Division of Hotels and Restaurants
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Plan Review Guidelines
These guidelines are provided to assist you in determining the state requirements for sanitation and safety in public food service establishments. It is important to indicate compliance with these requirements on your plans and/or application.
This webpage replaces the brochure, DBPR Form HR 5030-016, Guide to Public Food Service Plan Review. All information on this page is current and was last reviewed by the division on October 23, 2007.
- Automatic Fire Suppression Systems
- Construction Finishes
- Emergency Lights and Exit Signs
- Fire Extinguishers
- Fire Safety
- Mop/Utility Sinks
- Solid Waste
- Water and Wastewater
Access to bathrooms by the public is not permitted through food preparation, food storage or utensil washing areas.
All public food service establishments must have a minimum of one public bathroom with the following exceptions:
- Mobile food dispensing vehicles, theme park food carts, vending machines, and food vendors at temporary events are not required to have bathrooms.
- Establishments located in arcades, malls or flea markets which do not offer seating within the establishment may use centrally located bathroom facilities available to the patrons of the arcade, mall or flea market, provided these bathrooms are within 300 feet of the establishment. Establishments located within theme parks or entertainment complexes may use centrally located bathroom facilities accessible to patrons, provided these bathrooms are reasonably accessible and within 300 feet of the establishment.
- Establishments located within a public lodging establishment may use the public bathrooms within the lodging establishment provided such bathrooms are available during all hours of operation, within 300 feet of the public food service establishment, and located on the same floor.
- Establishments whose occupancy is incidental to another occupancy may utilize public restrooms provided on the same floor. The travel distance may vary where adequate directional signs are provided and the number of fixtures is deemed satisfactory by the applicable plumbing authority
Bathroom fixtures must be in compliance with the local building authority in number and location.
Hot and cold water is required at all lavatories used by employees including public bathrooms if used by employees.
Bathrooms must be vented to remove obnoxious odors. Bathroom doors must be self-closing.
Document the type of construction and finish of floor, wall, and ceiling surfaces (e.g., concrete slab with sheet vinyl floor covering). Floors and walls in high moisture areas like food preparation areas, food storage areas, and bathrooms must be smooth and nonabsorbent, in good repair and easily cleanable, and provided with coved baseboards. These areas may not have carpet. Utility lines and pipes may not obstruct or prevent cleaning of the floors, walls or ceilings. Utility lines are also prohibited on the floor.
- Indicate where equipment, including sinks, will be located on the plans. Indicate how equipment will be installed to facilitate cleaning.
- All refrigeration units must maintain potentially hazardous foods at 41ºF or colder.
- Provide adequate facilities to store dishware, food, paper goods, maintenance and cleaning equipment. Specify location, design, and size of dry storage facilities and refrigeration. Consider the size of the business, frequency of deliveries, types of foods, use of paper goods, etc.
- Store clean equipment, food and paper goods at least six inches above the floor.
- Install equipment that is not easy to move either with enough space around it to allow cleaning or sealed to adjacent surfaces. For example, a floor mixer should be installed with enough space around it for easy cleaning, stoves should be sealed to wall and floor, refrigerators should be on wheels.
- Provide tabletop equipment that is not sealed to the tabletop and is not easily movable with legs at least 4" high to facilitate cleaning under the equipment.
- Provide floor mounted equipment that is not easily movable and not sealed to the floor with legs at least 6" high or seal on raised platforms.
- Equipment must be durable and constructed to facilitate cleaning. For example, neither raw wood nor pegboard is allowed.
- Protect displayed food, such as on salad bars, with sneeze guards or other protective devices.
- Beverage tubing and cold-plate beverage cooling devices may not be installed in contact with stored ice. This section does not apply to cold plates that are constructed integrally with an ice storage bin. Drainage tubes may not pass through drink ice.
- Provide running water dipper wells for bulk ice cream service unless you provide individual scoops, or each item or scoops are washed and sanitized between each use.
- If ice is produced, indicate where the machine is located. You must produce and store ice in enclosed, protected areas with a conveniently located hand sink.
- Laundry facilities on the premises of a food service establishment may be used only for washing and drying items used in the operation of the establishment.
- If a mechanical clothes washer or dryer is provided, it must be located so that the washer and/or dryer is protected from contamination; and where there is no exposed food; clean equipment, utensils, linens; or unwrapped single-service and single-use articles.
The division will review plans for the following fire safety requirements. Failure to meet these items will not prevent the division from approving the plans, but may result in a failed fire safety inspection. Contact the State Fire Marshal or your local fire safety authority to ensure your establishment meets fire safety requirements.
Automatic fire suppression systems are required over cooking equipment when grease-laden vapors and smoke are produced. If an automatic suppression system is required, a portable K Class extinguisher is also required to be located away from the food hazard area, but within 30 feet of the cooking equipment.
