Safety Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 6: Public Health and Environmental Quality

Food and Beverage Safety

SPPM 6.20

For more information contact:
   Environmental Health and Safety


Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) is responsible for enforcing food and beverage safety regulations at WSU facilities in Whitman County to prevent foodborne illnesses. (WAC 246-215)

The Whitman County Health Department (WCHD) is responsible for enforcing food and beverage safety on non-WSU properties in Whitman County. (WAC 246-215)

In other counties in Washington, the local health department is responsible for food and beverage safety regulations. (WAC 246-215)

Reporting Concerns / Complaints / Suspected Foodborne Illness

In Whitman County

Promptly report concerns, complaints, or suspected illnesses about a food product or food establishment to EH&S for assistance and investigation.

During Regular Working Hours

Contact EH&S; telephone 509-335-3041.

During Off-Hours

Contact the Facilities Services, Operations dispatcher; telephone 509-335-9000.

Outside of Whitman County

Contact the local county or district health department.

Permits, Exemptions, and Variances

In order to serve food and beverages for public events at WSU facilities, food service permits, exemptions from permit, or variances may be required. Such requirements are in effect regardless of whether or not there is a fee for the food or beverages.

In Whitman County

Environmental Health and Safety issues temporary food service permits, exemptions from permit, and variances to WSU entities that serve food or beverages at WSU facilities in Whitman County.

Non-WSU entities that serve food and beverages at WSU facilities are required to obtain the appropriate permits from the WCHD.

Outside Whitman County

Outside of Whitman County, contact the local health department for food service permits, exemptions from permit, or variances.

Types of Permits

Temporary Permits

Temporary food service permits are required for temporary establishments operating at fixed locations with fixed menus for not more than:

  • Twenty-one consecutive days in conjunction with single events, or
  • Three days in a week in conjunction with recurring events.
Annual Permits

Annual permits are required for permanent establishments.


Catering/mobile permits are required for establishments that operate at various WSU locations throughout the year.

Exemptions From Permit

In order to serve certain foods (e.g., popcorn, roasted nuts), an Application for Exemption from Permit is required, rather than a permit. Contact EH&S, the local health department, or see WAC 246-215-191 (subpart 8-301.12 of the Food Code) for more information.


Environmental Health and Safety and/or local health departments may issue variances from permit requirements when no health hazard will result from the variance.

Food Worker Cards and Examinations


The state of Washington Department of Health requires all food workers to obtain a Washington State Food and Beverage Service Worker’s Permit (Food Worker Card) within 14 days of employment (see Classes below).


Food Worker Cards are available from the WCHD, as well as from all county health departments in the state.

Classes (Whitman County)

For information regarding taking classes and exams online or for dates and locations of food worker classes and examinations, contact the WCHD; telephone 509-332-6752 (Pullman) or 509-397-6280 (Colfax).

Permanent or Catering/Mobile Establishments

All food service workers in permanent or catering/mobile establishments must have a current Food Worker Card.

Temporary Establishments

For temporary establishments, refer to the following EH&S website for Food Worker Card requirements.

Revisions:  May 2017 (Rev. 112); Feb. 2012 (Rev. 95); Mar. 2011 (Rev. 89); Oct. 2007 (Rev. 71); Jan. 2005 (Rev. 57); Dec. 1997 (Rev. 17); Dec. 1989 (Rev. 7); Sept. 1986 – new policy (Rev. 2).