Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 421. Food Regulations

12VAC5-421-3310. Prohibiting animals.

A. Except as specified in subsections B and C of this section, live animals shall not be allowed on the premises of a food establishment.Pf

B. Live animals may be allowed in the following situations if the contamination of food; clean equipment, utensils, and linens; and unwrapped single-service and single-use articles cannot result:

1. Edible fish or decorative fish in aquariums, shellfish or crustacea on ice or under refrigeration, and shellfish and crustacea in display tank systems;

2. Patrol dogs accompanying police or security officers in offices and dining, sales, and storage areas, and sentry dogs running loose in outside fenced areas;

3. In areas that are not used for food preparation and that are usually open for customers, such as dining and sales areas, service animals that are controlled by the disabled employee or person if a health or safety hazard will not result from the presence or activities of the service animal;

4. Pets in the common dining areas of institutional care facilities such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, residential care facilities, and bed and breakfast operations at times other than during meals if:

a. Effective partitioning and self-closing doors separate the common dining areas from food storage or food preparation areas;

b. Condiments, equipment, and utensils are stored in enclosed cabinets or removed from the common dining areas when pets are present; and

c. Dining areas including tables, countertops, and similar surfaces are effectively cleaned before the next meal service;

5. In areas that are not used for food preparation, storage, sales, display, or dining, in which there are caged animals or animals that are similarly restricted, such as in a variety store that sells pets or a tourist park that displays animals; and

6. Dogs in outdoor dining areas if:

a. The outdoor dining area is not fully enclosed with floor to ceiling walls and is not considered a part of the interior physical facility;

b. The outdoor dining area is equipped with an entrance that is separate from the main entrance to the food establishment and the separate entrance serves as the sole means of entry for patrons accompanied by dogs;

c. A sign stating that dogs are allowed in the outdoor dining area is posted at each entrance to the outdoor dining area in such a manner as to be clearly observable by the public;

d. A sign within the outdoor dining area stating the requirements as specified in subdivisions 6 e, 6 f, and 6 g of this subsection is provided in such a manner as to be clearly observable by the public;

e. Food and water provided to dogs is served using equipment that is not used for service of food to persons or is served in single-use articles;

f. Dogs are not allowed on chairs, seats, benches, or tables;

g. Dogs are kept on a leash or within a pet carrier and under the control of an adult at all times; and

h. Establishment provides effective means for cleaning up dog vomitus and fecal matter.

C. Live or dead fish bait may be stored if contamination of food; clean equipment, utensils, and linens; and unwrapped single-service and single-use articles cannot result.

Statutory Authority

§§ 35.1-11 and 35.1-14 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 18, Issue 10, eff. March 1, 2002; amended, Virginia Register Volume 24, Issue 2, eff. October 16, 2007; Volume 32, Issue 22, eff. July 12, 2016; Volume 35, Issue 1, eff. October 3, 2018; Volume 37, Issue 18, eff. June 10, 2021.

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