Food Prep and Dish/Utensil washing sink regulations
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Food Prep and Dish/Utensil washing sink regulations
Industry standards regarding dish/utensil washing vary. As a general rule they are required to be double bowl (so that utensils can be rinsed and then sterilised in sperate bowls), able to produce a minimum of 70 degree water and of a size that allows washing of the largest utensil/dish that is being used. Under Australian/NZ regulations your sink is not required to be plumbed, in fact most of the regulations are written to allow flexibility in meeting the requirements stating only that an adequate supply of water is required.
Our sinks have been designed with these requirements in mind and the Smart Sink in particular is popular with shopping centre/outdoor kiosk's, leased buildings/offices, heritage buildings, events/trade shows and as a turn key solution for mobile food vans. The reason the Smart Sink is so popular is because sometimes plumbing just isn't available, is impractical or too expensive. It provides a means to comply with the below regulations and is generally regarded as fit for purpose for the abovementioned contexts.
We've compiled the information above and below in response to customer requests. It is intended as a guide to assist you in the setting up your business, specific reading of the relevant standard and liaising with your local council for any specific requirements is advised.
Before opening your business (if it is a fixed address), or applying for a permit to trade in a new location (if you are mobile/temporary), approval is required from the relevant local government authority (council) in which the business intends to operate. Details such as the business name and address, layout of the premises/operational area and the materials utilised may be required - including the locations of hand basins and sinks.
Your Environmental Health Officer will then either issue you with a permit and/or inspect your establishment/operations to assess compliance with the relevant state and national guidelines and standards. Some Councils have recommendations over and above those which are listed in the state and national guidelines, we always recommend checking your local councils website (you can find yours here) to ascertain the most up to date information for your needs
Under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (publicly available here) there are no prescriptive specifications for sink facilities when it comes to food preparation or dish/utensil washing and sanitising. Rather a general guide is given so that the number and type of sinks needed will depend on the activities undertaken by the business.
As a general rule, most food businesses need a food prep sink to wash fresh fruit and vegetables (if it is required) and a double bowl sink capable of cleaning and sanitisation of the largest utensil/dish/piece of equipment (if you have dishes/utensils to wash). For example if you are a smoothie business in a shopping centre kiosk you will most likely need one sink for the rinsing of food, 2 sinks for dish/utensil washing and a hand wash basin for the sole purpose of washing hands. You will need to estimate your average daily water use to ascertain what an adequate supply of water will be for your operations - larger, custom water holding cabinets can be made on request! And you will also need to run the 10 minute disinfection regime for the Smart Sink once a week (or more frequently as required) in order to maintain a potable water supply.
Listed below are some of the relevant sections of the AUSNZ Food Standards Code:
STANDARD 3.2.3: FOOD PREMISES AND EQUIPMENT
(RE application of the standard and relevant terms)
Adequate supply of water means potable water that is available at a volume, pressure and temperature that is adequate for the purposes for which the water is used.
Potable Water means water that is acceptable for human consumption.
Sanitise means to apply heat or chemicals, heat and chemicals, or other processes, to a surface so that the number of microorganisms on the surface is reduced to a level that –
(a) does not compromise the safety of food with which it may come into contact; and
(b) does not permit the transmission of infectious disease.
Sewage includes the discharge from toilets, urinals, basins, showers, sinks and dishwashers, whether discharged through sewers or other means.
(1) This Standard applies to all food businesses in Australia in accordance with Standard 3.1.1 – Interpretation and Application.
(2) A food business may only use food premises and food transport vehicles that comply with this Standard.
(3) A food business may only use equipment, fixtures and fittings in or on food premises and in or on food transport vehicles that comply with this Standard.
(RE water supply and disposal)
(1) Food premises must have an adequate supply of water if water is to be used at the food premises for any of the activities conducted on the food premises.
(2) Subject to subclause (3), a food business must use potable water for all activities that use water that are conducted on the food premises.
(3) If a food business demonstrates that the use of non-potable water for a purpose will not adversely affect the safety of the food handled by the food business, the food business may use non-potable water for that purpose.
Sewage and Waste Water Disposal:
Food premises must have a sewage and waste water disposal system that -
(a) will effectively dispose of all sewage and waste water; and
(b) is constructed and located so that there is no likelihood of the sewage and waste water polluting the water supply or contaminating food.
(RE fixtures, fittings and equipment)
(1) Fixtures, fittings and equipment must be –
(a) adequate for the production of safe and suitable food; and
(b) fit for their intended use.
(2) Fixtures and fittings must be designed, constructed, located and installed, and equipment must be designed, constructed, located and, if necessary, installed, so that –
(a) there is no likelihood that they will cause food contamination;
(b) they are able to be easily and effectively cleaned;
(c) adjacent floors, walls, ceilings and other surfaces are able to be easily and effectively cleaned; and
(d) to the extent that is practicable, they do not provide harbourage for pests.
(3) The food contact surfaces of fixtures, fittings and equipment must be –
(a) able to be easily and effectively cleaned and, if necessary, sanitised if there is a likelihood that they will cause food contamination;
(b) unable to absorb grease, food particles and water if there is a likelihood that they will cause food contamination; and
(c) made of material that will not contaminate food.
(4) Eating and drinking utensils must be able to be easily and effectively cleaned and sanitised.
Connections for specific fixtures, fittings and equipment:
(1) Fixtures, fittings and equipment that use water for food handling or other activities and are designed to be connected to a water supply must be connected to an adequate supply of water.
