The Washington State governor’s office has confirmed an update to our Phase 2 Guidelines to include the following interpretive guidance regarding consumer self-service.

Self-service Salad Bars and Buffets
Food still has not been shown to be a transmission vehicle for SARS-CoV-2. We believe food establishments can safely re-open self-service salad bars and buffets if they use the following to mitigate risk:

  • Proper physical distancing of customers
  • Options to ensure this include signs and floor markings
  • Increased cleaning and disinfection of associated touchpoints
  • This would be hourly in Phase 2
  • Staff monitor self-service salad bars and buffets to ensure these requirements are being followed
  • Self-serve bars are completely covered under a permanent barrier, such as a sneeze guard.
  • Availability of antimicrobial hand gel before and after using the bar

Other Types of Self-service

  • Fountain drink stations
  • Can be safely operated with physical distancing and hourly disinfection of touchpoints during Phase 2
  • Cups, lids, and straws must be kept behind counters and provided by food employees
  • Bulk, unpackaged foods such as donuts, dry rice, dry beans
  • Can be self-scooped with a utensil that is changed or disinfected after use or every four hours with hand gel available for customer use