50. Hot & Cold Water Available; Adequate Pressure
A sufficient supply of hot water is critical for employee hand washing, washing of equipment and utensils, and general cleaning needed in all food establishments. Water heating systems are required to meet the peak demands of the establishment. Both hot and cold water are to be provided at sinks. Hot water must be greater than 100°F at handwashing, must be greater than 110°F at warewashing sinks and greater than 120°F at dish machines.
51. Plumbing Installed; Proper Backflow Devices
It is critical that all plumbing fixtures, including water and sewer lines in food establishments, be maintained in proper working order. Poorly maintained plumbing systems may result in potential health hazards such as cross connections, the back-up of sewage or leakage. These conditions may directly result in the contamination of food, equipment, utensils or paper goods. Poorly maintained plumbing can also adversely affect the ability of food handlers to adequately wash their hands, cause improper warewashing operations and increase the potential for cross contamination of food, equipment and utensils.
Plumbing connections between drinking water systems and non-drinking water systems are called cross connections. Cross connections can occur in many different ways in a food establishment. The simplest may be a hose attached to a faucet that is dropped into a container or sink filled with contaminated water. In this example the hose causes a direct connection between the building’s drinking water system and the contaminated or non-drinking water in the container or sink. To prevent the “backflow” of contaminated water back into the building’s water system caused by siphonage, a backflow protection device must be installed on the faucet where the hose is attached. Backflow devices must be of proper design and adequately installed to assure proper operation and maintenance. Backflow devices must be installed on all faucets or hose bibs where a hose can be attached, on soap and other chemical dispensing systems that are plumbed to the building’s water systems, on water lines to dish machines, and in soft drink carbonator systems.
52. Sewage & Waste Water Properly Disposed
Adequate sewage and waste water disposal is a basic requirement for all food operations. Waste water contains high levels of disease-causing microorganisms. Proper disposal of human waste greatly reduces the risk of fecal contamination. This provision is intended to ensure that waste will not contaminate ground surfaces or water supplies, pollute surface waters or allow rodents or insects to serve as vectors of disease. Food establishments must dispose of all waste water into a sanitary sewer. Both public and onsite wastewater treatment (septic) sewage systems must be maintained to prevent the backup of sewage into the establishment or on to the ground outside.
To prevent the possibility of sewage contacting food or backing up into fixtures such as food preparation sinks, warewashing sinks, ice bins, refrigerators or dish machines, the drainage systems from these fixtures must drain through an “air break” before entering the sewer. This physical gap in the drain line does not allow waste water to back up into fixtures if a sewage backup should occur.
53. Toilet Facilities: Properly Constructed, Supplied & Cleaned
Adequate, sanitary toilet facilities are necessary for the proper disposal of human waste and for preventing the spread of disease by flies and other insects. Toilet rooms and toilet facilities must be of sanitary design and maintained clean and in good repair to motivate employees to maintain a high degree of personal hygiene by utilizing good sanitary practices and in turn prevent food contamination. Doors to toilet rooms must be kept closed to help prevent the possible spread of disease-causing microorganisms by the movement of flies or by other means between toilet facilities and food preparation areas. To help prevent bare hand contact with fecal waste, dispensed toilet tissue must be supplied at toilets. Additionally, a waste receptacle must be provided to dispose of any refuse.
54. Garbage & Refuse Properly Disposed; Facilities Maintained
Trash or waste containers should be available wherever trash and garbage are generated within the food establishment. Waste containers must be provided at handwashing sinks, in restrooms and within kitchen areas. Trash cans and other waste containers must be constructed to be easily cleanable. The proper storage and disposal of garbage and refuse is necessary to minimize pest and odor problems. Improperly handled garbage and refuse creates nuisance conditions, makes housekeeping difficult and can result in the contamination of food, equipment and utensils. Recycling materials, garbage and refuse must be removed from within the food establishment daily.
Recycling and waste materials located outdoors are to be stored in clean, covered, leak proof trash receptacles that prevent the scattering of these materials. Recycling and waste materials should be handled and stored in a manner not to attract, harbor or act as a breeding place for flies, rodents and other pests. Recyclable materials, garbage and refuse must be removed from the premises at least once a week.
55. Physical Facilities Installed, Maintained & Clean
The premises in and around a food establishment must be maintained in an orderly fashion to prevent attracting and harboring rodents and insects. Premises must be free of litter and the accumulation of unnecessary articles, including old and unused equipment. Some items that are not necessary for the daily operation of the establishment but are still needed, may be stored on premise but in an orderly fashion to prevent contamination and to permit cleaning of storage areas. Brooms, mops, vacuum cleaners, and other maintenance equipment can contribute to the contamination of food and food contact surfaces. These items must also be stored in a manner that prevents contamination and does not lead to harborage and breeding of rodents and insects.
Effective pest management to control insects, rodents and other pests, includes preventing entry of pests into the establishment by providing tight fitting doors and thresholds, keeping outside doors and windows closed, and sealing off any cracks or openings in foundations or around utility penetrations.
Floors, floor coverings, walls, wall coverings and ceilings must be designed, constructed and installed so they are smooth and easily cleanable.
56. Adequate Ventilation & Lighting; Designated Areas Used
Adequate ventilation is very important in maintaining a high level of sanitation within a food establishment. A poorly ventilated kitchen is generally very hot and can contribute to refrigeration not being capable of holding foods less than 41°F. Insect and rodent infestations may occur if doors and windows are left open in an attempt to cool the establishment. Worker hygiene may be affected by sweat dripping into food or onto food contact surfaces, or by contaminating hands when wiping the face. Soiling of walls, ceilings and equipment surfaces with smoke, grease and moisture may also result. Insufficient make-up air supplied into the building can result in high carbon monoxide levels due to back draft of gas appliances such as water heaters and ranges. The regulations require exhaust hoods to be installed above all grease cooking equipment and equipment that gives off large amounts of heat and steam. Outside air must be mechanically supplied back into the building at a volume equal to or greater than what is being exhausted out of the building.
Light levels are specified so that sufficient light is available to enable workers to work safely, read labels, identify toxic materials, recognize the condition of food, utensils and other supplies, and to evaluate cleaning. Sufficient light makes the need for cleaning apparent by making any accumulation of food spills and other soil conspicuous. Lights that are shielded, coated or shatter resistant, help prevent breakage and potential contamination of food, clean equipment, utensils and single service items from fragments of glass should a bulb break.