General Principles of Food Hygiene, Composition and Labelling
3 - Premises

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3.1 Building Exterior

3.1.1 Outside Property and Buildings

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

Assessment Criteria

Grounds, roadways and drainage

  • The surrounding land is maintained to minimize 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 (e.g. the exterior has no unprotected openings; air intakes are appropriately located; 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 that may result in the contamination of food.

Assessment Criteria

Floors, walls, ceilings

  • Floors, walls and ceilings are constructed of materials that are durable, impervious, smooth, cleanable and suitable for the production conditions in the area.
  • 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.

Process flow separation

  • Activities are adequately separated by physical or other effective means where cross-contamination may result.
  • Buildings and facilities are designed to prevent contamination (i.e. there is regulated flow in the process, from the arrival of the raw material at the premises to the finished product).

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 points where food products or packaging materials are visually inspected or where instruments are monitored (e.g. empty container evaluation, product sorting and inspection).
  • The lighting does not alter food colour and is not 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.
  • 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 the event 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 accumulations of heat, 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 production 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 their removal from the establishment. These facilities are designed to prevent contamination.
  • Containers used for waste are clearly identified, leak proof and, where appropriate, covered.
  • Waste is removed and containers are cleaned and sanitized at an appropriate frequency to minimize the potential of contamination.

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

  • Processing areas 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 distributed from a single nozzle, soap dispensers, soap, sanitary hand drying equipment or supplies and a cleanable waste receptacle.
  • Washrooms are provided with a sufficient number of sinks to accommodate the number of employees using the facilities during the same period.
  • Washrooms, lunchrooms and change rooms are maintained in a clean condition.
  • Hand-washing notices are posted in appropriate areas.

3.3.2 Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing Facilities

Facilities for cleaning and sanitizing equipment are adequately designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination.

Assessment Criteria

  • Facilities are constructed of corrosion-resistant materials that are capable of being easily cleaned and are provided with potable water at temperatures appropriate for the cleaning chemicals used.
  • Equipment cleaning and sanitizing facilities are adequately separated from food storage, processing and packaging areas, to prevent contamination.

3.4 Water, Ice and Steam 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 analyzed by the manufacturer or municipality at a frequency adequate to confirm its potability.
  • There are no cross-connections between potable and non-potable water supplies. 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 chemical manufacturer's instructions.
  • The chemical treatment, where used, is monitored and controlled to deliver the desired concentration and to prevent contamination.
  • Recirculated water is treated, monitored and maintained as appropriate to the intended purpose. Recirculated water has a separate distribution system that is clearly identified.
  • Ice that is used as an ingredient or that is in direct contact with food is made from potable water and is protected from contamination. Ice purchased by the manufacturer is treated as an incoming ingredient and is assessed under Section 1.4.1 - Incoming Material Control – Ingredients.

3.4.2 Steam

The potability of steam that is in direct contact with food or food contact surfaces is controlled to prevent product contamination. Steam supply is adequate to meet operational requirements.

Assessment Criteria

  • Boiler treatment chemicals, where used, are appropriate for the intended use and are used in accordance with the chemical manufacturer's instructions.
  • Boiler feedwater is tested regularly and the chemical treatment is controlled to prevent contamination.
  • The steam supply is generated from potable water and is adequate to meet operational requirements.
  • Traps are provided as necessary to ensure adequate condensate removal and elimination of foreign materials.

See Section 7.4.1 - Water, Ice and Steam Quality Records.

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