10.15.03.06

.06 Food Protection During Storage, Service, and Transport.

The person-in-charge shall ensure that:

A. At all times:

(1) Food is:

(a) Not adulterated; and

(b) Protected from contamination during storage, preparation, display, service, and transportation;

(2) The internal temperature of a food is maintained according to the requirements of this chapter to preclude the growth of pathogenic bacteria and other microorganisms that could cause spoilage;

(3) Except during necessary periods of preparation and service, a potentially hazardous food is refrigerated or held hot as set forth in §B(7) of this regulation;

B. When storing and holding food:

(1) Facilities used for hot or cold potentially hazardous food are provided a temperature-measuring device that is:

(a) Graduated and accurate to plus or minus 2F;

(b) Calibrated annually or more frequently;

(c) Located in the:

(i) Coldest area of equipment where hot foods are stored; and

(ii) Warmest area of equipment where cold foods are stored; and

(d) Easily readable;

(2) Except for metal beverage containers and cased food packaged in cans, glass, or other waterproof containers stored as provided in §B(3) of this regulation, containers of food are stored:

(a) Off the floor;

(b) 18 inches above the floor or higher if food is exposed;

(c) On clean racks, dollies, or other clean surfaces; and

(d) In a manner that will protect from splash and other contamination;

(3) When metal beverage containers and cased food in cans, glass, or other waterproof containers are stored on the floor:

(a) The floor is maintained in a clean and sanitary condition;

(b) The storage:

(i) Is temporary such as for floor displays;

(ii) Does not interfere with the flow of food or personnel; and

(iii) Does not afford harborage for rodents or insects;

(4) In refrigeration units, the food is placed to permit free circulation of cold air;

(5) Except where food packaging prevents the entry of water, packaged food is not stored in contact with water or un-drained ice;

(6) Food is not stored in locker rooms, toilet rooms, dressing rooms, garbage rooms, or mechanical rooms;

(7) Except as provided in §B(8)—(13) of this regulation, the internal temperature of a potentially hazardous food is kept at 41F or less or 135F or greater;

(8) If pasteurized crab meat, the crab meats internal temperature is maintained at 41F or less;

(9) If potentially hazardous reduced oxygen packaged products, the reduced oxygen packaged food's internal temperature is maintained at:

(a) 38F or less if refrigeration is the only barrier to control the growth of Clostridium botulinum; or

(b) At a lower temperature if a lower temperature is specified by the food manufacturer;

(10) If shell eggs and shellfish, the eggs and shellfish are stored, displayed, and transported under refrigeration at an ambient temperature of 45F or less;

(11) Except for the service of foods such as ice cream and frozen desserts, frozen food is received and stored frozen;

(12) If a whole roast cooked and cooled in accordance with Regulations .10 and .11 of this chapter, the roast is held at an internal temperature of 130F or above; and

(13) Using holding temperatures and times other than those specified in this section, the holding temperatures and times are:

(a) Scientifically proven to be effective in preventing the growth of foodborne pathogens;

(b) Incorporated into an HACCP plan; and

(c) Submitted to and approved by the Department based on a review that indicates compliance with §B(13)(a) and (b) of this regulation;

C. While displaying and serving food:

(1) Except as provided in §C(3) of this regulation, a potentially hazardous cold food that is placed on display is:

(a) Pre-chilled to an internal temperature of 41F or below;

(b) Rapidly re-chilled to an internal temperature of 41F or below if the food has exceeded 41F for a verifiable period of not more than 4 hours; or

(c) Discarded if:

(i) The food has exceeded 41F or more for more than 4 hours; or

(ii) The time the food has been out of temperature is not verifiable;

(2) Except as provided in §§B(12) and (13) and C(3) of this regulation, a potentially hazardous hot food that is placed on display is:

(a) Cooked according to Regulation .10 of this chapter;

(b) Rapidly re-heated to an internal temperature of 165F or above if the food was below 135F for a verifiable period of not more than 4 hours; and

(c) Discarded if:

(i) The food was below 135F for more than 4 hours; or

(ii) The time the food has been out of temperature is not verifiable;

(3) A potentially hazardous bakery product that is stored at room temperature:

(a) Is manufactured, packaged, and labeled with a sell-by date only in an approved food processing plant meeting the requirements set forth in COMAR 10.15.04;

(b) Remains in the original package until sold to a consumer; and

(c) Is not offered for human consumption following expiration of the sell-by date;

(4) Except as provided in §C(5) of this regulation, raw unpackaged food of animal origin is not offered for consumer self-service;

(5) Raw unpackaged foods of animal origin offered for consumer self-service are offered only:

(a) At buffets or salad bars that serve foods of animal origin such as sushi or raw shellfish;

(b) When the foods of animal origin are ready-to-cook individual portions for immediate cooking and consumption on premises, such as for Mongolian barbecue; or

(c) Frozen if shell-on shrimp and lobster;

(6) When uncovered food is placed on display in food operations, including buffets and cafeterias, the ready-to-eat food is protected by:

(a) Physical guards;

(b) Separation from potential contaminants; or

(c) Other effective methods acceptable to the approving authority;

(7) During pauses in food preparation or dispensing, utensils such as scoops, spoons, and dippers are stored:

(a) In a running water dipper well that provides a volume of fresh potable water sufficient to maintain the utensil in a sanitary condition;

(b) In hot water that is maintained at 135F or above;

(c) With the handles above the top of the food in an open container;

(d) On a clean portion of the food preparation or cooking equipment, which has been cleaned and sanitized as set forth in Regulation .16 of this chapter; or

(e) In a clean, protected location if the utensils are used with a food that is not potentially hazardous;

(8) Sugar, condiments, seasonings, and dressings are provided for self-service in individual packages or dispensed by methods that protect the food;

(9) Except for packaged non-potentially hazardous foods with the wrapping intact, portions of food once served to a customer are not served again; and

(10) Except for drinking cups reused by self-service consumers in a manner to prevent cross-contamination, employees and self-service customers do not reuse soiled tableware, including single service articles to:

(a) Provide second portions or refills; or

(b) Obtain additional food from display and serving equipment;

D. During the transportation of food:

(1) Except as provided in §B(8)—(13) of this regulation, the internal temperature of a potentially hazardous food is maintained at 41F or below or 135F or above;

(2) From a food service facility to another location, the requirements set forth in §A(2) of this regulation are met;

(3) Frozen food is maintained frozen; and

(4) Food is in covered containers or completely wrapped or packaged to protect against contamination; and

E. During the preparation, storage, or service of food:

(1) Unsafe or adulterated food is discarded or reconditioned according to an approved procedure by the approving authority;

(2) Food that is not from an approved source as specified under Regulation .04 of this chapter is discarded;

(3) Ready-to-eat food that may have been contaminated by an employee who has been restricted or excluded as specified under Regulation .14A or B of this chapter is discarded; and

(4) Food shall be discarded if it is contaminated by employees, consumers, or other persons through:

(a) Contact with their hands;

(b) Bodily discharges, such as nasal or oral discharges; or

(c) Other means.