Safe and Legal

Are reusables safe during Covid?

Yes. Go here for answers to the seven most common questions regarding the safety of reusables.

Are BYO containers legal in California?

Also yes. According to Section 114121 of the California Retail Food Code, clean consumer-owned containers may be filled by either an employee or the customer. See section (b)(1) below.

California Retail Food Code (Cal Code)

114121.   Returnables, cleaning for refilling

(a) Except as specified in subdivisions (b), (c) and (d), returned empty containers intended for filling with FOOD or BEVERAGE shall be cleaned and filled in an APPROVED facility.

(b) (1)  Clean CONSUMER-owned containers provided or returned to the FOOD FACILITY for filling may be filled and returned to the same CONSUMER if the container is filled by either an EMPLOYEE of the FOOD FACILITY or the owner of the container. For the purposes of this section, a CONSUMER-owned container shall be designed and constructed for reuse in accordance with Section 3-304.17(B)(1) of the 2017 Food Code published by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

(2)  The FOOD FACILITY shall either isolate the CONSUMER-owned containers from the serving surface or sanitize the serving surface after each filling.

(c) The FOOD FACILITY shall prepare, maintain, and adhere to written procedures to prevent cross-contamination, as described in Section 113986, and the written procedures shall address waste water disposal. The FOOD FACILITY shall make the written procedures available to the ENFORCEMENT AGENCY upon request or at the time of an inspection.

(d) CONSUMER-owned containers that are not FOOD specific may be filled at a water VENDING MACHINE or system.

(e) The FOOD FACILITY shall ensure compliance with the handwashing requirements specified in Article 4 (commencing with Section 113952) of Chapter 3.