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1.1 Purpose

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The objective of this Code is to provide a set of model requirements to help food business achieve a higher degree of compliance with the food regulations as enshrined in the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Chapter 132, and its subsidiary legislation, and attain a higher standard of food hygiene and food safety through adoption of good practices. It also provides law enforcement officers of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and persons engaged in food business a common set of comprehensive advice and guidance on the application of the relevant regulations and recommended ways for compliance, with a view to improving consistency in the interpretation and application of the food regulations by all stakeholders.

To all intents and purposes, this Code is not a substitute for the food regulations and the licensing requirements and conditions imposed to individual licences. It is also not a stand-alone document, but rather to be used in association with the food regulations as well as the applicable licensing requirements and conditions, so that adherence to the provisions in the Code will make compliance easier and the standard of enforcement more consistent. Furthermore, the Code is not a rigid and inflexible document, as it is not intended to prescribe the exact ways that a food business must do in order to comply with the requirements of specific regulations, licensing requirements or conditions. It may be possible for a food business to demonstrate to a law enforcement officer that it has achieved the same objective a particular provision of the Code is intended to achieve in other ways. Also, failure to observe any provisions of the Code by a food business will not itself render it liable to any criminal proceedings of any kind, but any such failure may, in any proceedings whether civil or criminal including proceedings for an offence under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Chapter 132, be relied upon by any party to the proceedings as tending to establish or to negative any liability which is in question to those proceedings.

1.2 Scope of Application

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This Code applies to all food premises licensable under the Food Business Regulation, the Milk Regulation and the Frozen Confections Regulation including, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. restaurants;
  2. factory canteens;
  3. food factories;
  4. milk factories;
  5. frozen confection factories;
  6. siu mei and lo mei shops;
  7. fresh provision shops;
  8. cold stores; and
  9. composite food shops.

1.3 Definitions

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Definitions of common terms contained in this Code are listed as follows:


free from dirt, dust, grease, waste, food residues and all other foreign visible materials as well as objectionable odour.


foods exposed to conditions which permit:

  1. introduction of foreign matters including dust, dirt, chemicals and pests, or
  2. introduction or multiplication of disease-causing micro-organisms or parasites, or
  3. introduction or production of toxins.

transfer of micro-organisms or contaminants from one food (usually raw) to another food either directly when one food touches another, or indirectly through hands or equipment.


apparatus, vessels, containers, utensils, machines, instruments or appliances used for storing, handling, cooking and cleaning of food.

Food contact surfaces

surfaces that will come into contact with food in a food premises.

Food handler

any person who engages in the handling of food, equipment or utensils that will come into contact with food for a food business.

Food premises

any place where food is supplied, prepared, processed, handled, stored, packaged, displayed, served or offered for sale for human consumption.

Open food

uncooked perishable food and food not contained in containers as to exclude risks of contamination.


a disease-causing micro-organism.


any animal or insect that may contaminate food or a food contact surface. This includes rats, mice, cockroaches and flies.


suitable for human to drink or ingest.

Potentially hazardous food

food that requires temperature control to minimize the growth of any pathogenic micro-organisms that may be present or to prevent the formation of toxin.


any domesticated bird whether live or dead (chickens, ducks, geese, quails, etc.) commonly used for human consumption.

Ready-to-eat food

food that is ready for immediate consumption at the point of sale. It could be raw or cooked, hot or chilled, and can be consumed without further heat-treatment.


any solid waste not carried by water through the sewage system.


apply heat and / or chemicals to destroy micro-organisms including all pathogens.

Temperature abuse

potentially hazardous food not stored, displayed or transported under proper temperature control for a prolonged period of time.


articles, vessels, containers or equipment used in the handling, preparation, processing, packaging, displaying, serving, dispensing, storing, containing or consumption of food.

Ventilating system

a system which is either mechanical or electrical, or both, for introducing or exhausting air, which also means an air-conditioning plant.

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