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Food Facility Sanitary Design Principles

A facility design task force was commissioned by the American Meat Institute to develop a list of top ten principles to follow when designing a food plant. (The committee actually ended up with 11 principles). The Hendon Redmond Group served on the committee that developed these principles. The committee’s mission statement was to "Establish sanitary design principles for the design, construction, and renovation of food processing facilities to reduce food safety hazards."

Listed below are the 11 principles:

  • Distinct Hygienic Zones Established in the Facility

    Maintain strict physical separations that reduce the likelihood of transfer of hazards from one area of the plant, or from one process, to another area of the plant, or process, respectively. Facilitate necessary storage and management of equipment, waste, and temporary clothing to reduce the likelihood of transfer of hazards.

  • Personnel & Material Flows Controlled to Reduce Hazards

    Establish traffic and process flows that control movement of production workers, managers, visitors, QA staff, sanitation and maintenance personnel, products, ingredients, rework, and packaging materials to reduce food safety risks.

  • Water Accumulation Controlled Inside Facility

    Design and construct a building system (floors, walls, ceilings, and, supporting infrastructure) that prevents the development and accumulation of water. Ensure that all water positively drains from the process area and that these areas will dry during the allotted time frames.

  • Room Temperature & Humidity Controlled

    Control room temperature and humidity to facilitate control of microbial growth. Keeping process areas cold and dry will reduce the likelihood of growth of potential food borne pathogens. Ensure that the HVAC/refrigeration systems serving process areas will maintain specified room temperatures and control room air dew point to prevent condensation. Ensure that control systems include a cleanup purge cycle (heated air make-up and exhaust) to manage fog during sanitation and to dry out the room after sanitation.

  • Room Air Flow & Room Air Quality Controlled

    Design, install and maintain HVAC/refrigeration systems serving process areas to ensure air flow will be from more clean to less clean areas, adequately filter air to control contaminants, provide outdoor makeup air to maintain specified airflow, minimize condensation on exposed surfaces, and capture high concentrations of heat, moisture and particulates at their source.

  • Site Elements Facilitate Sanitary Conditions

    Provide site elements such as exterior grounds, lighting, grading, and water management systems to facilitate sanitary conditions for the site. Control access to and from the site.

  • Building Envelope Facilitates Sanitary Conditions

    Design and construct all openings in the building envelope (doors, louvers, fans, and utility penetrations) so that insects and rodents have no harborage around the building perimeter, easy route into the facility, or harborage inside the building. Design and construct envelope components to enable easy cleaning and inspection.

  • Interior Spatial Design Promotes Sanitation

    Provide interior spatial design that enables cleaning, sanitation and maintenance of building components and processing equipment.

  • Building Components & Construction Facilitate Sanitary Conditions

    Design building components to prevent harborage points, ensuring sealed joints and the absence of voids. Facilitate sanitation by using durable materials and isolating utilities with interstitial spaces and stand offs.

  • Utility Systems Designed to Prevent Contamination

    Design and install utility systems to prevent the introduction of food safety hazards by providing surfaces that are cleanable to a microbiological level, using appropriate construction materials, providing access for cleaning, inspection and maintenance, preventing water collection points, and preventing niches and harborage points.

  • Sanitation Integrated into Facility Design

    Provide proper sanitation systems to eliminate the chemical, physical and microbiological hazards existing in a food plant environment.