Food Safety Practices Guidance for Sprout Manufacturers
Chapter 3: Premises

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3.1 Building Exterior

3.1.1 Outside Property and Buildings

Buildings and surrounding areas are designed, constructed and maintained in a manner which prevents conditions that may result in the contamination of food.

Anticipated Outcomes

Grounds, Roadways and Drainage

  • The surrounding land is maintained to control sources of contamination such as debris and pest harbourage areas.
  • The building is not located in close proximity to any environmental contaminants.
  • Roadways are properly graded, compacted, dust-proofed and drained.
  • The surrounding property is adequately drained.

Exterior Building Structure

The building exterior is designed, constructed and maintained to prevent entry of contaminants and pests. For example, the exterior has no unprotected openings; air intakes are appropriately located; and the roof, walls and foundation are maintained to prevent leakage.

3.2 Building Interior

3.2.1 Design, Construction and Maintenance

Building interiors and structures are designed, constructed and maintained so as to prevent conditions that may result in the contamination of food.

Anticipated Outcomes

Floors, Walls and Ceilings

  • Floors, walls and ceilings are constructed of materials that are durable, impervious, smooth, cleanable, and suitable for the production conditions in the area (i.e. materials will not result in the contamination of the environment or food).
  • Where appropriate, wall, floor and ceiling joints are sealed and angles are coved to prevent contamination and facilitate cleaning.
  • Floors, walls and ceilings are composed of materials that will not result in the contamination of the environment or food.
  • Floors are sufficiently sloped to permit liquids to drain to trapped outlets.
  • Ceilings, overhead structures, stairs and elevators are designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination.

Windows and Doors

  • Windows are sealed or equipped with close-fitting screens.
  • Where there is a likelihood of breakage of glass windows that could result in the contamination of food, the windows are constructed of alternative materials or are adequately protected.
  • Doors have smooth, non-absorbent surfaces and are close-fitting and self-closing where appropriate.

Process Flow Separation

Building interiors and structures permit good hygienic practices, including protection against cross-contamination between and during operations. For example:

  • Storage, antimicrobial treatment of seeds, germination and packaging areas are physically separated from each other to prevent cross-contamination between incompatible operations;
  • The internal design and layout are designed to facilitate good hygienic practices during production, including protection against cross-contamination between operations and during cleaning and sanitation of utensils and equipment. There is regulated flow in the process, from the arrival of the raw material at the premises to the finished product;
  • Where mobile equipment (such as hand trucks or forklifts) moves between incompatible areas, measures are taken to sanitize the wheels (floor foamers, sanitizer sprays, etc.) to minimize cross-contamination; and
  • Where food processing operations other than sprouts exist at the same facility, there is adequate separation to prevent potential hazards associated with cross-contamination (e.g. biological, chemical, allergens).

3.2.2 Lighting

Lighting is adequate for the activity being conducted. Where it is appropriate, light bulbs and fixtures are protected in order to prevent contamination of food or packaging material.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Lighting is appropriate such that the intended production or inspection activity can be effectively conducted. The lighting does not alter food colour and is not less than the following:
    • 540 lux (50 foot candles) in inspection areas (Inspection areas are defined as any point where the food product or container is visually inspected or instruments are monitored);
    • 220 lux (20 foot candles) in work areas; and
    • 110 lux (10 foot candles) in other areas.

    Note: These intensities may vary when used to control the growth of sprouts.

  • Light bulbs and fixtures located in areas where there is exposed food or packaging material are of a safety type or are protected to prevent contamination of food or packaging material in case of breakage.

3.2.3 Ventilation

Adequate ventilation is provided to prevent excessive condensation and dust, and to minimize entry of contaminated air.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Ventilation provides sufficient air exchange to prevent unacceptable accumulations of condensation or dust and to minimize entry of contaminated air.
  • Ventilation systems are constructed to avoid airflow from contaminated areas to clean areas and designed to be adequately maintained and cleaned.
  • Ventilation openings are equipped with close-fitting screens or filters, as appropriate, to prevent the intake of contaminated air.
  • Filters (e.g. filters for intake air and compressed air) are cleaned or replaced at least as often as the manufacturer specifies, or more frequently if a problem is indicated, such as evidence of filter fouling or perforation.

