A commercial kitchen is an establishment or part of an establishment where food is prepared and processed for a large number of people. Commercial or industrial kitchens are considered to be those that are used as restaurant kitchens, hotel kitchens, bakeries or pastry shops, and in general, by abusiness specializing in the preparation of foodration of food, such as catering kitchens.
This type of installation, as it is the place where the processing and handling of food takes place, must meet optimum hygienic and sanitary conditions to minimize risks to the health of consumers.
According to health regulations, all facilities considered professional or industrial kitchens must implement a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System. This is a prevention mechanism aimed at guaranteeing food safety and hygiene, where the work processes will be analysed from the origin of the food products until they reach the consumer, taking the necessary measures to minimise any type of food risk.
Below I will detail 12 essential hygiene requirements that must be met by any facility dedicated to the commercial kitchen. The aim of these requirements is none other than to facilitate the development of the activities to be carried out in these kitchens, as well as to avoid possible risks that could alter the quality and suitability of the food. These guidelines can be key elements in safeguarding the health of those people who will subsequently consume the meals prepared in them.
Among the main points to be considered are the conditions of the work space, the material of the floors, the characteristics of the walls and ceilings, the lighting, the ventilation, as well as all the equipment and tools necessary for the development of the activity to be carried out.
What requirements must a commercial kitchen meet?
1 • The floors must be waterproof, non-slip and must not have any cracks. It is important that they are easy to clean and disinfect. In addition, they should have a slight slope (2%) towards suitable drains.
2 • The surface of the walls must be smooth, waterproof, light-coloured and easy to clean.
3 • All angles between walls, ceilings and floors should be rounded.
4 • Ceilings must not accumulate dirt or steam condensation.They must be smooth and waterproof.
5 • All windows and their openings shall have insect screens, which shall be easily removable.
6 • Natural or artificial lighting must not alter the characteristics of the food and must be protected.
7 • Natural or forced ventilation must be sufficient, and the direction of the air must be from the clean to the dirty area. They should be constructed in such a way that filters are accessible.
8 • Hand washing facilities should be provided with hot and cold water, which should not be operated by hand (foot switch), and with liquid soap, nail brush and disposable paper.
9 • There should be separate handling areas for raw and processed products, if this is not possible because of the size of the premises, these should be carried out at different times and with prior cleaning and disinfection of the area.
10 • Establish a Food Allergen Management and Control Plan, to do this, the personnel employed must be trained and a series of measures must be implemented to prevent cross-contamination and possible poisoning. The best way to comply with the regulations is to take the Food Allergen Course.
11 • The waste bins should be non-hand operated, hermetically sealed and have a sufficient number of single-use bags.
12 • Small establishments that only have a grill or small kitchen should make it as independent as possible from other areas.