1. Design and Construction of Food Premises
The design of the food premises. Consider the food flow pattern to establish adequate space and operational efficiencies. Consider the amount of storage space needed for dry goods, food containers, and fruit and vegetable storage. The need for refrigerated storage should be assessed and provided for. Sufficient areas should be set aside for clothing and personal effects of staff (a change room may be required), storage of garbage, waste recycling, cleaning materials and chemicals.
The premises must be pest proofed. Insect and pest proofing will include mesh screening to prevent access and the use of insect devices that should be placed away from work areas where food may be contaminated. Holes and inaccessible spaces are to be sealed.
Adequate supply of potable water must be provided. Non potable water can be used for certain uses that are unlikely to contaminate food or food surfaces.
Effective disposal of sewage and waste water. If a grease arrestor is required it shall be located away from food areas.
Enclosure of garbage and recyclable matter. Storage areas are to be able to be cleaned and pest proofed. External ground storage areas are to be paved, graded, drained and provided with a hose tap to facilitate cleaning.
Garbage room floors are to be impervious, coved, graded and drained. Walls are to be smooth impervious surfaces. Ventilation, pest proofing and a hose tap are to be provided.
Ventilation and Lighting. Natural or mechanical ventilation is to be provided in accordance with the Building Code of Australia. Extraction ventilation systems are to be provided to remove cooking fumes, odours, heat and steam in accordance with AS 1668.1 and 1668.2.
Lighting standards are to be adhered to. Room light fittings and equipment light/heat fittings are to be of a design that is easy to clean, provided with covers to contain globes or tubes if they shatter and will not harbour dirt or insects.
2. Floors, Walls and Ceilings
Floors must be able to be effectively cleaned, not able to absorb grease, not allow ponding of water and not provide harbourage of pests. These requirements apply to areas used for food handling, cleaning sanitising and personal hygiene. Areas where members of the public have access such as dining rooms and drinking areas, are excluded from this requirement.
Flooring. Flooring is to consist of material that is appropriate for the activities conducted and includes epoxy jointed ceramic and quarry tiles, heat welded vinyl sheeting and epoxy resin for food preparation areas and general use. Floors draining to a floor waste are to be graded.
Steel trowelled case hardened concrete is suitable for chillers, freezers and storage areas. Vinyl tiles can be used in food store rooms that are not wet areas.
Coving. In all instances where floors are to be flushed with water the intersections of walls and plinths are to be coved to a minimum radius of 25mm. Coving is to be an integral part of the floor, plinth and wall surface finish. Where vinyl sheeting is used to form a cove, a preformed coving fillet support is to be used. Diagrams showing coving methods are published in AS4674-2004.
Plinths. Plinth finishes are to meet the same requirements as the floor, shall be 75mm in height, impervious, rounded at all exposed edges and coved.
Walls and ceilings. Walls and ceilings must be provided where it is necessary to protect the food and be constructed in a way appropriate for the activities to be conducted, and sealed to prevent access of dirt, dust and pests and able to be easily cleaned.
Wall construction. Walls of all food premises are to be of solid construction to prevent harbourage of vermin in voids and cavities.
Wall finish. In food preparation areas and open food (unprotected food) areas surfacing materials shall be glazed ceramic tiles, stainless steel, welded vinyl sheeting (not in high heat or impact areas) adhered directly to the wall.
Skirting boards, picture rails, open joint spaces, fixing screws, cracks and crevices are not permitted.
In food storerooms that are not wet areas painted plaster walls or painted brickwork may be used.
Ceilings. Ceilings in food preparation areas is to be painted plaster, trowelled cement or smooth concrete finished with impervious sealing material. Drop in or removable panel ceilings are not permitted in food preparation or open food (unprotected food) areas.
Treatment of water, gas pipes, conduits, electrical wiring. These are to be concealed in floors walls, plinths and ceilings, penetrations and openings are to be sealed. Alternatively they can be fixed on brackets to maintain 25mm clearances from horizontal and vertical services. A diagram in AS 4674-2004 shows the requirements.
3. Fixtures, Fittings and Equipment
Fixtures, fittings and equipment adequate for their intended use and must be designed, constructed and installed in a such a way as to be easily and effectively cleaned, and to permit easy cleaning of adjacent areas.
Cleaning and sanitising of equipment. The minimum requirement (for premises selling pre-packaged food and/or uncut fruit and vegetables) is a single bowl sink. For other food premises a double bowl sink must be provided for cleaning food contact equipment. A double pot sink shall be provided for larger equipment.
Where all food contact equipment can be washed/sanitised in machines a single bowl sink will suffice. Vegetable preparation sinks or a food immersion sinks may be needed. In all food premises where hands are likely to be a source of contamination, a hand basin is also to be provided (see below).
Dish washers/glass washers. Machines used for sanitising are to operate on the sanitising cycle at the manufactures recommended temperature and time. Machines designed for the use of chemical sanitisers are to operate at the manufacturers recommended temperature.
Sinks are to be provided with hot water. Hot water at a temperature of 43 degrees C for cleaning and 80 degrees C for sanitising. (Sanitising is required for eating and drinking utensils and equipment and utensils that contact food and that are likely to cause contamination).
Food contact surfaces. Food contact surfaces must be able to be easily cleaned, unable to absorb grease and made of materials that will not contaminate the food.
Hand washing facilities. Hand washbasins must be located where they can be easily accessed in areas here food handlers work (eg. no more than 5 metres from food preparation areas, open food areas and utensil and equipment washing areas) and immediately adjacent to toilets. They must be permanent fixtures connected to a supply of warm running water through a hot water and cold water-mixing tap. Taps that operate hands free shall be provided at all hand washbasins. The basin must be of a size that allows easy hand washing and be clearly designated for the sole purpose of washing hands, arms and face. A single use paper or cloth towel dispenser is to be provided.
Refrigerated counters, cupboards, cabinets, bar. Construction material requirements are shown in diagrams and tables in AS 4674-2004.
Equipment. All equipment shall be either moveable for cleaning or built into walls and completely vermin proofed or butted against walls and sealed or installed with clearances as outlined in AS 4674-2004.
Equipment shall be supported on wheels or casters, 150mm legs, plinths, or solid metal or capped tubular steel brackets or framework.
Storage Areas. Clothing lockers must be away from food areas and the need for staff change rooms must be assessed. Stored cleaning materials, chemicals and similar substances must be away from food areas.
Toilets. Toilets for both staff and customers must be provided in accordance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Toilets must be separated from food areas by an intervening ventilated space (eg airlock) fitted with self-closing doors. Customer/public Toilets are not to be accessed through areas where open food is handled.