3.2.4 Waste Disposal

Sewage, effluent and waste storage and disposal systems are designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Drainage and sewage systems are equipped with appropriate traps and vents.
  • Establishments are designed and constructed so that there is no cross-connection between the sewage system and any other waste effluent system in the establishment.
  • Effluent or sewage lines do not pass directly over or through production areas unless they are controlled to prevent contamination.
  • Adequate facilities and equipment are provided and maintained for the storage of waste and inedible material prior to their removal from the establishment. These facilities are designed to prevent contamination.
  • Containers used for waste are clearly identified and leakproof and, where appropriate, they are covered.
  • Waste is removed and containers are cleaned and sanitized at an appropriate frequency to minimize the potential of contamination. Waste is not allowed to accumulate in seed and sprout handling and storage areas or the adjoining environment.

3.3 Sanitary Facilities

3.3.1 Employee Facilities

Employee facilities are designed, constructed and maintained to permit effective employee hygiene and to prevent contamination.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Hand-washing and hand sanitizing stations are located at all entrances and throughout the sprouting and packaging rooms. Stations are properly maintained and, where appropriate, have trapped waste pipes to drains.
  • Boot-sanitizing troughs or mats are at all entrances to post-seed disinfection areas.
  • Sanitizer chemical levels are specified by the label and measured as necessary to maintain the specified levels.
  • Washrooms, lunchrooms and change rooms are adequately ventilated and maintained in a clean condition They are separate from and do not lead directly into food processing areas.
  • Facilities provide adequate means of hygienically washing and drying hands and include wash basins, soap, hand sanitizer, sanitary hand-drying supplies or devices and a supply of hot and cold water (or suitably controlled temperature) adjacent to toilets.
  • Toilet facilities are maintained in a sanitary condition and in good repair at all times.
  • Toilet facilities are designed to allow hygienic removal of waste and are segregated from production packaging and storage areas to avoid contamination of food or premises.
  • Hand-washing notices are posted in conspicuous places adjacent to the toilet facilities, so that personnel will see them when returning to work.

3.3.2 Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing Facilities

Facilities for cleaning and sanitizing equipment are adequately designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Facilities are constructed of corrosion-resistant materials which are capable of being easily cleaned, and are provided with potable water at temperatures appropriate for the cleaning chemicals used.
  • Equipment cleaning and sanitizing facilities are adequately separated from food storage, processing and packaging areas, to prevent contamination.

3.4 Water/Ice/Steam Quality

3.4.1 Water and Ice

The potability of hot and cold water is controlled to prevent contamination.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Potable water meets the requirements of Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality and any applicable provincial and municipal requirements.
  • Water is analysed by the manufacturer with a frequency adequate to confirm its potability. For microbial analysis, water from municipal water is analysed semi-annually and water from other sources is analysed on a monthly basis. For chemical analysis, water from non-municipal sources is analysed at the initial start-up of the well, as a minimum.
  • Sprout manufacturers have contingency plans in place to deal with provincial/municipal orders to boil water and unsatisfactory water analyses results.
  • There are no cross-connections between potable and non-potable water supplies and all hoses, taps and other similar sources of potential contamination are designed to prevent backflow or back-siphonage.
  • Where it is necessary to store water, storage facilities are adequately designed, constructed and maintained to prevent contamination (e.g. covered).
  • Water treatment chemicals, where used, are appropriate for the intended use and are used in accordance with the chemical manufacturer's instructions.
  • The chemical treatment is monitored and controlled to deliver the desired concentration and to prevent contamination.
  • Recirculated water is treated, monitored and maintained as appropriate to the intended purpose. Recirculated water has a separate distribution system, which is clearly identified.
  • In areas for food processing, handling, packaging and storage, water temperatures and pressures are adequate for all operational and clean-up needs.
  • Ice used in direct contact with food is made from potable water and is protected from contamination. Ice purchased by the manufacturer is treated as an incoming ingredient and is assessed under item 1.4.1 Incoming Seeds and Other Non-Packaging Inputs.

See Section 7.4.1 for expected Water/Ice/Steam Quality Records.

3.4.2 Steam

The potability of steam which is in direct contact with food or food contact surfaces is controlled to prevent product contamination. Steam supply is adequate to meet operational requirements.

Note: Where steam is not in direct contact with food or food contact surfaces, this section is considered to be not applicable.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Boiler treatment chemicals used are appropriate for the intended use and are used in accordance with the chemical manufacturer's instructions.
  • Boiler feedwater is tested regularly and the chemical treatment is controlled to prevent contamination.
  • The steam supply is generated from potable water and is adequate to meet operational requirements.
  • Traps are provided as necessary to ensure adequate condensate removal and elimination of foreign materials.

See Section 7.4.1 for expected Water/Ice/Steam Quality Records.

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