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)—(14) of this regulation, the internal temperature of a potentially hazardous food is kept at 41F or less or 135F or greater;

(8) In existing refrigeration that can cool the food and maintain the food's internal temperature between 42F and 45F, the potentially hazardous food's internal temperature, except as provided in §B(9)—(14) of this regulation, is kept at 45F or less pending equipment upgrade as set forth in Regulation .15A(6) of this chapter;

(9) If pasteurized crab meat, the crab meat's internal temperature is maintained at 38F or less;

(10) 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;

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

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

(13) 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

(14) 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(14)(a) and(b) of this regulation;

C. While displaying and serving food:

(1) Except as provided in §§B(8) and 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(13) and (14) 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; and

D. During the transportation of food:

(1) Except as provided in §B(8)—(14) 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.