U. S. Department of
Health and Human Services
Food and Drug Administration 1999 Food Code
Equipment, Utensils, and Linens
4-1: MATERIALS FOR
CONSTRUCTION AND REPAIR
Materials that are
used in the construction of utensils and food-contact surfaces of
equipment may not allow the migration of deleterious substances or
impart colors, odors, or tastes to food and under normal use
conditions shall be:
corrosion-resistant, and nonabsorbent;
(C) Sufficient in
weight and thickness to withstand repeated warewashing;
(D) Finished to
have a smooth, easily cleanable surface; and
(E) Resistant to
pitting, chipping, crazing, scratching, scoring, distortion, and
4-101.111 Nonfood-Contact Surfaces.
surfaces of equipment that are exposed to splash, spillage, or other
food soiling or that require frequent cleaning shall be constructed
corrosion-resistant, nonabsorbent, and smooth material.
4-2: DESIGN AND
4-201.11 Equipment and
utensils shall be designed and constructed to be durable and to
retain their characteristic qualities under normal use conditions.
4-202.11 Food-Contact Surfaces.*
food-contact surfaces shall be:
(B) Free of
breaks, open seams, cracks, chips, pits, and similar imperfections;
(C) Free of sharp
internal angles, corners, and crevices;
(D) Finished to
have smooth welds and joints; and
(E) Accessible for
cleaning and inspection by one of the following methods:
(1) Without being
disassembling without the use of tools, or
(3) By easy
disassembling with the use of handheld tools commonly available to
maintenance and cleaning personnel such as screwdrivers, pliers,
open-end wrenches, and Allen wrenches.
4-202.16 Nonfood-Contact Surfaces.
surfaces shall be free of unnecessary ledges, projections, and
crevices, and designed and constructed to allow easy cleaning and to
Public Health Reasons /
Utensils, and Linens
is subject to deterioration because of its nature, i.e., intended
use over an extended period of time. Certain materials allow harmful
chemicals to be transferred to the food being prepared which could
lead to foodborne illness. In addition, some materials can affect
the taste of the food being prepared. Surfaces that are unable to be
routinely cleaned and sanitized because of the materials used could
harbor foodborne pathogens. Deterioration of the surfaces of
equipment such as pitting may inhibit adequate cleaning of the
surfaces of equipment, so that food prepared on or in the equipment
effectively wash, rinse and sanitize the surfaces of food equipment
may lead to the buildup of pathogenic organisms transmissible
the rigor required to remove biofilms from smooth surfaces highlight
the need for materials of optimal quality in multiuse equipment.
4-101.111 Nonfood-Contact Surfaces.
surfaces of equipment routinely exposed to splash or food debris are
required to be constructed of nonabsorbent materials to facilitate
cleaning. Equipment that is easily cleaned minimizes the presence of
pathogenic organisms, moisture, and debris and deters the attraction
of rodents and insects.
Equipment and Utensils.
utensils must be designed and constructed to be durable and capable
of retaining their original characteristics so that such items can
continue to fulfill their intended purpose for the duration of their
life expectancy and to maintain their easy cleanability. If they can
not maintain their original characteristics, they may become
difficult to clean, allowing for the harborage of pathogenic
microorganisms, insects, and rodents. Equipment and utensils must be
designed and constructed so that parts do not break and end up in
food as foreign objects or present injury hazards to consumers. A
common example of presenting an injury hazard is the tendency for
tines of poorly designed single service forks to break during use.
The purpose of the
requirements for multiuse food-contact surfaces is to ensure that
such surfaces are capable of being easily cleaned and accessible for
cleaning. Food-contact surfaces that do not meet these requirements
provide a potential harbor for foodborne pathogenic organisms.
Surfaces which have imperfections such as cracks, chips, or pits
allow microorganisms to attach and form biofilms. Once established,
these biofilms can release pathogens to food. Biofilms are highly
resistant to cleaning and sanitizing efforts. The requirement for
easy disassembly recognizes the reluctance of food employees to
disassemble and clean equipment if the task is difficult or requires
the use of special, complicated tools.
could result in the attraction and harborage of insects and rodents
and allow the growth of foodborne pathogenic microorganisms.
equipment enhances the ability to keep nonfood-contact surfaces
Equipment Food-Contact Surfaces and Utensils.*
be transmitted from a food to other foods by utensils, cutting
boards, thermometers, or other food-contact surfaces. Food-contact
surfaces and equipment used for potentially hazardous foods should
be cleaned as needed throughout the day but must be cleaned no less
than every 4 hours to prevent the growth of microorganisms on those
utensils and equipment contacting food that is not potentially
hazardous such as iced tea dispensers, carbonated beverage dispenser
nozzles, beverage dispensing circuits or lines, water vending
equipment, coffee bean grinders, ice makers, and ice bins must be
cleaned on a routine basis to prevent the development of slime,
mold, or soil residues that may contribute to an accumulation of
microorganisms. Some equipment manufacturers and industry
associations, e.g., within the tea industry, develop guidelines for
regular cleaning and sanitizing of equipment. If the manufacturer
does not provide cleaning specifications for food-contact surfaces
of equipment that are not readily visible, the person in charge
should develop a cleaning regimen that is based on the soil that may
accumulate in those particular items of equipment.
4-602.13 Nonfood-Contact Surfaces.
The presence of
food debris or dirt on nonfood contact surfaces may provide a
suitable environment for the growth of microorganisms which
employees may inadvertently transfer to food. If these areas are not
kept clean, they may also provide harborage for insects, rodents,
and other pests.
US patent 4951858
other patents pending
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