Guidelines for Design of Food Service Machines and Food Utensil Washing Machines
In accordance with the Food Business Regulation (Cap. 132 X) and licensing policy of this Department, the use of bactericidal agents and certain types of food service equipment in food business requires prior approval from the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene. These types of food service equipment include:
(a) Food utensils washing machine;
(b) Heat-treatment apparatus for frozen confections;
(c) Heat-treatment apparatus for milk; and
(d) Popcorn/cotton candy processing machine.
For the types of food service equipment that do not require our approval, the manufacturers or importers are invited to follow the code of practice outlining the design of the food service equipment as a general guideline to enhance food hygiene.
In general, all food service machines to be used in food premises should satisfy the following basic hygiene requirements:
- All food contact surfaces of the machines should be constructed of smooth, non-toxic, non-absorbent and corrosion resistant material. All internal angles and corners of such surfaces should be rounded to facilitate cleaning.
- All food contact surfaces, unless designed for in-place cleansing, should be readily removable or accessible for inspection and manual cleaning.
- Doors and access panels to the machines should be tight-fitting to prevent entry of insects, rodents and dust.
- Containers should be provided within all machines dispensing liquid food in bulk or liquid food ingredients for the collection of drips, spillage, overflow or other internal waste.
- A copy of the manual with detailed and proper procedures on operation, cleaning, sterilization and maintenance shall accompany the machine for the user’s reference and observance.
Common Types of Food Service Machines
The common types of food service machines are Food Vending Machine, Non-bottled Drinks Manual Dispensing Machines and Frozen Confection (Soft Ice-cream / Frozen Yogurt) Dispensing Machines. Apart from the above basic requirements, they should satisfy the following specific hygiene requirements. For example:
- Food Vending Machine (FVM)
- All food delivery orifices of FVM should be protected from manual contact by customers and entry of insects, rodents, dust etc. by means of a tight-fitting, self-closing door or cover which should be kept shut at all times, except when food is being removed.
- FVM selling food under temperature control should be fitted with a thermostatically controlled device to maintain the correct temperature.
- All portable food containers, including containers for water to be placed inside FVM should be provided with a cover which can prevent contaminants from reaching the interior of the containers.
- All elements which generate heat in FVM should either be sealed off from the food compartment or so fitted that the heat generated does not affect the storage properties of the food.
- FVM used at unprotected outdoor site should be specially designed and constructed to protect food products against contamination by elements of weather. (p.303-304 of AGTL).
- Non-bottled Drinks Manual Dispensing Machines (NBDMDM)
- A thermometer or a suitable temperature-measuring device should be provided to NBDMDM capable of indicating the temperature at which the drink / beverage is being stored.
- Refrigeration device of NBDMDM should be so set as to keep the drink / juice at a temperature below 10oC, preferably at a temperature between 0°C and 4°C.
- Frozen Confection (Soft Ice-cream / Frozen Yogurt) Dispensing Machines (FCDM)
- Protective plastic cone and / or screen of suitable design should be provided to the serving nozzles of FCDM to prevent contamination of the nozzle.
- A thermometer or a suitable temperature-measuring device should be provided to FCDM capable of indicating the temperature at which the frozen confection mixes are being stored.
Design of Food Utensil Washing Machines (FUWM)
All FUWM have to be approved by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. They should be capable to sanitize food utensils effectively in accordance with section 19 of the Food Business Regulation, and should be of such a design that they can operate hygienically and be cleansed easily. They should also satisfy the following hygiene requirements:
- The operation temperature of the water of FUWM for rinsing should be set at a temperature of not less than 82oC.
- A temperature-measuring device should be provided in the FUWM to indicate the washing and rinsing water temperatures during the cleaning and sanitizing operations. It should be readily available for inspection on demand by staff of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.
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