Title 21
Food and Drugs

Chapter 27
Sanitation in Food Establishments

R.I. Gen. Laws § 21-27-1

§ 21-27-1. Definitions.

Unless otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, the following definitions apply to this chapter:

(1) “Approved” means approved by the director.

(2) “Commissary” means an operating base location to which a mobile food establishment or transportation vehicle returns regularly for such things as food preparation, food storage, vehicle and equipment cleaning, discharging liquid or solid wastes, refilling water tanks and ice bins.

(3) “Cottage food manufacture” means the production in accordance with the requirements of § 21-27-6.2 of allowable foods for retail sale directly to the consumer in a residential kitchen or a rented commercial kitchen licensed by the department.

(4) “Cultural heritage education facility” means a facility for up to ten (10) individuals who, for a fee, participate in the preparation and consumption of food, limited to an owner-occupied site documented to be at least one hundred and fifty (150) years old and whose drinking water shall be obtained from an approved source that meets all of the requirements of chapter 13 of title 46.

(5) “Department” means the department of health.

(6)  “Director” means the director of health or the director’s duly appointed agents.

(7) “Farmers market” means a market where two (2) or more farmers are selling produce exclusively grown on their own farms on a retail basis to consumers. Excluded from this term is any market where farmers or others are selling produce at wholesale and/or any market in which any individual is selling produce not grown on his or her own farm.

(8)  “Farm home food manufacture” means the production in accordance with the requirements of § 21-27-6.1 of food for retail sale in a residential kitchen on a farm that produces agricultural products for human consumption and the operator of which is eligible for exemption from the sales and use tax in accordance with § 44-18-30(32).

(9) “Food” means: (i) Articles used for food or drink for people or other animals; (ii) Chewing gum; and (iii) Articles used for components of any food or drink article.

(10) “Food business” means and includes any establishment or place, whether fixed or mobile, where food or ice is held, processed, manufactured, packaged, prepared, displayed, served, transported, or sold.

(11) “Food service establishment” means any fixed or mobile restaurant, coffee shop, cafeteria, short-order cafe, luncheonette, grill, tearoom, sandwich shop, soda fountain, tavern; bar, cocktail lounge, night club, roadside stand, industrial feeding establishment, cultural heritage education facility, private, public or nonprofit organization or institution routinely serving food, catering kitchen, commissary or similar place in which food or drink is prepared for sale or for service on the premises or elsewhere, and any other eating or drinking establishment or operation where food is served or provided for the public with or without charge.

(12) “Mobile food service unit” means a unit that prepares and/or sells food products for direct consumption.

(13) “Operator” in relation to food vending machines means any person who by contract, agreement, lease, rental, or ownership sells food from vending machines.

(14) “Person” means any individual, firm, co-partnership, association, or private or municipal corporation.

(15) “Processor” means one who combines, handles, manufactures or prepares, packages, and stores food products.

(16) “Retail” means when eighty percent (80%) or more of sales are made directly to consumers.

(17) “Retail peddler” means a food business that sells meat, seafood, and dairy products directly to the consumer, house to house, or in a neighborhood.

(18) “Roadside farmstand” means a stand or location adjacent to a farm where produce grown only on that farm is sold at the time of harvest.

(19) “Vending machine site or location” means the room, enclosure, space, or area where one or more vending machines are installed and/or operated.

(20) “Warehouse” means a place for the storage of dried, fresh, or frozen food or food products, not including those areas associated within or directly part of a food service establishment or retail market.

(21) “Wholesale” means when eighty percent (80%) or more of the business is for resale purposes.

History of Section.
G.L. 1938, ch. 260, § 1; P.L. 1948, ch. 2026, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 21-27-1; P.L. 1970, ch. 143, § 1; P.L. 1981, ch. 128, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 51, § 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 55, § 1; P.L. 2002, ch. 415, § 1; P.L. 2005, ch. 410, § 11; P.L. 2007, ch. 379, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 530, § 2; P.L. 2009, ch. 117, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 175, § 1; P.L. 2022, ch. 231, art. 9, § 1, effective June 27, 2022.