If you are thinking of starting a new food business or extending your current business –following points of information may be relevant before proceeding. It is important that when you have a plan drawn up, refer to the local Environmental Health Officer for approval.
Size & Layout
The Premises shall be of adequate size for the intended volume and range of foodstuffs produced and catered for by the food business in order to allow safe practice in the delivery, storage, handling, preparation and service of food. (the rule of thumb is that the kitchen should be one third the size of the dining room)
There shall be sufficient space for all food handling activities, refrigeration, equipment, storage, waste management, staff changing, sanitary facilities and cleaning store.
Sanitary accommodation shall be provided for staff and patrons.
Separate designated sanitary accommodation shall be provided for food workers (one toilet for every 15 staff members. (No need for male & female or staff shower)
Sanitary accommodation shall not open directly into areas where food is prepared, treated, processed, stored or directly onto the dining area.
Staff shall be provided with changing facilities which shall not be located in the toilet cubicle or food preparation and storage areas.
Staff facilities should not be accessed through food preparation/handling areas.
Mechanical ventilation systems where used shall be installed so that the intake of air to the systems is from clean fresh air, i.e., airflows are from clean to dirty areas.
Localized mechanical extract ventilation directly to the outer air shall be provided over all cooking and steam emitting appliances.
Where an overhead extraction canopy is provided it shall extend 150mm beyond the cooking equipment on all sides, except where the extraction is part of an integrated design.
Toilet & toilet lobbies shall be separated ventilated to the outside air.
The ventilation provided in food storage & preparation areas shall be sufficient to prevent condensation on walls, ceilings and overhead structures during normal operation.
Adequate lighting shall be provided and staff to allow safe handling and preparation of food.
Lighting of 540 lux in food processing areas and 220 lux in general areas shall be provided.
In areas where food is exposed all light fittings shall be fitted with shatterproof diffusers.
Floors shall be smooth, durable, non-absorbent, and easy to clean. Examples of acceptable floor finishes include polymers derivatives or epoxy, polyester, acrylic resins and rubber latex, vinyl tiles, heavy duty vinyl sheeting, on slip tiles or ceramic or quarry tiles.
Floors should be coved to the wall to eliminate corners where dirt could accumulate and to facilitate cleaning.
Wall surfaces shall be smooth, durable, non-absorbent and easy to clean.
Acceptable finishes include:
Ceramic wall tiles with suitable water proof easily cleanable, flush grouting.
Stainless steel sheeting or panels bedded directly into a sound wall surface.
PVC sheeting-applied directly to surface with suitable adhesive.
Polymers-derivatives of polyester epoxy and acrylic resin finishes.
Wall finishes above work surfaces should be scratch proof an impact resistant to a minimum height of 450mm.
All paints used shall be washable and non-toxic.
Ceilings shall be smooth, durable, non-absorbent and easy to clean.
Doors shall be smooth, durable. non-absorbent and easy to clean and maintain.
The door of the staff toilet and the door of the staff toilet lobby shall be fitted with self-closing devices.
A separate designated cleaning STORE should be provided.
A low-level sluice sink should be provided in a cleaning store which is serviced with hot & cold water.
An adequate supply of potable water shall be available at all times to all food preparation sinks, ice makers and drinking taps.
A designated sink shall be provided in a food business where foodstuffs are washed. It shall be suitable for the intended purpose for the intended purpose, easy to clean and maintain and provided with an adequate supply of potable water.
The following equipment washing facilities should be provided:
A mechanical dishwasher and a single deep sink with drainer or
A double sink with a drainer.
Separate hand wash facilities shall be available in food preparation areas for food handlers. The wash hand basin shall be accessible, not likely to be obstructed and shall be located close to the working area.
External waste storage and handling areas shall be suitably constructed and finished, easy to clean and maintained in a hygienic manner.
Drain openings must not be located in a food room.
All drainage connections must be such as not to give rise to a public health nuisance.
Some local authorities have specific requirements relating to the provision of grease traps. The local authority should be contacted in relation to his issue.
It is always better to ensure compliance from planning stages, any costs involved in changes as the stage progresses will be proportionately higher.
Staff must be adequately trained to commensurate with their activity and food business operator must ensure compliance. Food Safety and HACCP trainings at level 1, level 2 and level 3 can be done online at www.haccptrainingonline.ie . Training in accordance with FSAI (www.fsai.ie) guidelines.