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CHAPTER 6
MISCELLANEOUS

6.1 Approved Layout

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A licensee will be given a copy of the approved layout plan and a copy of the approved ventilating system layout plan (if any) of his food premises upon issue of a licence or granting of approval for change of layout.

Particulars to be indicated on an approved layout plan include:

  1. space allocated to food handling and cooking, scullery, food storage and seating accommodation;
  2. sanitary fitments, open spaces, cloakrooms;
  3. all means of exit and entry;
  4. all windows and mechanical ventilating systems;
  5. siting of all furniture and equipment of a substantial and permanent nature; and
  6. types of fuel for heating equipment.

6.1.1 Deviation from Approved Layout Plan

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  1. The layout of food premises, other than movable furniture, should be kept in strict conformity with that shown in the final approved plan. No alteration or addition should be made without the prior approval of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

    Note: Failure to observe this is a breach of licensing condition.

  2. Alteration, addition or deletion, which results in change of the approved layout, such as change in area of the premises or the food rooms; addition, deletion or repositioning of some furniture or equipment of a substantial and permanent nature, sanitary fitments, drainage works, passageways and open spaces, means of exit, entry and internal communication, windows and ventilating systems, etc., should not be effected without the prior consent of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

    Note: Any alteration or addition resulting in deviation from the approved layout is an offence under section 34D of the Food Business Regulation.

  3. No fuel other than that has been approved and indicated on the layout plan should be used on the premises. Type and number of heating equipment used should not be altered without prior approval.

    Note: Any alteration of heating equipment or any change in the type of fuel used is an offence under section 34(c) of the Food Business Regulation.

Rationale

A food business licence will be issued only if the layout is in strict conformity with the final layout plan and all licensing requirements in respect of health, ventilation, gas safety, building structure, means of escape and fire safety are fully complied with. Deviation of approved layout without prior consent may pose risks to health, building and fire safety.

6.2 Extension of Food Business and Restriction on the Use of Open Spaces

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6.2.1 Extension of Food Business

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Food business should only be carried out within the licensed area as delineated in the approved layout plan. No food activity should extend to any place beyond the licensed area, such as:

  1. washing of equipment and utensils;
  2. food preparation and cooking of food;
  3. storage of utensils, equipment and food; and
  4. provision of seating accommodation for customers (unless with the approval of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department).

Note: Any licensee who carries on food business outside the licensed area commits an offence under section 34C of the Food Business Regulation.

Rationale

Scullery, preparation and storage of food, serving of food and other food activities conducted outside the licensed area of food premises would not only result in food and equipment being contaminated, but also encourage pest infestation, cause environmental nuisances and pose a fire hazard.

Extension of seating area causes obstructions, and gives rise to health and food safety problems as the size of food room may become inadequate to cater for the increased number of customers.

6.2.2 Restriction on the Use of Open Spaces

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Open spaces, such as yards, streets, side or rear lanes and roof tops, should not be used for preparation or storage of food, cleansing or storage of equipment or utensils, or preparation or service of food.

Note: Use of open spaces for conducting food activities is an offence under section 13(1) of the Food Business Regulation.

Rationale

Open spaces are not suitable for conducting food activities. Food and equipment can be easily contaminated by dirt, dust, fumes, smoke, sewage, or by pathogens carried by bodies, excreta and hair of pests, birds, insects and other animals. They may also cause environmental nuisances and pose health and fire hazard.

6.3 Quality of Water for Keeping Live Marine Fish and / or Shellfish

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6.3.1 Control of Water Quality

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Fish tanks may be installed in food premises and market stalls for keeping live fish or shellfish. Water used for keeping live fish or shellfish intended for sale for human consumption should conform to the following standard:

"Less than 610 E. coli and absence of pathogenic organism in 100 ml of water keeping live fish and shellfish."

Note: Any person who keeps live fish or shellfish for human consumption in water of a quality below the prescribed standard commits an offence under section 10A of the Food Business Regulation.

