopp, Tribal Contractor
Consumer/Academia – 2
Stephanie Smith, Washington State University, 509-335-0972
Sarah Shacht, Consumer
State Facilities (DOH) – 1
Susan Shelton, Washington State Department of Health, 509-212-1206
Meetings shall be held at least semiannually unless there is insufficient business to conduct a meeting. A written summary of all meetings and actions will be posted online.
September 25, 2019
- Any person or entity may submit a food safety-related issue to the Retail Food Safety Advisory Council for consideration.
- All issues must be submitted using the Issue Submission Form (Word).
- The Council Coordinator reviews the issue to ensure that it fits within the scope of the Council. If it does, the submitter is notified of the date it will be placed on the Council's meeting agenda. Issues that do not fall within the scope of the Council are returned to the submitter with an explanation of why it will not be reviewed by the Council.
- If the issue is outside of the scope of the Council but identifies a problem with consistency of implementation between counties, a copy shall be shared with the Washington State Environmental Health Directors. If the issue is outside of the scope of the Council but identifies a problem within a specific county, a copy shall be sent to the Environmental Health Director and the Food Program Supervisor in the identified county.
- In order to allow time for distribution to Council members, issues must be submitted to the Council Coordinator at least 30 days prior to the Council's next scheduled meeting date.
- Issues will be considered in the order of priority as determined by the Council Coordinator and the Council Chair.
- If an issue is tabled, the Council Coordinator will gather any additional information requested by the Council to assist the Council in making a recommendation. The original submitter will be notified of the status of the issue and the date of the meeting that the issue will be next discussed.
- Once a specific issue has been submitted and considered by the Council, that issue cannot be submitted again unless there are new facts and circumstances that make it appropriate for the Council to reconsider the issue.
- Once a recommendation has been developed and accepted by the Department of Health, the submitter will be notified of the final disposition of the issue.
Retail Food Safety Advisory Council Purpose and Procedures (PDF)
Contact the Retail Food Safety Advisory Council Coordinator at 360-236-3330.