Indicate emergency lights and exit signs if occupancy is greater than 50 and the emergency exit door is not readily visible. If over 49 occupants, exit doors must swing outward.
Indicate type, quantity and location of portable fire extinguishers. Every establishment must have a properly tagged portable fire extinguisher with a minimum rating of 2A10BC located so that travel distance to any extinguisher does not exceed 75 feet. Portable extinguishers are often mounted on walls near exits. Contact a fire safety equipment company for specifications, bids and service. Contact the local fire authority for regulations.
A separate sink used only for handwashing must be located in each food preparation, warewashing, and food (ice) dispensing area. These sinks must have hot and cold running water under pressure and be equipped with soap and sanitary hand-drying devices.
Light fixtures must be shielded, coated or covered where food is stored, prepared and displayed or where food is open or exposed. The light intensity shall be:
- 50 foot-candles (540 lux) at surfaces where food employees work with food or where employee safety is a factor (e.g., using utensils or equipment such as knives, slicers, saws, or grinders).
- 20 foot-candles (200 lux) at surfaces:
- Where you provide food for consumer self-service;
- Where you sell or offer for consumption fresh produce or packaged foods;
- Inside equipment; and
- At a distance of 30 inches above the floor in handwashing areas.
- 10 foot-candles (110 lux) at a distance of 30 inches above the floor in walk-in refrigeration units, dry food storage areas, and in other areas and rooms during periods of cleaning.
You are required to have a utility/custodial type sink or a can wash provided with hot and cold water. It must connect to a sanitary sewer. Provide splash protection if this sink is placed in a location where splash can contaminate nearby sanitary surfaces.
- All faucets with hose fittings must have a protective plumbing devices (backflow prevention device).
- Refrigeration condensation and other non-sewage liquids must be drained from the point of discharge to disposal according to the specifications of the local plumbing authority.
- You must not place food contact surfaces under exposed sewer lines.
Outside walking and driving surfaces must minimize dust and be graded to prevent pooling of water. Exterior doors must be self-closing unless designated by the local fire authority as an emergency exit only.
Indicate how you will wash and sanitize kitchenware (e.g., hot final rinse or chemical sanitizer). You may use a three-compartment sink to wash, rinse and sanitize equipment and utensils. If you install a commercial dishmachine, indicate the type. A warewashing machine installed after January 1, 1998 that uses a chemical for sanitizing must be equipped with a device that indicates audibly or visually when more chemical sanitizer and detergent needs to be added.
You must provide a three-compartment sink with drain boards on both ends or equivalent shelving. You may use vented shelving in place of one or both drain boards. You must provide backsplashes to protect the wall surface and facilitate cleaning. In addition, provide adequate storage space to air dry kitchenware. Indicate adequate facilities to store clean and soiled dishware, utensils and equipment. You may use the sinks for food preparation if you sanitize them before and after use.
Indicate on the plans how you will store garbage and trash. You must place dumpsters and grease containers on nonabsorbent surfaces such as concrete or machine-laid asphalt. You must store new compactors on a graded concrete pad that drains into a sanitary sewer.
Any rooms, outside enclosures, areas and containers used must be thoroughly cleaned and kept clean after emptying or removal of garbage and rubbish. Clarify the type of service contract the business will have with the company providing the dumpster relative to who will clean the dumpster and where. wastewater from such cleaning operations must be disposed of as sewage into a proper sewage disposal system.
You must keep the facility free of excessive heat, steam, condensation, vapors, obnoxious odors, smoke and fumes, especially in:
- Food storage areas,
- Food preparation areas,
- Food service areas,
- Utensil washing areas,
- Locker rooms, and
- Garbage storage areas.
Design and install intake and exhaust air ducts to prevent the entrance of dust, dirt, and other contaminating materials.
Specify the systems that serve the establishment and which agency must approve such use. For example, if you are on city water and sewer, a recent utility bill showing water and sewer charge and address of facility is sufficient.
Alternately, you may have your local authority sign the Onsite Sewage (Septic) and Water Supply Evaluation form or state on letterhead that hookup to city water and sewer is approved.
Septic tank approvals must include whether grease interceptors are required and, if so, where they are to be located as well as any other restrictions placed on the system. Provide septic tank permit numbers when possible.
BEGIN EFFORTS TO OBTAIN APPROVAL AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE
Some requests to connect to a sewage system may be denied due to excessive demand already on an existing system. Initiate the request for approval as early as possible as the application process may involve a lengthy review period. Plans for facilities on a well or septic tank cannot be approved until receipt of written approval from the Department of Health or the Department of Environmental Protection. Written municipal water & wastewater approvals are also required prior to the approval of plans.