6.3.2 Filtration and Disinfection Facilities for Fish Tank Water

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  1. Water used for keeping marine live fish or shellfish intended for human consumption should be filtered and disinfected by filtration and disinfection facilities acceptable to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, to a standard specified in paragraph 6.3.1 of this Chapter. These facilities should be maintained in good working order at all times.
  2. No water obtained from seawater flushing systems or drawn from doubtful sources, such as from the seafront within the Victoria Harbour or at any Typhoon shelter, should be used for keeping marine seafood for human consumption. Use of synthetic seawater is desirable.

    Note: Failure to observe this is a breach of licensing condition.

  3. The filtration / disinfection system should be a closed loop system capable of providing continuous filtration and disinfection action.
  4. Marine salts used for making synthetic seawater should be sourced from reliable suppliers.
  5. Live fish and shellfish should be kept separately in different tanks and at an optimal stock to avoid overcrowding. Live bivalve molluscs should be washed free of mud with clean water before being kept in the storage tank.
  6. The filtration and disinfection facilities for fish tank water should be properly installed and regularly maintained by a company / supplier specializing in water treatment for live seafood.
  7. Dedicated staff should be assigned to take care of the cleansing and maintenance of the whole system.
  8. Records using the format as per Annex II should be kept to register the maintenance details. They should be completed and certified by the dedicated staff / contractor.
  9. All internal surfaces of fish tanks, all pipes for the supply of water and air to the fish tanks, as well as all nets and articles should be thoroughly cleansed regularly, preferably at least once a week.
  10. The fish tank area should be clean, well ventilated and free from any building defect.
  11. When handling fish tanks, clean rubber gloves should be worn.
  12. Fish tanks and other connected articles left unused for a period of time should be cleansed thoroughly before they are used again.
  13. Fish tank water should be changed regularly to remove harmful substances produced by the stock after a period of time.
  14. Filter materials should be cleansed at least once a week and replenished at least once a month.
  15. Sponge filters, sand filters, activated carbon filters and layered multi-sand filters may be used. Regular cleansing and replenishment of the filter materials are required.
  16. Filtration system should be installed upstream of the disinfection system and not vice versa.
  17. UV radiation, ozonation, copper-silver ionization and photocatalytic oxidation technology with the use of UV radiation and titanium dioxide may be used for disinfection of fish tank water.

[Food and Environmental Hygiene Department reviews the disinfection methods from time to time. An updated list of the accepted methods is kept at its district offices for inspection upon request.]

Rationale

Untreated seawater is likely to contain pathogens. Water for keeping live seafood should be of safe quality to minimize the risk of food contamination and spread of foodborne diseases. It can be achieved by an effective filtration and disinfection system in the fish tank, coupled with good management practices in cleansing and maintenance of the system.

6.4 Prohibition of Animals on Food Premises

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  1. Prohibition of Dogs on Food Premises

    Dogs should not be allowed to be brought onto food premises except that:

    1. the dog is served as a guide for a blind person; or
    2. the dog is used in connection with the exercise of a lawful power e.g. dog led by a police officer on duty.

    Note: Any person who knowingly suffers or permits the presence of a dog on food premises commits an offence under section 10B of the Food Business Regulation.

  2. Prohibition of Live Animals in Kitchens or Food Rooms

    Live birds, pets or animals, such as dogs and cats, except live seafood, or live poultry in fresh provision shops, are not allowed to be kept or present in any kitchen or food room of any food premises.

    Note: Any person who permits the presence of live animals in food room commits an offence under section 5(3)(b) of the Food Business Regulation.

Rationale

Animals are a source of contamination of food and equipment as they may carry pathogens and parasites by their bodies, hair and excreta.

6.5 Napkins for Customers

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  1. Non-single-use napkins or wet towels provided for the use of customers should be washed and sterilized after each use.
  2. If wet towels are provided for the use of customers, a sterilizer should be provided and used for sterilizing the towels.

    Note: Failure to observe this is a breach of licensing requirement.

  3. Napkins or towels should be sterilized by being immersed in boiling water for not less than one minute.
  4. Napkins or wet towels for serving customers should not be used for any other purpose.

Note: Failure to sterilize napkins or wet towels before serving customers is an offence under section 20 of the Food Business Regulation.

Rationale

Napkins and towels, if not properly cleansed and sterilized, may contain pathogens transmissible from person to person.

