9. Safe Facilities & Pest Management

Facility Requirements

Walls, floors, and ceilings should be made of materials that are:

  • Smooth and durable for easier cleaning
  • Maintained regularly
  • Cove base molding should be installed between floors and walls

Equipment standards

  • Nonabsorbent
  • Smooth
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable
  • Resistant to damage

Floor-mounted equipment must be either:1

  • Mounted on legs at least 6 inches (15 cm) high
  • Sealed to a masonry base

Tabletop equipment should be either:1

  • Mounted on legs at least 4 inches (10 cm) high
  • Sealed to a masonry base

1The clearances for foodservice equipment are not required if the equipment is portable. (easily moved or has wheels or casters)

Once equipment has been installed:

  • It must be maintained regularly
  • Only qualified people should maintain it
  • Set up a maintenance schedule with your supplier or manufacturer
  • Check equipment regularly to make sure it is working correctly


Dishwashers must be installed:

  • So they are reachable and conveniently located
  • In a way that keeps utensils, equipment, and other food-contact services from becoming contaminated
  • Following manufacturer’s instructions
  • Only use detergents and sanitizers that are approved by your local regulatory authority

Dishwashers must be able to measure:

  • Water temperature
  • Water pressure
  • The concentration of detergents and chemicals

Handwashing stations

Handwashing stations must be conveniently located and are required in:

  • Restrooms or directly next to them
  • Food-prep areas
  • Service areas
  • Dishwashing areas

Handwashing sinks are to be used for handwashing only – absolutely nothing else

Handwashing stations must have:

  • Hot and cold water (Hot water minimum 100˚F (38˚C)
  • Soap
  • A way to dry hands; either a single use paper towel or a warm air dryer
  • Waste receptacle
  • Proper signage

Hand sanitizers, nail brushes, etc. are optional

Acceptable sources of safe water:

  • Approved public water mains
  • Regularly tested and maintained private sources
  • Closed, portable water containers
  • Water transport vehicles

Remember these terms:

Physical link between potable water and dirty water from: drains, sewers, or other wastewater sources.
Reverse flow of contaminants through a cross-conneciton into the drinkable water supply
A vacuum created in the plumbing system that sucks contaminants back into the water supply

Lighting – installing and maintaining

    • Different areas of the facility have different lighting intensity requirements
50 foot-candles
Minimum required in prep areas
10 foot-candles
Required in walk-in coolers, walk-in freezers, dry storage, and dining areas
20 foot-candles
Areas not listed above
  • All lights should have shatter-resistant light bulbs or protective cover
  • Replace burned out bulbs with correct size bulbs

Ventilation Systems

  • Must be cleaned and maintained to prevent grease and condensation from building up on walls and ceilings.
  • If dust starts to accumulate on walls and ceilings, it may be a sign that the ventilation system is not functioning properly.

Garbage and Recyclables

  • Remove from prep areas as quickly as possible and clean the inside of containers frequently
  • Indoor containers must be leak proof, waterproof, pest proof, easy to clean, and covered when not in use
  • Store waste and recyclables separately from food and food-contact surfaces.
  • Storage must not create a nuisance or a public health hazard
  • Outdoor containers (dumpsters) must be placed on a smooth, durable nonabsorbant surface, have tight-fitting lids and have their drain plugs in place at all times.
  • Dumpsters must be placed on a nonabsorbant surface that is slightly sloped so water does not pool under the dumpster.

Emergencies That Affect the Facility

Imminent health hazard:
A significant threat or danger to health or requires immediate correction or closure to prevent injury

Possible Imminent Health Hazards

  • Electrical power outage
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Sewage backup
  • Rodent infestation
  • Water main break
  • No food service facility can operate without a source of potable water

Responding to an imminent health hazard

  • Determine if there is a significant risk to the safety or security of your food.
  • If the risk is significant stop service then notify the local regulatory authority.
  • Decide how to correct the problem
  • Establish time-temperature control
  • Clean and sanitize surfaces
  • Verify water is drinkable
  • Reestablish physical security of the facility

Pest Management

3 rules for pest prevention

  1. Deny pest entry to the operation
  2. Deny pest food, water and shelter
  3. Work with a licensed Pest Control Operator (PCO)

To keep pests from entering with deliveries:

  • Check deliveries before they enter the operation
  • Refuse shipments if pests or signs of pests (egg cases, body parts) are found

Pest prevention

  • Screen windows and vents
  • Seal cracks in floors and walls, and around pipes
  • Install air curtains (also called air doors or fly fans) above or alongside doors

Deny pest shelter

  • Throw out garbage quickly and correctly
  • Keep containers clean and in good condition
  • Keep outdoor containers tightly covered
  • Clean up spills around containers immediately
  • Store recyclables correctly
  • Keep recyclables in clean, pest-proof containers
  • Keep containers as far away from the building as regulations allow
  • Store food and supplies quickly and correctly
  • Keep them away from walls and at least six inches (15 cm) off the floor
  • Rotate products (FIFO) so pests cannot settle and breed
  • Clean the operation thoroughly
  • Clean up food and beverage spills immediately
  • Clean break rooms after use
  • Keep cleaning tools and supplies clean and dry

Contact your PCO immediately if you see these or any other pest-related problems:

  • Feces
  • Nests
  • Damage on products, packaging, and the facility itself