Food premises structure

Floors, walls and surfaces in contact with food

All surfaces must be in a sound condition and must be easy to clean and, where necessary, disinfect. They need to be smooth, hard wearing, washable and in a good state of repair. Ceilings need to be designed and constructed to prevent the build up of dirt, condensation, mould and the shedding of particles.

  • Suggested floor coverings include flooring tiles, (quarry ceramic or vinyl), vinyl safety flooring, Terrazzo, cast-in-situ resin flooring. It's advisable that the flooring is covered to aid cleaning.
  • Suggested wall surfaces include washable painted plaster, Epoxy resin and similar coatings, ceramic tiles, stainless steel sheeting, PVC, GRP and other proprietary sheeting.
  • Suggested food contact surfaces include stainless steel, ceramic, food grade plastics.
  • Suggested ceiling surfaces include smooth washable painted plaster, direct fixed ceiling systems, suspended ceilings.

Windows and other openings

  • All openings must be constructed to prevent the accumulation of dirt
  • Windows which can be opened to the outside environment must, where necessary, be fitted with insect-proof screens which can be easily removed for cleaning
  • Where open windows would result in the contamination of foodstuffs windows must remain closed
  • Doors must be easy to clean and where necessary disinfect. A variety of smooth impervious surfaces are available. A cleanable paint or sealed finish would comply. Unsealed wood does not comply.


Equipment that comes into contact with food

Equipment must be kept in good repair and be made in a way that allows it to be cleaned thoroughly and where necessary to be disinfected.

Facilities for washing equipment

These need to be provided for the cleaning and disinfecting of work tools and equipment. Suitable equipment will include sinks with a supply of hot and cold or appropriately mixed running water with detergents and disinfectants for manual equipment cleaning, sterilising sinks, dishwashers.

Drying of equipment

This must not cause re-contamination. It is advisable that space is provided to allow equipment/utensils to air dry.


Facilities for washing food

Separate sinks must be provided for food preparation and equipment washing. The sinks must be provided with a supply of hot and cold running water which is of drinking quality. In smaller operations one sink may be used for both equipment and food washing, provided that both activities can be done effectively and without prejudice to food safety.

Wash hand basins

An adequate number of wash hand basins must be provided depending on the size and layout of your business. Wash hand basins must be located close to toilet facilities and at strategic places in the premises so that food handlers have access to them. Wash hand basins must only be used for washing hands. Materials for cleaning hands and for hygienic drying need to be provided. It is recommended that liquid soap is provided and drying facilities include either disposable paper towels, roller paper cabinet towels, warm air dryers, washable fabric towels.

Sanitary accommodation for food handlers

An adequate number of flush lavatories must be available and connected to an effective drainage system. Lavatories must not lead directly into rooms in which food is handled. Two doors should provide an intervening ventilated space between the WC and food room. Food should not be stored in this space.



Suitable and sufficient natural of mechanical ventilation needs to be provided to ensure that heat and/or humidity do not build up to levels that could compromise the safety of the food. As a target, ambient temperatures should be below 25°C. Natural ventilation in rooms where food is cooked will only be suitable in small premises where there is a low heat input into the rom. Mechanically drawing air into food preparation rooms must not be drawn from dirty areas such as waste storage areas of rooms used for dirty processes such as pot wash. All parts of the ventilation system must be accessible for cleaning.


Adequate lighting needs to be provided, to enable safe food handling, effective cleaning and the monitoring of cleaning standards. Recommended illumination levels range from 150 lux in storerooms to 500 lux in food preparation areas. Glass lights should be fitted with shatterproof diffusers in areas where open food is handled.


In the kitchen no foodstuffs should be swilled down the sink they should be scraped into the bin. This includes fats, oils or greases you use to cook with. Never swill fat, oil or grease into the sink and subsequently the sewer as the fat will solidify on hitting the cold sewer walls and eventually block the sewer. Commercial kitchens should install grease traps to catch any grease and fat which may otherwise enter the drainage system. These, once installed, must be regularly emptied and maintained.

For further advice please contact Severn Trent Water Ltd.

Last Updated on Tuesday, February 21, 2023