6.6 Prevention of Spread of Avian Flu

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The following hygiene practices should be observed by operators and food handlers of market stalls or fresh provision shops selling live poultry to maintain the hygiene condition of the premises at a high standard to prevent the spread of Avian Flu:

  1. Restriction on Sale of Live Water Birds and Live Quails
    1. No live water birds (e.g. geese and ducks) shall be allowed to be sold in market stalls and fresh provision shops except those inside the Western Wholesale Food Market.

      Note: Any person who sells live water birds with live poultry in the same premises commits an offence under section 30A of the Food Business Regulation.

    2. No live quails shall be allowed to be sold with other live poultry at the same premises.

      Note: Any person who sells live quails with other live poultry at the same premises commits an offence under section 30B of the Food Business Regulation.

  2. Delivery of Live Poultry
    1. Handcarts for conveyance of poultry cages should be fitted with trays at the bottom to avoid soiling of passageways. Any soiled places should be cleaned and disinfected promptly.
    2. Cages for conveyance of live poultry should be returned to the wholesale market for cleaning and disinfection after each use. They should not be stored in public places.
  3. Supply of Poultry
    1. Poultry should be obtained from a wholesale market or a source approved by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, and stock should preferably be restricted to one day's sales volume.
    2. Poultry showing signs or symptoms of diseases should be immediately killed and removed for proper disposal.
  4. Keeping of Live Poultry
    1. All cages for storage of live poultry on the premises should be constructed of stainless steel or other durable, smooth, impervious and non-absorbent material, and fitted with removable trays made of the same material for reception of excreta. The size and shape of the trays should be the same as that of the cages.
    2. The lowest cage should be raised at least 300 mm above the floor level. The cages should be made easily movable, preferably on castor wheels, to facilitate easy cleansing and disinfection of the premises.
    3. Poultry should be provided with sufficient feed and clean water, and be avoided from unnecessary stress.
    4. Poultry should be kept in cages with a space requirement of not less than 300 cm2 for each kg of live birds to avoid overcrowding (i.e. a 900 mm x 1800 mm cage can hold a maximum of about 40 poultry of 1.36 kg each). The height of each cage should not be less than 30 cm.
    5. Over-stacking of cages should be avoided so as not to obstruct air ventilation. Sufficient clearance between the ceiling and the top of the cages should be maintained.
  5. Premises Hygiene
    1. Premises should be kept well ventilated at all times. Air extraction systems should be maintained in good working condition with dust filters cleaned as frequently as possible.
    2. All parts of the wall and floor surfaces of the premises including slaughtering / dressing / scalding room should be easily accessible for cleaning and be kept clean. They should be thoroughly washed and disinfected after business every day by using a high pressure water jet cleaner capable of delivering water at a temperature of not less than
      70oC.
    3. Feathers, excreta, dead poultry and other waste should be stored properly in close fitting waste containers and disposed of promptly.
    4. No live poultry shall be allowed to be kept at permitted premises between 8:00 p.m. each day and 5:00 a.m. the next day.

      Note: A permittee who fails to slaughter all live poultry remaining at the permitted premises before 8:00 p.m. each day and keeps live poultry at the permitted premises between 8:00 p.m. each day and 5:00 a.m. the next day commits an offence under section 30AA of the Food Business Regulation.