(2) Fixtures, fittings and equipment that are designed to be connected to a sewage and waste water disposal system and discharge sewage or waste water must be connected to a sewage and waste water disposal system.
(3) Automatic equipment that uses water to sanitise utensils or other equipment must only operate for the purpose of sanitation when the water is at a temperature that will sanitise the utensils or equipment.
Under state based Cosmetic Services regulations if you are working with utensils that require cleaning then you are generally required to have a separate sink for utensil processing and sterilisation. This sink generally needs to be single or double bowl, and deliver minimum 70 degree hot water.
The Smart Sink is particularly popular with Kiosk's and Leased Buildings/Offices in the cosmetic services industries. For example if you are setting up a threading or waxing kiosk in a shopping centre, you will need either a single or double bowl utensil wash sink depending on your location and context, as well as a dedicated hand washing basin.
General Plumbing Standards are not applicable to our appliances as they are not connected to mains fresh or waste water. If optional mains connections are selected then a licensed plumber is required to connect the unit as per AS/NZS 3500.
Listed below are some of the relevant sections of the various state based regulations pertaining to cosmetic services. Specific reading of the relevant standard is advised:
The Tasmanian Department of Health and Human Services Public Health Guidelines (Acupuncture, Tattooing, Ear and Body Piercing) 1997are publicly available HERE.
They state: "A sink with cold and hot water, additional to the hand basin, must be provided exclusively for washing equipment and instruments and should be located in the cleaning area.”
They specify on page 4: "2.3.2 Equipment sinks (hairdressing). Separate sinks with hot and cold running water supplied through a single outlet (hot water not less than 70°C) should be located in the cleaning area for instrument and equipment washing. "
And also specify on page 5: "Hot water installations should have sufficient capacity for the business being undertaken."
Section 2.3.3 General Plumbing is not applicable to our appliances as they are not connected to mains fresh or waste water. If optional mains connections are selected then a licensed plumber is required to connect the unit as per AS/NZS 3500.
It specifies on page 19: "separate equipment reprocessing sinks and handwashing sinks".
The NT Department of Health Public and Environmental Health Guidelines for Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy and Body Art 2014 is publicly available HERE.
It specifies on page 21: "Cleaning Prior to Sterilisation. Reusable skin penetrating equipment should be cleaned in the following manner:
1) RINSE the equipment in cold water to remove any blood or serum. (Hot water at this stage will cause coagulation and adherence of matter to the instrument and prevent complete sterilisation).
2) WASH the equipment using hot water and soap or detergent. (Using hot water with detergent at this stage will help remove any grease and oils).
3) RINSE the equipment thoroughly in hot water (greater than 70C) and allow to dry.
4) STERILISE the equipment using an autoclave or other approved steriliser in accordance with the times and temperatures indicated in the next section on Autoclave. For the operator's safety when cleaning items, disposable (and durable) gloves and protective clothing should be worn. "
Also specified on page 24: "7.2 Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sterilising Area. All hairdressing, beauty therapy and body art premises should be equipped with a cleaning area located separately from the procedure or treatment area. Equipment and reusable instruments should be moved to the cleaning area immediately after a procedure is completed to be cleaned and disinfected or sterilised. A cleaning sink, deep enough to allow equipment to be scrubbed under water, is required to be located within the cleaning area. Items used to prepare and serve food should not be washed in this sink. If towels and linen are to be washed on site laundry facilities should also be provided within this area. Sufficient bench space to allow for good working practices and to prevent recontamination of clean and/or sterile items should be provided."
Part 4 - Control of Skin Penetration Procedures, Division 2 specifies the following: "a separate sink that has a supply of clean, warm water for cleaning equipment (if equipment used in skin penetration procedures at the premises is cleaned at the premises).”
The QLD department of Health What business needs to know about personal appearance services 2014- Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003is publicly available HERE.
It specifies on page 50: "Manual cleaning requires two sinks or bowls, one with detergent for the actual cleaning and one with water for rinsing items after they have been cleaned. A suitable stiff-bristled brush is suggested for cleaning. Brushing items underwater minimises the risk of creating potentially hazardous aerosols."
The ACT Health Infection Control Guidelines for Office Practices and Other Community Based Services 2006 is publicly available HERE.
They state on page 42: "“A double bowl sink should be provided if critical or semi-critical appliances are to be cleaned on the premises. Where only non-critical appliances are to be cleaned on the premises, a single bowl sink may be installed.
Sink sizes should be as follows: Clean up sink: a minimum of 350mm wide by 200mm deep; Rinsing sink: a minimum of 200mm wide by 150mm deep.
Both sinks should be large enough to allow submersion of the largest appliance to be cleaned. A single bowl sink may be installed at the premises if appliances are to be re-processed at a premises other than where the procedure was performed. In such situations, a single bowl sink should be installed at the premises for the pre cleaning of contaminated appliances. This sink should not to be used for any other purpose.”
Our sinks have been approved for use at various locations in NZ, we recommend getting in touch with your local council to ascertain your specific requirements.
When washing your hands they can become contaminated if the sink itself is used for other purposes, for example food preparation or instrument processing. Therefore there should always be a basin available for the sole purpose of washing hands. Not only because regulations require it, but for practical purposes also - clean hands save lives.
Contaminated/Waste water should be carefully discarded directly into either another sink or toilet. Once the reservoir is drained of waste water, the toilet should be flushed or sinks should be rinsed with gently running water. It is important not to let contaminated water remain pooled in sinks as this can create a biofilm containing microorganisms.