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Food Safety for Industry

Build Out Problems

Effective May 13, 2011 – Before you apply for a permit inspection, read this memo about requirements for permit approval.

The photo shows a food service worker in a commercial kitchen.Arrange a Free DHEC Plan Review for Your Planned or Remodeled Food Establishment

DHEC’s food safety staff can provide a free comprehensive review of your plans and specifications for a new or remodeled food service or food store to help you “build out problems.”

Plan reviews are not required, but they can help save you money and time. We help you make sure your construction plans meet the requirements of South Carolina’s food Regulation 61-25 before you spend money to build or remodel.

When requirements are not met, it delays permitting and the opening of an establishment. And changing out construction items and equipment at the last minute can be costly.

What We Need from You to Begin a Plan Review

Submit the following to your DHEC Environmental Health Services office or directly to the Plan Review Section in Columbia:

  • A copy of your proposed menu. (The type and variety of foods will determine the type and variety of food preparation and service equipment needed.
  • One complete set of plans and specifications. Plans should:
    • Include a scaled drawing or a dimensional sketch to approximate scale (1/4" or larger).
    • Show the location of all food service equipment with each piece of equipment numbered to correspond with the equipment list. (See Figure 1, a model layout with accompanying equipment list)
    • Shop drawings shouldinclude any drawings and specifications of fabricated equipment such as exhaust hood systems, serving lines and salad bars.
  • An equipment list that includes the make and model numbers of all food service equipment.
  • Ventilation details include make and model number of hoods, size and location of all exhaust fans, make-up air units, engineering data and specifications, and rest room exhaust fans.
  • Plumbing details include location of floor drains, floor sinks, water supply and drain lines.
  • Make and model number of the water heater(s).
  • Source of water supply and method of sewage disposal.
  • Make and model number of dishwashing machine
  • Description of finishes for floors, walls and ceilings for each room.
  • Specify whether you will sanitize utensils and equipment in a utensil sink using hot (170°F) water, or if you will use an approved chemical sanitizer.

Please review the following:

Acceptable Materials and Construction Details:

Finish includes all floors, walls and ceilings of each room. Examples of acceptable materials include:

  • Floors: sealed concrete, vinyl tile, ceramic tile, quarry tile, epoxy resin, terrazzo, etc. Square vinyl tile floor covering is not recommended under any type of dishwasher.
  • Walls: sheetrock with washable paint, laminated plastics such as marlite and formica, concrete block with block filler and washable paint, ceramic tile, FRP panels, etc.
  • Ceilings: sheetrock with washable paint, laminated plastics, suspended acoustical tile products, etc.

Plumbing must be installed according to the Standard Plumbing Code. Furnish a grease trap approved by the local health authority (preferably installed on the exterior of the building) if a septic tank sewerage disposal system is used.

Lighting A minimum of 20 foot-candles of light, shall be provided on all working surfaces in food preparation areas, meat cutting rooms, equipment and utensil washing areas, at hand washing lavatories and in toilet rooms. At least 10 foot-candles of light 30 inches above the floor shall be provided in walk-in coolers and freezers, dry storage areas and in all other areas including dining areas during cleaning operations. Light bulbs shall be shielded, coated or otherwise shatterproof in areas where food, utensils and equipment could be affected by falling glass.

Water heater size should reflect storage capacity and recovery rate per hour at a 100°F rise. The dishwasher’s hot water consumption will be based on 70% of the machine’s total gallons per hour final rinse water usage at 20 pounds per square inch (psi).

Dishwasher must have either a built-in prewash section or you must have a manual pre-rinse sink (see Figure 3).

Doors opening to the outside and service windows must be equipped with self-closers or approved air curtains. Rest room doors must also be equipped with self-closers.

Back-siphonage protection must be provided for all applicable equipment, such as disposals, dipperwells, scraping troughs, etc.

Self-regulating heat tape of an approved kind or a recirculating pump and necessary controls must be installed on the booster heater’s 140° F water line if the water heater is located more than 25 pipe feet from the booster heater.

Sanitization of utensils and equipment in utensil sink must have water temperature reach 170°F or you must use an approved chemical sanitizer. Specify method.

Dishwashers utilizing hot water sanitization must be equipped with the following (See Figure 3):

  • Pressure-reducing valve set at 15-25 psi flow pressure on the booster heater’s 140° F water supply line.
  • Pressure-temperature gauge on the 140° F water supply line downstream of the pressure-reducing valve
  • Gauge cock properly installed immediately upstream of the final rinse sprayheads.

Note: “Fill and Dump” dishwashers do not require the pressure-reducing valve or pressure gauge, as final rinse is supplied by the machine pump.

Handwashing lavatories must be equipped to provide water at a temperature of at least 110° F through a combination faucet.

Equipment must be installed using the following methods:

  • Counter-mounted equipment on 4-inch legs, sealed to counter, or portable.
  • Floor-mounted equipment on 6-inch legs, on casters, or sealed to the floor.
  • Equipment not on casters or not portable shall be sealed to adjoining surfaces or spaced to facilitate cleaning.

Shelving must be 6 inches above the floor or enclosed. All wooden shelving must be painted or sealed to render a smooth, washable, and nonabsorbent surface.

Walk-in coolers/freezers must be equipped with the following:

  • Minimum of 10 foot-candles of light in all areas measured 30 inches above the floor.
  • Adequate and approved shelving and racks which allow food to be stored at least 6 inches above the floor.
  • Approved enclosure between the top of the unit and the ceiling if this distance is 24 inches or less.

Three-compartment utensil sink must be equipped with double drainboards for proper handling of dirty utensils and air-drying of clean utensils.

Mop service basin should be provided with hot and cold water (See Figure 2).

Routine washing of raw fruits and raw vegetables will require use of an approved preparation sink.

Gas and Electric Hot Water Recovery Rates

  • Each 1000 BTU input will raise .84 gallons of water 100°F.
  • Each 1000 watts (1kW) will raise 4.1 gallons of water 100°F.

Hot Water Sizing Requirements

Water heaters shall provide a 140°F supply to all fixtures; except lavatories shall be supplied with at least 110°F water.

  • Vegetable Sink - 10 gal/hr
  • 1-compartment Utensil Sink - 30 gal/hr
  • 3-compartment Utensil Sink (paper service only) - 60 gal/hr
  • 3-compartment Utensil Sink (full service) - 90 gal/hr
  • Pre-rinse Sink - 45 gal/hr
  • 3-compartment Bar Sink - 30 gal/hr
  • Lavatory - 5 gal/hr
  • Mop Sink or Can Wash Facility - 20 gal/hr
  • Dishwasher (gals/hr Final Rinse x 70%)