  6. Equipment and Utensil Hygiene
    1. All utensils and surfaces of equipment or facilities liable to come into contact with live poultry, feathers, carcasses or offal of poultry should be thoroughly cleansed and disinfected after business every day.
    2. All cages for the storage of live poultry and trays for reception of excreta should be thoroughly washed and disinfected after business every day.
    3. Display cages for storage of poultry should be left vacant in the course of cleansing and disinfection. The poultry should be removed from the display cages to clean spare cages for temporary storage.
  7. Personal Hygiene
    1. Every person engaged in handling of poultry should wear clean light coloured protective clothing which should include aprons and rubber boots. In addition, gloves should be worn except during slaughtering, dressing or evisceration processes.
    2. Open cut, abrasion or wounds should be covered with suitable waterproof dressing.
    3. Wash hands with liquid soap as frequently as possible, especially before and after handling live poultry and offal; and immediately after slaughtering and evisceration of poultry.
    4. Observe personal hygiene such as keeping nails short, refraining from nose picking, spitting, coughing, smoking or eating in workplace.
    5. Stop working and see the doctor when feeling sick.
  8. Slaughtering and Evisceration
    1. Slaughtering and evisceration of poultry should only be conducted in the trough in the slaughter / scalding / dressing room.
    2. Poultry carcasses and offal should be handled separately at all stages of slaughtering, dressing, storage and delivery.
  9. Display of Dressed Poultry
    1. Carcasses and offal of poultry other than of water birds should preferably be separately packed in plastic bags and stored in refrigerators at a temperature less than 10oC, preferably at 4oC, for display for sale.
    2. Carcasses and offal of water birds must be securely and separately packed in containers and stored in refrigerators at a temperature less than 10oC, preferably at 4oC, for display for sale. Offal of water birds must be packed in hermetically sealed containers if live poultry is on sale at the same premises.

    Note: Sale or offer or expose for sale or deliver for sale of carcass and offal of water birds not properly contained is an offence under section 30(1A), (1C), (1E) or (1G) of the Food Business Regulation.

  10. Keeping of Records and Reporting of Death
    1. Records showing the dates, quantities and sources of supply of live / dressed / chilled poultry should be kept for at least 60 days and be made readily available for inspection on demand.
    2. Poultry dealers should report abnormal death rate of poultry occurred in their premises to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department whenever possible.
Rationale

Avian Flu is a viral disease transmissible between birds including poultry. On entering the bodies of birds / poultry, the virus may undergo mutation to become a highly virulent disease-causing-organism, which can give rise to rapid mortality in birds / poultry; and may be fatal to human beings if infected. Proper segregation of live water birds and live quails from other live poultry, together with observance of good hygiene practices by operators of market stalls and fresh provision shops in the sale of live poultry, is crucial to minimizing the possibility of the disease being transmitted to human beings through close contact with poultry.

6.7 Sale of Mainland-Imported Chilled Chickens in Fresh Provision Shops or Market Stalls Selling Live Poultry

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Permission has to be obtained from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for sale of Mainland-imported chilled chickens in fresh provision shops selling live poultry or chilled / frozen commodities or market stalls selling live poultry or frozen meat. The following practices should be observed in the sale of chilled chickens:

  1. Display of Notice

    Notices in rectangular shape with a minimum size of 30 cm in length and 20 cm in width printed with legible English letters "Imported Chilled Poultry for Sale" and Chinese words "本店有售進口冰鮮家禽" should be displayed at all times conspicuously at the premises and at the refrigerators for the display for sale of such commodities.

    Note: Failure to observe this is a breach of licensing requirement.

  2. Sale of Imported Chilled Chickens in Original Intact Form

    Imported chilled chickens should be pre-packed, labelled in accordance with the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap. 132 Sub. Leg.) and be sold in the original and intact pre-packed form.

  3. Display of Chilled Chickens

    All chilled chickens should be kept at all times at a temperature between 0oC and 4oC.

  4. Keeping of Records

    Records of sources of supply of chilled chickens should be kept as specified in paragraph 6.6(j)(i) of this Chapter.

    Note: Failure to observe any of (b) to (d) is a breach of licensing condition.

  5. Distribution of Imported Chilled Chickens to Other Food Premises
    1. Approval has to be obtained from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department for the vehicle used for transportation of imported chilled chickens if the food premises conduct distribution of these chilled chickens to other food premises.
    2. The vehicle should have temperature devices to record the temperature of the conveying compartment on a running graph for the duration of the trip.
    3. A temperature gauge should be located outside of the vehicle so that the driver can monitor the temperature inside the conveying compartment.

      Note: Failure to observe any of (i) to (iii) is a breach of licensing requirement.

    4. The conveying compartment of the vehicle should only be used for the transportation of imported chilled chicken carcasses and offal. They should be kept at a temperature between 0oC to 4oC in the vehicle during transportation.
    5. In case the vehicle is also used to deliver other chilled / frozen food commodities, the prepackaged chilled chickens must be kept separately from any other food commodities and contained in independent metal or plastic containers, and the vehicle is not used for any purpose other than transportation of chilled / frozen food commodities.

