California Assembly Bill 619 was passed in July 2019 and explicitly allows reusable food containers to be refilled by either the owner/operator of a food facility or the consumer. Consumers may supply their own reusable containers. Facilities may accept returned containers from consumers for reuse. The bill also allows Temporary Food Facilities to use multiuse utensils when approved by the local enforcement agency.
This new law allows consumers to bring reusable containers to a food facility to be filled, provided certain conditions are met. Clean consumer-owned containers may be filled by an employee or the customer provided the food facility meets three requirements:
- Consumer-owned containers must be isolated from the serving surface or the surface must be sanitized after each filling.
- Food facility is required to prepare, maintain and adhere to written procedures that addresses cross-contamination prevention and waste water disposal.
- Food facility shall ensure compliance with handwashing requirements specified in California Retail Food Code (CRFC).
Previously CRFC required that only single-use utensils be provided to the consumer. This section has been amended to allow temporary food facilities to use multiuse utensils where conditions are approved for washing and sanitizing in the temporary food facility or at an approved permanent food facility.
Full details of the bill can be found at the link below.