A new regulation has been passed into law allowing the use and marketing of “Growlers” within retail food establishments. Under Public Act 514 of 2016, qualified retailers may now provide on-site filling of growlers. “Growler” means any clean, refillable, resealable container that is exclusively intended, and used only, for the sale of beer for consumption off the premises and that has a liquid capacity that does not exceed one gallon.
Effective April 9, 2017, all retail food establishments with a Specially Designated Distributor (SDD) license and that also hold a Specially Designated Merchant (SDM) license from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) are eligible to fill growlers. The basic requirements for filling or refilling growlers can be found at: http://www.michigan.gov/lara/0,4601,7-154-10570-404326–,00.html
The aim of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is to provide adequate resources to support the regulatory risk-based food safety program in aiding in the reduction of the occurrence of foodborne illness.
How to get started-Food establishment facilities need to have:
- A dedicated area for the filling of growlers. It may be mobile or a built-in unit.
- The area of filling must be in close proximity to handwashing facilities.
- A three-compartment warewashing sink must be maintained for sanitation of wares.
- The warewashing area must also be in convenient proximity to handwashing facilities.
- An adequate supply of hot water must also be provided.
- Firms must have an approved system in place to clean the lines, and taps to preclude accumulation of soil residues.
- Cleaning of returnable growlers for refill must comply with 4-603.17 of the Michigan Modified 2009 Model Food code: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdard/MI_Modified_2009_Food_Code_396675_7.pdf
- Before installing and operating a growler filling station, contact your local Food Inspector or Plan reviewer for additional guidance.