    Note: Failure to observe (iv) or (v) is a breach of licensing condition.

6.8 Sale of Imported Chilled Meat

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Imported chilled meat means imported meat which has been preserved by chilling at a temperature above freezing point from the point of slaughter, storage and transportation to the point of sale. The following practices should be observed in the sale of imported chilled meat :

  1. Imported chilled meat delivered to fresh provision shops or market stalls for sale should be stored or displayed in refrigerators at a temperature not more than 4oC and sold directly from refrigerators to customers. Chilled meat should only be taken out from refrigerators for the purpose of cutting up to meet the immediate orders of customers, weighing, and wrapping for delivery or handing over to customers.
  2. Imported chilled meat received from meat suppliers should not be displayed or sold as fresh meat.

Note: Failure to observe (a) or (b) is a breach of licensing condition.

6.9 Maintenance of Siu Mei and Lo Mei Showcase

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6.9.1 Glass Panels

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Every siu mei and lo mei showcase should be provided with fixed glass panels on the side abutting the street and the side facing the customers (the latter should be of at least 1.2m from the front of the showcase). These glass panels should not be removed or replaced by movable ones.

Note: Removal of the fixed glass panels of a siu mei and lo mei showcase or replacement by movable glass panels is a breach of licensing requirement.

6.9.2 Paraphernalia for Storage or Sale of Siu Mei and Lo Mei

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All siu mei and lo mei should be stored or displayed for sale inside a siu mei and lo mei showcase. There should be no hanging rails or paraphernalia put outside the showcase for display of siu mei and lo mei.

6.9.3 Permission for Sale of Other Foods in Siu Mei and Lo Mei Shops

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Chinese sausages, preserved meat or ducks, or other similar foodstuffs may be sold in siu mei and lo mei shops with the prior permission of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. Such foodstuffs should, however, not be stored or displayed in any siu mei and lo mei showcase.

6.9.4 Permission for Storage of Fresh Meat in Siu Mei and Lo Mei Shops

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Fresh meat may be stored in siu mei and lo mei shops with the prior permission of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. Such meat should only be stored in refrigerators separated from siu mei and lo mei, preferably in separate refrigerators. Sale of fresh meat from siu mei and lo mei shops is not allowed.

Rationale

Siu mei and lo mei is a high risk ready-to-eat food. They should be stored and displayed inside a properly constructed and maintained showcase to protect it from risks of contamination.

6.10 Exhibition of Licence and Sign

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Licensee of a food business should exhibit the licence and sign, issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department denoting that his food premises have been licensed, at a conspicuous place near the main entrance of his licensed premises.

Note:

  1. Failure to exhibit the licence at a conspicuous place is an offence under section 34B of the Food Business Regulation.
  2. Failure to exhibit the sign at a conspicuous place is a breach of licensing condition.

6.11 Keeping of Inspection Records

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Licensees of food premises should keep the inspection forms supplied by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department at all times on the food premises for use by health inspectors, and should take prompt follow-up or remedial actions according to the advice given by health inspectors on such forms.

Note: Failure to keep the inspection form and available for use by any health inspector visiting the food premises is an offence under section 25(2) of the Food Business Regulation.

6.12 Checklist for Self-Inspection

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A food supplier has a pivotal role to play in ensuring the food he supplies is clean and fit for human consumption. He should exercise constant care and vigilance in supervising the preparation, production, handling and serving of food by conducting "self-inspection", with a view to ensuring compliance with the food hygiene and safety laws and the adoption of the best hygiene practices. "Self-inspection" is a very effective tool to enable a food supplier to detect food safety and hygiene problems in his everyday operation and solve them before they get out of control. Enclosed at Annex III is a recommended checklist for self-inspection. It helps food suppliers to perform a check on their own premises and operations. We suggest food suppliers to make use of it to conduct daily checks and keep records of their findings to improve the food safety and hygiene standards of their premises. However, "self-inspection" should not be taken in any way as a substitute for the regulatory inspections conducted by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

CHAPTER V Back to Top | ANNEX I