Fit Out Guide for an Australian Food Business

At the earliest planning stages, food safety is an integral percent and the correct fit out will help in providing premises which are easy to clean and maintain and facilitates the production of safe food. There are also cost advantages for the business in the installation of features to ensure food safety practices at the time of construction. Food regulation in Australia is based on outcomes focuses on the outcomes to be achieved by any food business, rather than in prescribing requirements which may not meet the needs of all participants. The regulatory approach allows food businesses to show that they achieve requirements, while allowing them the freedom to operate according to their needs.

In the process of designing, building or conducting a fit out of new food premises or making changes to existing ones, the first set is to make plans or to obtain the existing plans. The plans allow local governments to assess the proposed premises before the commencement of the fit out. Before starting building or renovation, copies of all plans must be submitted along with the required application forms and payment of fees. The plans required include the site plan, the floor plan and sectional elevation drawings to the appropriate scale, hydraulic plans, mechanical ventilation drawings and assistance can be obtained from your architect or your builder. The details to be provided include finishes, equipment layout, door and window openings, details of seating for users and the process flow from the receipt of a product to the end delivery.

Food business premises should be designed and constructed to be appropriate for the types of food produced and the activities conducted. They should provide adequate space for all activities and equipment, allow easy cleaning and sanitation, prevent the entry of pests, dust, fumes, smoke and other contaminants. Favourable sites for pests to live and breed should be excluded. Contamination of food, equipment and non-food items can be caused by improper storage facilities provided in the fit out. Cleaning and sanitation are different processes in that cleaning is the removal of food particles and smells. Sanitation means the application of heat and/or chemicals to a surface to a safe level of micro organisms and the prevention of transmission of infectious disease.

All practical measures must be implemented to prevent the entry of pests and the internal structures of the fit out have to be finalised and designed to prevent favourable conditions for pests to breed and the acceptable methods include installation of self closing doors with fitted weather strips, mechanical or plastic air curtains, tight fitting mesh screens on windows and the sealing of all holes and crevices. Insect control devices may also be used but must not be located in proximity to food preparation areas or near exposed food.