The ceiling, walls, floor and all work surfaces of any food preparation area must be in a good state of repair and made so that they can be effectively cleaned.
Decorative finishes in a kitchen
Having things like plants, pictures or decorations in a kitchen is not advisable as they are not easily cleanable.
Electric mains sockets
A sufficient number of electrical socket outlets are needed to avoid the use of long cable runs and extension leads. All electrical switches and fittings must not be exposed to water, or positioned close to a wet area, unless they are of the waterproof type. As an extra safety measure, emergency cut off controls must be available within the kitchen, for electrical equipment.
- Overload circuits by using multiple plugs or extension cords.
- Use electric appliances near the sink or other water.
The extractor hood filters and ducting on any fans must be free from grease deposits, otherwise they could block the flow of air.
Do not position these next to sources of heat such as a radiator or direct sunlight.
Floors should be made of material that is durable, easy to clean and slip resistant.
Hand wash basins
Hand wash basins should be in a place where they can be conveniently used by anyone entering the kitchen. They should have an adequate supplies of hot and cold water, and be at strategic locations i.e. close to toilets and the entrance to the kitchen.
Sufficient lighting that is glare free should be provided in food rooms, this will help to facilitate cleaning, avoid eye strain and make accidents less likely. Any glass lights in a area where food is handled should be protected with shatterproof covers.
Where regular vegetable preparation is carried out, an additional sink might be required to separate this from cleaning activities. It’s worth noting that a kitchen sink typically contains 100,000 times more germs than a bathroom or lavatory.
Space in a kitchen
There should always be enough space to allow high-risk food to be prepared on separate work surfaces. There must be enough room for different activities, such as storage, preparation, cooking, service or display of food, as well as a space for staff changing.
Toilets should not open or directly lead into the kitchen, they must also be accessible without the need to pass through any food rooms. The toilet cubicles must be properly ventilated, and have suitable hand washing facilities. On top of this it is advisable to have toilets for food handlers that are separate form those for customers and other staff.
- Food handlers should not have to change in an area containing a toilet.
- A sign advising staff to wash their hands should be displayed in the toilet.
- Toilets must be ventilated directly to the external air to prevent odours from entering the food preparation areas.
There must be adequate ventilation in a kitchen, it helps to reduce air temperature and relative humidity. This can be achieved by having easily opened windows (fitted with a fly screen if needed) or extractor fans. The amount of ventilation required can be determined by the amount and type of food that is to be cooked.
Air should not be drawn into clean areas from dirty areas. This means windows and ventilators should be positioned to prevent any air from refuse storage areas, pot wash areas and toilets to food rooms.
Some places in a kitchen should have mechanical ventilation, this can be used in those areas where moisture and cooking fumes are generated, for instance cooking areas, wash up areas, bakery ovens, fryers and hotplates.
Windows and other openings should be constructed in place that does not make them susceptible to accumulating dirt or grime.
Work surfaces need to be suitably hard wearing and preferably constructed of stainless steel or high quality laminate. Heavily used work surfaces should be constructed of a material that is resistant to the formation of mould and has a finish that is not prone to flaking or the shedding of debris. They should be non-reactive to food ingredients, and be smooth, impervious, non-toxic, non-tainting, easily cleaned and durable. Continuous work surfaces are better than those that have joints between them. The use of wooden worktops should be avoided.
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