Letter of clarification from Tompkins County Health Department (New York, USA) regarding Bring Your Own (BYO) containers

We post this letter here as a reference for restaurant owners around Tompkins County interested in BYO Ithaca Reduces program.

We also hope that this hard-won letter will be helpful for people in other New York counties interested in starting their own BYO Reduces program to convince their county’s health department.

In New York, county health departments regulate food vendors and restaurants based on the state’s sanitary (health) code. NYS Department of Agriculture and Market regulates grocery store delis based on the state’s food safety code.

In New York City and Tompkins County, BYO is allowable at restaurants and food vendors regulated by its health departments. See New York City’s code regarding reusables. For Tompkins County, please see the letter of clarification below.

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