Determining percentage of prepared food sales

Sellers of prepared food that make utensils available must calculate their percentage of prepared food sales.


Percentage of prepared food equals n/d
Numerator (n) represents prepared food
Denominator (d) represents all food sales

The numerator includes sales of the following prepared foods:

  1. Food sold in a heated state or heated by the seller, except bakery items.
  2. Foods where the seller has combined two or more ingredients, except:
    • bakery items
    • food that is only cut, repackaged, or pasteurized by the seller
    • food that contains eggs, fish, meat, or poultry in a raw or undercooked state requiring cooking to prevent food-borne illness
    • food sold in an unheated state at a price that varies based on weight or volume
  3. Food items where a plate, bowl, glass or cup is necessary to receive the food.

The denominator includes all sales of food and food ingredients (including prepared foods), soft drinks, and dietary supplements.

d = percentage of prepared food


  1. If the seller of prepared food wants to segregate their food sales and not charge sales tax on food and food ingredients, they must make this calculation annually.
  2. Food items that are four or more servings are exempt from sales tax even if the retailer sells more than 75 percent prepared food. (Unless the seller provides utensils.)
  3. Nonfood items (i.e. tobacco, alcohol, medicines, hygiene items, block ice, dry ice, and ice in bags of greater than 10 lbs.) are not included in the calculation.
  4. For a definition of food and food ingredients please refer to WAC 458–20–244.