Commercial kitchen Planning and construction regulations cover everything from food handling, preparation, and storage to proper workplace temperatures, and are governed by a number of municipal, state, and federal authorities, including OSHA and the FDA.  

It can be thrilling to construct a commercial kitchen and watch it grow into the heart of your foodservice enterprise. It also necessitates meticulous attention to detail. As with any business, such a project entails not only selecting a design that best meets your vision and goals, but also ensuring compliance with a variety of regulatory agency standards covering a wide range of concerns. When food service is involved, the importance of adherence grows even more.  

Federal Regulatory Agencies  

Credits: Safety+Healthy 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a government organisation tasked with safeguarding the health and safety of American employees. The administration establishes tight guidelines that all firms must follow. Many of these have to do with protecting workers on a daily basis, such as mandating sufficient hygiene, acceptable workplace temperature ranges, and proper accident prevention and handling procedures. OSHA also has a number of requirements for the design and construction process.  

Some of the most crucial factors to consider while designing a kitchen include:

  • The number and location of fire alarms and detectors
  • The number and location of exits
  • Minimum walkway and workplace dimensions 

Credits: Emerbgo

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which establishes laws for how businesses must keep, handle, prepare, and serve food, is another regulatory organisation that has responsibility for the design and construction of commercial kitchens.  

The FDA Food Code is a large document that is revised every four years and can be difficult to understand. While you and your staff should get familiar with all areas of the Code that apply to your business, there are a few chapters and sections, in particular, that should be studied: 

Parts 401 and 402 of Chapter 3

 The temperatures and times at which various foods must be cooked or frozen to efficiently eliminate dangerous pollutants.

Part 501 of Chapter 3

This section explains the requirements for goods held in cold storage, such as the temperatures at which they must be stored, suitable thawing techniques, and more. 

Part 301 of Chapter 4

This section offers instructions for cleaning dishes, utensils, and other objects. With rare exceptions, three-compartment sinks are typically required.

Parts 401 and 402 of Chapter 4 

The placement and installation of food storage and preparation equipment are covered in these sections. These, for example, may not be kept in the same room as rubbish or other waste. 

Part 204 of Chapter 5 

This specifies the number and location of plumbing systems, as well as handwashing stations for your employees.  

State and Local Regulations

State and local governments have their own regulations for commercial kitchens that you should be aware of during the design and construction process, as they may differ from federal requirements. 

Although many state food rules are similar, don’t take this for granted, especially if you’ve previously built commercial kitchens in other states. There will be small changes that, if overlooked, could result in penalties and fines. Whereas both New York and New Jersey require that food be stored at least six inches above the ground, New York needs a lighting intensity of 215 Lux in dry storage rooms, while New Jersey only requires 110 Lux. 

The design and construction stages of a commercial kitchen can be complicated, especially when navigating the world of food service regulations. The commercial kitchen experts at HPG Consulting can help guide you. Contact Us, today.