General requirements for food rooms
What the law says Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 states that food premises must be of a suitable layout, design, construction and size for the following reasons. a b To allow adequate cleaning and disinfection. To prevent the accumulation of dirt, contact with toxic materials, particles shedding into food, and condensation or undesirable mould forming on surfaces. To allow good food hygiene practices. This includes protection against crosscontamination by food, equipment, materials, people and pests. Provide, where necessary, suitable temperature conditions for the hygienic processing and storage of products.
The regulations also say you must have the following. An adequate number of wash basins which are suitably located and used only for cleaning hands. These must have hot and cold (or mixed) running water, soap and means of hand drying. Toilets that do not lead directly into food rooms. Where necessary, separate sinks for washing food. Suitable ventilation. Adequate lighting. Adequate drainage facilities. Adequate facilities for staff to change their clothes, where necessary.
Specific requirements for food rooms What the law says In addition to the general requirements, for areas where food is prepared, treated or processed (excluding dining areas), the following must also be provided. a Floor surfaces must be maintained in a good condition, and be easy to clean and disinfect. Adequate drainage must be provided where appropriate.
All surfaces must be in a good condition, and be easy to clean and disinfect. Ceilings and overhead fixtures must be designed, built and finished to prevent the accumulation of dirt, and reduce condensation, mould growth and the shedding of particles. Windows and other openings must be designed to prevent the accumulation of dirt. Insect proof screens must be provided to windows and doors where necessary. Doors must be easy to clean and disinfect. Surfaces and equipment that are in contact with food must be maintained in a good condition and be easy to clean, and disinfect.
In each case you must use smooth, washable and non-toxic materials, unless you can satisfy the Council that other materials you use are appropriate.
What you must do to achieve this.
Layout The layout of a food room can affect its hygienic operation. Ideally, work surfaces and preparation areas should be separated to reduce the risk of cross contamination from raw foods to cooked foods. For example, separate areas should be used to prepare raw meat and cooked or ready-to-eat food. Where possible, you should have separate refrigerators for raw meats and cooked meats. If possible, you should arrange refrigerators and/or food store rooms near to the door through which food will be delivered. In this way you can reduce the spread of contamination from raw foods or packaging throughout the kitchen. You should provide a separate sink for washing food. contamination from sinks used for washing up. This reduces the possible
Raw ingredients should be prepared in separate areas and move through the kitchen, from preparation to cooking to final preparation, before being served to the customer. A smooth workflow, avoiding the movement of prepared foods back through raw food areas, can minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
Construction Surfaces must be easy to keep clean and maintain in a good condition. There are a number of suitable surfaces that you can use for floors, walls and preparation areas. You should have the highest standards possible within your budget. In general, the following are recommended: Floors – either Altro-type non-slip sealed vinyl laid to a coving at the wall corners or quarry tiles. Walls – either white, plastic finished wall cladding with sealed joints, or ceramic wall tiles with a washable grout.
Ceiling smooth painted washable plaster. Work surfaces – stainless steel. Windows – designed to prevent the accumulation of dirt, and provided with fly screens where necessary. (See our leaflet on ventilation.) Doors –smooth and easy to clean with a non-absorbent washable finish. Surfaces – preferably stainless steel, although good condition Formica is acceptable. There are no rules about the size of a food premises, but you must have adequate space for your food preparation. If you only have limited spaces, it may be better to buy readyprepared cooked foods that you can reheat or which need a minimum of handling.
Hand washing You must have adequate facilities for hand washing. Hand basins should be close to areas where food handlers are preparing food, so they can conveniently and regularly wash their hands. The hand basins must be used only for this purpose. Hot and cold (or mixed) running water must be provided. Soap (preferably liquid) and a means of hand drying (preferably paper towels) must also be provided at all times. You must also have a hand basin next to a toilet. Staff must wash their hands after using the toilet. You should display notices in toilet areas and in the kitchen to remind staff to wash their hands regularly. (See our leaflet on personal hygiene.)
Toilets You must have an adequate number of flush lavatories for staff. If members of the public also use them you must make sure that the hand washing facilities are always available for staff and that the toilets and wash basins are kept clean. Toilets must not lead directly into a room where food is handled or stored. You must have a non-food room or ventilated lobby in between. Any air flow from a toilet must not enter a food room. Extract ventilation must remove air flow to avoid any contamination. The ventilation system must be made so that filters and other parts requiring cleaning or replacement are easily accessible.
Lighting All parts of the food premises must have adequate natural or artificial lighting. This includes store rooms and toilet areas. The light levels should range from 150 lux in store rooms to 500 lux in food preparation areas. All lighting must be protected with shatterproof diffusers in areas where open food is handled. This is in case of any breakages.
Drainage You must provide adequate drainage. Grease and fat must not run in to drains but should be collected for disposal by a licensed waste disposal contractor. Sinks and drains must be kept clean and should be regularly washed and disinfected. Grease traps and fat digesters can help reduce drain problems and should be installed in all new commercial kitchens.
Changing facilities Where necessary, you must provide adequate facilities for staff to change into their kitchen work clothes, away from any open food areas. Depending on the size of the premises and numbers of employees, a separate changing room may be necessary.