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Kitchen fit outs for home food premises

Home food businesses need to ensure their premises comply with the National Food Safety Standards.

The design and construction of food premises must:

  • be appropriate for the activities for which the premises are used
  • provide adequate space for the activities to be conducted on the food premises
  • permit the premises to be effectively cleaned and, if necessary sanitised
  • exclude dirt, dust, fumes, smoke and other contaminants (to the extent that is practical)
  • not permit the entry of pests (to the extent that is practical)
  • not provide refuge to pests (to the extent that is practical)

When considering the suitability of your home as a food premises you must ensure these general standards can be met and maintained.

If you intend to use a domestic kitchen, then you must demonstrate that there will be adequate separation and space for ingredients, equipment and final products related to the food business. There must be no chance of cross contamination of foods from the domestic kitchen.

Floors

Floors must be designed and constructed in a way that is appropriate for the activities conducted on the food premises.

Floor surfaces must be able to be effectively cleaned. Suitable surfaces include glazed tiles, vinyl and epoxy resin finishes.

Floors must be:

  • unable to absorb grease, food particles or water
  • laid so that there is no ponding of water
  • smooth without cracks and crevices that could provide refuge of insects/pests

Walls and ceiling

Walls and ceilings must be designed and constructed in a way that is appropriate for the activities conducted on the food premises.

Walls and ceilings must be:

  • sealed to prevent the entry of dirt, dust and pests
  • unable to absorb grease, food particles or water
  • able to be easily and effectively cleaned
  • unable to provide refuge for pests
  • free of cracks and crevices

Walls behind cooking equipment should be finished with a smooth impervious material.

Ventilation

Food premises must have sufficient natural or mechanical ventilation to remove fumes, smoke, steam and vapours for the premises.

Ventilation is required to minimise the likelihood of airborne contamination of food.

Natural ventilation is only suitable in premises where there is little or no cooking that generates steam or greasy air.

Mechanical ventilation is required over cooking equipment that creates steam or grease. The level and type of cooking would determine the need for commercial ventilation systems rather than using a domestic range hood.

Lighting

Food premises must have a lighting system that provides sufficient natural or artificial light for the activities conducted on the premises.

Lighting must be sufficient to:

  • enable food handlers to readily see whether areas are clean
  • detect signs of pests
  • see the food and equipment they are handling

Water Supply and Sewage and Waste Water disposal

Food premises must have an adequate supply of potable water for:

  • washing food ingredients
  • cooking
  • adding to food
  • cleaning
  • sanitising
  • personal hygiene

Adequate means water is available at a sufficient volume, pressure and temperature for all activities of the food business.

Potable water means it is safe to consume, additional precautions will be required for home kitchens using tank water.

Food premises must have a sewage and waste water disposal system that:

  • will effectively dispose of all sewage and wastewater
  • is constructed and located so that there is no likelihood of the sewage and wastewater polluting the water supply or contaminating food

Depending on the nature of the food business and the level of wastewater produced, there may be additional requirements such as the installation of a grease interceptor or alterations to existing septic tank wastewater systems.

Food premises that produce greasy wastewater will be required to contact Yarra Valley Water and may be required to enter into a trade waste agreement.

Fixtures, Fittings and Equipment

Fixtures, fittings and equipment must be adequate for the production of safe and suitable food and fit for their intended use.

Home food premises must be adequately equipped to receive, store, process, package and sell safe and suitable food.

Fixtures, fittings and equipment must be designed, constructed, located and installed so that:

  • they do not cause food contamination
  • they can be cleaned easily and effectively
  • adjacent floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces can be cleaned easily and effectively
  • they do not provide refuge for pests

Fixtures are things securely fixed in position, a permanently attached part or appendage (for example, sinks)

Fittings are anything provided as parts, equipment or accessories (for example, pipes)

Equipment means any machine, instrument, apparatus, utensil or appliance used or intended to be used in or in connection with food handling and includes equipment used to clean food premises or equipment.

Food Contact Surfaces

Food contact surfaces of fixtures, fittings and equipment must be:

  • able to be easily and effectively cleaned and if necessary sanitised if there is a likelihood that they will cause food contamination
  • unable to absorb grease, food particles and water if there is a likelihood that they will cause food contamination
  • made of material that will not contaminate food

Food contact surfaces should be smooth, free from cracks, chips or crevices. This includes preparation benches, tables, storage shelves, trays and cooking equipment. Suitable surfaces include stainless steel, laminate or glass.

Storage

An adequate storage area should be provided for the storage of bulk materials, for example dry ingredients separate to the home pantry.

Dry ingredients (such as flour and rice) should be kept in impervious airtight containers with tight fitting lids.

Refrigeration

If the food you prepare or its ingredients require temperature control then a separate refrigerator will be required to the home refrigerator.

Hand Washing Facilities

Hand washing facilities must be easily accessed by food handlers:

  • within areas where food handlers work
  • immediately adjacent to toilets or cubicles

Hand washing facilities must be:

  • permanent fixtures
  • connected to a supply of warm running potable water
  • of a size that allows easy and effective hand washing
  • clearly designated for the sole purpose of washing hands, arms, and face

Hand washing facilities should be used for the sole purpose of hand washing during food preparation and not obstructed by other equipment.

Hot and cold water is to be supplied through a common outlet to ensure warm running water is available for hand washing.

Liquid soap and paper towels are to be supplied at the basin.

Sinks

Sinks need to be of a sufficient size to enable the cleaning of all appliances and utensils used in connection with the manufacture, preparation or packing of the food.

Sinks should be provided with a continuous supply of hot and cold water and be provided with adjacent loading and draining/drying space.

Minimum requirement of sinks is to provide 2 bowls or one bowl and a dishwasher.

Garbage and Recyclable Matter

Your waste facilities must:

  • adequately contain the volume and type of garbage and recyclable matter on the food premises
  • enclose the garbage or recyclable matter, if this is necessary to keep pests and animals away from it
  • be designed and constructed so that they may be easily and effectively cleaned

All garbage and recyclables should be contained in appropriate bins. If your normal household bins are not sufficient then additional bins and collections will need to be arranged.

The area where the containers and waste are stored should also be able to be cleaned easily and effectively.

Storage Facilities

Food premises must have adequate storage facilities for the storage of items that are likely to be the source of contamination of food, including chemicals, clothing and personal belongings.

Storage facilities must be located where there is no likelihood of stored items contaminating food or food contact surfaces.

Chemicals and cleaning equipment should be stored in secure and separate area.

Pest Control

The design and construction of food premises must, to the extent that is practicable, not permit the entry of pests and not provide refuge for pests.

Pest proofing measures include:

  • fly screens or self-closers on doors
  • fly screens on windows and any other openings to the outer air
  • sealing all openings where pipes pass through walls