Guidance on PIC Knowledge

The person in charge (PIC) of a food establishment should be knowledgeable in specific food operations as required in 2010 regulations, sections 2-102 and 2-103.

The depth of complexity of knowledge is based upon the food processes that take place in the particular establishment.

The information provided here is for general guidance only and does not constitute a complete list of knowledge required. Contact your district inspector with additional questions.

Type 1 – Packaged Food Only

All food products are received by the food establishment commercially packaged and sold to the consumer in the packaged state.

The PIC needs to know that:

  • Food products are received from approved sources (3-201).
  • Food products are not adulterated.
  • Potentially Hazardous Foods (PHF/TCS) are received (3-202) and maintained (3-501.16) at proper temperature.
  • Food and equipment temperatures are monitored through use of accurate thermometers (4-302.13 and 4-202.11).
  • Food products are protected from contamination after receiving, during storage and display (3-3).
  • Food handlers know the five symptoms of food borne illnesses, the “big five” food borne illnesses that restrict a food handler from working, are aware of their obligations to report symptoms and illnesses that could be spread through food and the importance of exclusion from work as needed (2-201). The PIC must also ensure that the food establishment has an employee health policy and that all employees follow it.

Type 2 – Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foodservice

All Potentially Hazardous Foods (PHF/TCS) are received by the food establishment in a fully cooked or RTE state.

The PIC needs to know everything in type 1 and the following:

  • Food handlers are practicing good personal cleanliness and good hand hygiene (2-3 and 2-4) and there is no bare hand contact with ready-to-eat (RTE) foods.
  • Food is protected from contamination during preparation and service (3-3).
  • How to properly thaw frozen PHF/TCS products (3-501.13).
  • RTE PHF/TCS products are properly held and served (3-501.17).
  • Commercially processed PHF/TCS RTE is reheated to 135°F and maintained for hot holding (3-403.11C).
  • Correct procedures and frequency for cleaning and sanitizing food contact surfaces (4-4).

Type 3 – Cook and Serve Operation

Raw Potentially Hazardous Foods (PHF/TCS) are received, cooked and subsequently served within a short period of time to the consumer. The PHF/TCS goes through the danger zone or those temperatures between 41°F and 135°F a single time. As such, no cooling for subsequent food service takes place.

The PIC needs to know everything in type 1, type 2 and the following:

  • Safe cooking temperatures of PHF/TCS products prepared at the facility (3-401).
  • Proper separation of raw animal product to prevent cross-contamination (3-302.11).

Type 4 – Complex Food Operation

This is a full food service facility that undertakes more complex food processes. Food product is taken through the danger zone more than once. Example: A raw animal product is cooked, cooled, stored cold, then reheated at a later time for service.

The PIC needs to know everything in types 1,2 and 3 and the following:

  • Safe cooling methods (3-501.14, 3-501.15).
  • Proper reheating procedures of food that has been cooked and previously cooled (3-403.11A).

Specific Food Safety Issues

  • Consumer advisory – If the facility serves raw or undercooked PHF/TCS food such as sushi, rare hamburgers/steaks or sunny-side up eggs, they must have a consumer advisory that includes a disclosure and reminder as specified in section 3-603.
  • Specialized processing methods (3-502).
  • HAACP plan – for more information visit the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plans webpage.
  • Waivers – for more information visit the Waiver Requests webpage.
  • Time as a public health control (3-501.19).
  • Special requirements for highly susceptible populations (3-8).
  • Labeling (6-602).

General Responsibilities

The following are general requirements for food operations that hold a health permit to operate. Additional information may be found in section 8-204.12.

Contact Information

Telephone: (702) 759-0588


Updated on: January 4, 2022

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