Good Importing Practices for Food
3.0 Premises

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NOTE: Section 3.0, Premises -; Section 5.1.2, Communicable Diseases/Injuries inclusive

These sections apply both to premises owned and operated by the importer, and to other premises which are utilized by the importer (e.g., rented refrigerated warehouses).

3.1 Building Exterior

3.1.1 Outside Property and Building

Buildings and surrounding areas are designed, constructed and maintained in a manner to prevent conditions which may result in the contamination of food.

Assessment Criteria

Grounds, Roadways and Drainage

  • The surrounding land is maintained to control sources of contamination such as debris and pest harbourage areas.
  • The building is not located in close proximity to any environmental contaminants.
  • Roadways are properly graded, compacted, dust proofed and drained.
  • The surrounding property is adequately drained.

Exterior Building Structure

  • The building exterior is designed, constructed and maintained to prevent entry of contaminants and pests. For example, the exterior has no unprotected openings; air intakes are appropriately located, and the roof, walls and foundation are maintained to prevent leakage.

3.2 Building Interior

3.2.1 Design, Construction and Maintenance

Building interiors and structures are designed, constructed and maintained to prevent conditions which may result in the contamination of food.

Assessment Criteria

Floors, Walls and Ceilings

  • Floors, walls and ceilings are constructed of material that is durable, impervious, smooth, cleanable, and suitable for handling and storing foods in a manner which will not result in the contamination of the environment or food.
  • Where appropriate, wall, floor and ceiling joints are sealed and angles are coved to prevent contamination and facilitate cleaning.
  • Floors, walls and ceilings are composed of materials that will not result in the contamination of the environment or food.
  • Floors are sufficiently sloped to permit liquids to drain to trapped outlets.
  • Ceilings, overhead structures, stairs and elevators are designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination.

Windows and Doors

  • Windows are sealed or equipped with close-fitting screens.
  • Where there is a likelihood of breakage of glass windows that could result in the contamination of food, the windows are constructed of alternative materials or are adequately protected.
  • Doors have smooth, non-absorbent surfaces and are close fitting and self-closing where appropriate.

Area Separation

  • Activities, food and non-food products are adequately separated by physical or other effective means, where cross contamination may result.

3.2.2 Lighting

Lighting is adequate for the activity being conducted. Where appropriate, light bulbs and fixtures are protected to prevent contamination of food.

Assessment Criteria

  • Lighting is appropriate such that the intended production or inspection activity can be effectively conducted. Note that inspection areas are defined as any point where the food product or container is visually inspected or instruments are monitored, including product sorting areas. The lighting should not be less than the following:
    • 540 lux (50 foot candles) in inspection areas;
    • 220 lux (20 foot candles) in work areas;
    • 110 lux (10 foot candles) in other areas.
  • Lighting does not alter the perception of food colour for purposes of grading.
  • Light bulbs and fixtures located in areas where there is exposed food are of a safety type or are protected to prevent contamination of food in case of breakage.

3.2.3 Ventilation

Adequate ventilation is provided to prevent excessive heat, steam, condensation and dust, and to remove contaminated air.

Assessment Criteria

  • Ventilation provides sufficient air exchange to prevent unacceptable accumulation of steam, condensation or dust.
  • Ventilation openings are equipped with close-fitting screens or filters as appropriate to prevent the intake of contaminated air. Filters are cleaned or replaced as necessary.

3.2.4 Waste Disposal

Sewage, effluent and waste storage and disposal systems are designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination.

Assessment Criteria

  • Drainage and sewage systems are equipped with appropriate traps and vents.
  • Establishments are designed and constructed so that there is no cross-connection between the sewage system and any other waste effluent system in the establishment.
  • Effluent or sewage lines do not pass directly over or through packaging areas unless they are controlled to prevent contamination.
  • Adequate facilities and equipment are provided and maintained for the storage of waste and inedible material prior to its removal from the establishment. These facilities are designed to prevent contamination.
  • Containers used for waste are clearly identified, leak proof and covered where appropriate.
  • Waste is removed and containers are cleaned and sanitized at an appropriate frequency to minimize contamination potentials.

3.3 Sanitary Facilities

3.3.1 Employee Facilities

Employee facilities are designed, constructed and maintained to permit effective employee hygiene and to prevent contamination.

Assessment Criteria

  • Premises are provided with an adequate number of conveniently located hand washing stations with trapped waste pipes to drains.
  • Washrooms have hot and cold potable running water, soap dispensers, soap, sanitary hand drying equipment or supplies and a cleanable waste receptacle.
  • Washrooms, lunch rooms and change rooms are maintained in a clean condition.
  • Hand washing notices are posted in appropriate areas.

3.4 Water / Ice Quality

3.4.1 Water and Ice

The potability of hot and cold water is controlled to prevent contamination.

Assessment Criteria

  • Potable water meets the requirements of Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Water is analysed by the importer or municipality at a frequency adequate to confirm its potability.
  • There are no cross-connections between potable and non-potable water supplies or all hoses, taps and other similar sources of possible contamination are designed to prevent back-flow or back siphonage.
  • Where it is necessary to store water, storage facilities are adequately designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination (e.g., covered).
  • Water treatment chemicals, where used, are appropriate for the intended use and are used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
  • The chemical treatment is monitored and controlled to deliver the desired concentration and to prevent contamination.
  • Ice used as an ingredient or in direct contact with food is made from potable water and is protected from contamination. Ice purchased by the importer is treated as an incoming ingredient and is assessed under Section 1.2.1, Incoming Food Product Control.
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