15A ncac 18A .2806 FOOD STORAGE AND PROTECTION
(a) In child care centers, food shall be stored in approved, clean, tightly covered, storage containers once the original package is opened. Approved containers include resealable bags and other containers made of plastic or glass. Reusable containers that come in direct contact with food must be easy to clean, in good repair and intended for food storage.
(b) Food items, that are stored in classrooms or other rooms intended for child care use, shall be limited to those food items which are individually packaged unless the classroom is equipped with a food preparation area. Provisions shall be made to store and protect these food items from all potential sources of contamination and other nonfood items stored in the classroom.
(c) Dry foods that are not readily identifiable and are stored in containers shall be labeled.
(d) Food shall be stored above the floor in a manner that protects the food from splash and other contamination and that permits easy cleaning of the storage area.
(e) Food and containers of food shall not be stored under exposed sewer lines. Food shall not be stored in toilet or laundry rooms. Child care centers licensed for fewer than 13 children and located in a residence may store food in laundry rooms if protected as required in Paragraph (f) of this Rule.
(f) All food shall be stored in a manner to protect it from dust, rodents, insects, drip, splash and other contamination. Raw meats, poultry, fish, shellfish and eggs shall be stored on shelving beneath and separate from other foods. The temperature of potentially hazardous food provided by the center shall be 45°F (7°C) or below, or 140°F (60°C) or above at all times, including field trips, catering events, outdoor service, except during necessary periods of preparation and service, and as otherwise provided in the Rules of this Section.
(g) Packaged food such as milk or other fluid containers may be stored in undrained ice as long as any individual units are not submerged in water. Wrapped sandwiches and other foods shall not be stored in direct contact with ice.
(h) Refrigerated storage:
(1) Refrigeration equipment shall be provided in such number and of such capacity to assure the maintenance of potentially hazardous food at required temperatures during storage. Each refrigerator shall be provided with a numerically scaled indicating thermometer, accurate to ±3°F (± 1.5°C) located to measure the air temperature in the warmest part of the refrigerator and located to be easily readable. Recording thermometers, accurate to ±3°F (±1.5°C), may be used in lieu of indicating thermometers.
(2) Potentially hazardous food requiring refrigeration after preparation shall be cooled to an internal temperature of 45°F (7°C), or below. Cooling of potentially hazardous foods shall be initiated upon completion of preparation or hot storage. Methods such as pouring into pans, agitation, and chilling with ice or water circulation external to the food containers shall be used to cool potentially hazardous food. Potentially hazardous food to be transported cold shall be prechilled and held at a temperature of 45°F (7°C) or below.
(3) Ice used for cooling stored food and food containers shall not be used for human consumption.
(i) Hot storage:
(1) Hot food storage equipment shall be provided in sufficient number and capacity to assure the maintenance of food at the required temperature during storage. Each hot food unit shall be provided with a numerically scaled indicating thermometer, accurate to ± 3°F (± 1.5°C), located to measure the air temperature in the coolest part of the unit and located to be easily readable. Recording thermometers, accurate to ±3°F (± 1.5°C), may be used in lieu of indicating thermometers. Where it is impractical to install thermometers on equipment such as steam tables, steam kettles, heat lamps, cal‑rod units, or insulated food transport carriers, a metal stem-type numerically scaled indicating product thermometer shall be available and used to check internal food temperature.
(2) The internal temperature of potentially hazardous foods requiring hot storage shall be 140°F (60°C) or above except during necessary periods of preparation and service. Potentially hazardous food to be transported hot shall be held at a temperature of 140°F (60°C) or above.
(j) In the event of a fire, flood, water supply interruption, power outage, or similar event that might result in the contamination of food, or that might prevent potentially hazardous food from being held at required temperatures, the person in charge shall either discard the food in question or contact the local health department.
History Note: Authority G.S. 110‑91;
Eff. July 1, 1991.
Amended Eff. February 1, 1995;
Temporary Amendment Eff. December 1, 1999;
Amended Eff. July 1, 2006; January 1, 2006; April 1, 2001.