This week’s “Ftag of the Week” on the CMSCG Blog is F814 Dispose Garbage & Refuse Properly, which is part of the Food and Nutrition Services regulatory group. This is a short regulation, but there are a lot of ways it can be cited. According to Appendix PP of the State Operations Manual (SOM), facilities must dispose of garbage and refuse properly. Simple, right? Unfortunately, it is frequently cited throughout the country.
The Interpretive Guidance (IG) directs surveyors to exactly where they should be looking, so if you use the same list to check your own compliance with this requirement, you should be able to avoid a citation in this area. Surveyors will be able to easily identify issues with F814 through visual observation as part of the Kitchen Observation Task – so your staff should be able to as well.
Surveyors will be able to easily identify issues with F814 through visual observation as part of the Kitchen Observation Task – so your staff should be able to as well.
Let’s see what is required for proper disposal of garbage and refuse:
- Garbage containers must be in good condition with no leaks.
- Waste must be properly contained and covered in dumpsters/compactors.
- Garbage receptacles must also be covered when they are being removed from the kitchen area to the dumpster.
Standard Survey Citation – F814 S/S: D
The facility did not ensure that garbage was properly disposed of when it was observed by a surveyor that garbage was not covered while a Dietary Aide was moving the trash from the kitchen to the disposal area. The garbage was not maintained in a closed receptacle. The garbage was moved through a main elevator, through the lobby and out of the building to the compactor area. The compactor was not fully enclosed, and the staff member threw the trash into the compactor but did not activate it. He then took the unrinsed container back into the building. On interview, the staff member was unaware that the garbage needed to be covered during transport and stated that he could not rinse the container because the pipe for water in the compactor area had been broken for a while. The Food Service Director stated on interview that the compactor area was usually accessible directly from the kitchen, but the elevator in the kitchen was also broken.
Shared Areas Used for Garbage Disposal and Food Transport
- Loading docks, hallways and elevators that are used by the facility to transport “clean food” and also debris must be debris-free, free of odors and waste.
Standard Survey Citation – F814 S/S: D
A facility was cited for failure to dispose of garbage and refuse properly in a service hallway when a surveyor observed a debris scattered area near an exit door in the hallway. The debris included straws, straw paper wrappers, individual condiment packages, a stained rag, a broken dustpan and multiple emesis basins. One of the garbage bins contained linen and multiple trash items.
Garbage Storage Area
- The garbage storage area must be maintained in a sanitary condition to prevent pest issues.
Standard Survey Citation – F814 S/S: E
A facility failed to maintain the garbage storage area in a manner to prevent the harborage and feeding of pests on multiple days of survey. The surveyor and Food Service Director observed the trash dumpster’s side doors left open, exposing garbage bags. Used gloves, papers, cigarette butts and plastic cup lids were observed around the dumpster. The following morning a surveyor and the Food Service Director returned to the area and observed that one of the side doors of the dumpster had been left open, exposing the garbage bags.
Unfortunately, you could probably all identify some of the same concerns when rounding in the kitchen, near your garbage dumpster/compactor area or in a service hallway used to transport garbage out of the building. A citation in this area has penalty points associated with it just like any other F-tag cited for non-compliance. Isn’t it preferable to simply put a lid on it or keep the dumpster door closed? And, it is not really clear why it is so difficult for staff to keep the area around the trash compactor free from debris. Have your staff been educated/trained on their responsibility for checking the surrounding area for trash that somehow did not make it into the compactor prior to leaving the area. Don’t let this become a survey “gotcha” for your facility.