This article is written to meet the following sections of the Standards:

BRCGS Food Safety Issue 84.1 External standards

4.4 Building fabric, raw material handling, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas

4.8 Staff facilities

BRCGS Packaging Issue 64.1 External standards (Not 4.1.5 as this is storage)

4.2 Building fabric, raw material handling, preparation, processing, packing and storage areas (except 4.2.4 and 4.2.5)

6.3 Staff facilities

BRCGS Agents & Brokers Issue 3
Not applicable
BRCGS Storage & Distribution Issue 44.1 Location, perimeter and grounds (except 4.1.5 X)

4.4 Fabrication – product intake, handling, storage and dispatch areas (except 4.4.4 XD, 4.4.7 XD and 4.4.8 XD, 4.4.10 XD)

4.5 Staff facilities

9.2 Staff facilities

8.2.3 Smoking facilities

FSSC22000 Version 5.17.1.3 Infrastructure

7.1.4 c) Work environment – physical

IFS Food Version 74.6 Factory location

4.7 Factory exterior

4.8 Plant layout and process flow

4.9.1 – 4.9.7 Production and storage premises

SQF Edition 911.1 Site Location and Premises

Site location – risk assessment

An assessment of the activities and environmental aspects in the local vicinity of the site must take place, to establish if they may have an adverse impact on the site or the finished product. The local area should be shown on a plan.

Points to consider include:

  • Derelict buildings, rubbish dumps, building sites, overgrown vegetation, wasteland and other areas which could harbour pests.
  • Adjacent watercourses at risk of flooding.
  • Standing water or canals which may cause pest issues.
  • Neighbouring companies which may create dust, smells or affect air quality.

Where there’s a risk to the site or the product, measures must be put in place to prevent contamination, and these should be monitored to ensure that they continue to be effective.

When there are changes to the local vicinity, the assessment and any protection measures must be reviewed.

Site Standards eDocs

External areas

Hardstanding

Hardstanding and external traffic routes must be suitably surfaced and maintained in good repair. This is to prevent the product from becoming contaminated during loading or unloading.

Where vehicles are loaded outside, additional protective packaging should be considered.

Drains

External drains must be able to deal with typical quantities of rainfall without long-term standing water, which may cause pest problems or odours.

Clear zone

External areas:

  • Must be kept in a tidy state, excess waste or other debris must be avoided.
  • Which have planted areas must be tended regularly and not become overgrown, to prevent pest harbourage.
  • Must have at least a clear zone of 0.5m between vegetation and external walls. The clear zone should also not be used for storage.

Proofing

The building must be:

  • Proofed and sealed to minimise ingress from pests and environmental factors, such as the wind, rain or air pollution.
  • Maintained.

Where maintenance is required, it must be recorded and scheduled for completion. The timescale for completion must be relative to the risk to the product.

External storage

External storage buildings, containers, silos, pipework or other access points for product or materials must be appropriately sealed and locked.

Internal fabrication

Floors

Floors must be:

  • Waterproof.
  • Sufficiently hard wearing to meet the needs of the process in that area.
  • Able to cope with the level and type of cleaning needed.

Walls and ceilings

Wall and ceiling surfaces in product areas must be:

  • Designed so that ledges are minimised, to prevent the accumulation of debris.
  • Designed to minimise condensation and mould growth.
  • In good condition, e.g. free from flaking paint, chipping or cracks in tiles.
  • Protected where they’re at risk from vehicle damage.
  • Have sealed junctions.

They must also be smooth and waterproof in open product areas – to allow effective cleaning.

Doors

External doors and dock levellers must be proofed to prevent pest ingress.

External doors which open directly into open product areas must:

  • Only be opened when product is being processed in emergencies,
  • or they must be fully screened to prevent pest ingress.

Windows

Windows in product areas, which can be opened for ventilation, must be screened to prevent pest ingress.

Lighting

Lighting in product handling areas should be at least 200 lux.  Product inspection areas should be at least 500 lux.

Drains

All internal drains must:

  • Be situated where they won’t pose a risk to the product.
  • Be situated with falls, so that water goes directly to drain without excessive splashing.
  • Be designed to cope with the quantity of water required.
  • Be suitably covered to prevent pest entry.
  • Be designed to minimise odour.
  • Cleaned regularly so that they don’t become blocked.
  • Be fitted with back flow systems where there’s a risk of product contamination from hazardous waste.
  • Be designed so that drainage pipework doesn’t sit above product (because drips could cause contamination).

Ventilation and extraction

Ventilation and extraction must prevent condensation or excessive dust.

Overheads

Overheads must not pose a risk of contamination to product.

Suspended walkways

Suspended or elevated walkways over open product must be designed to minimise product contamination, including:

  • Solid treads.
  • Back plates to steps.
  • Solid sides/ kick plates.

Suspended ceilings

Where suspended ceilings or roof voids are present, there must be adequate access to the void:

  • To allow for pest inspection or the void is fully proofed to prevent pest entry.
  • To allow cleaning.
  • To allow maintenance.
Site Standards eDocs

Personnel facilities

Design of changing facilities

Facilities must be provided for everyone on site to change into their protective clothing, including visitors and contractors.

The changing facilities must be located where:

  • People don’t need to go through product areas to get to them.
  • The route to and from the changing facilities must encourage the rules to be followed.
  • People don’t need to go outside after changing.

Where any of the above can’t be avoided, a risk assessment must be documented which identifies what controls are needed to mitigate the risks.

The size of the changing facilities must be adequate for the number of people using them at peak times.

Driver facilities

Facilities must be provided for drivers, so that they don’t need to enter product areas.

Design of personal storage facilities

Storage facilities must be provided, so that:

  • There’s enough space to allow people to store their personal items, and this includes large things like helmets.
  • There’s somewhere for people to store their outdoor clothing separately from their protective clothing.
  • Lockers are either fitted off the floor so they can be cleaned underneath or sealed to the floor so that debris doesn’t get under them.
  • Lockers have sloping tops, so that things can’t be stored on top of them.
  • Workwear can be stored hygienically during breaks, such as providing an area to hang overalls.

Toilets

Toilets must have:

  • At least two doors between the toilet and product areas.
  • A ventilated room between the toilet cubicle and the product area to stop odours from getting into product areas.
  • Handwashing facilities.
  • Somewhere for overalls to be stored hygienically if they need to be taken off before going into the toilet.

Smoking

Where smoking is allowed, smoking areas must be:

  • Isolated from product areas so that smoke can’t reach product areas.
  • Ventilated and where facilities are inside (if allowed by law), extraction must go directly outside.
  • Provided with waste bins.
  • Cleaned regularly.

Food and drink storage

All food brought onto the premises by staff, visitors and contractors, must be:

  • Stored in a specific area, which is hygienic and away from product areas.
  • Stored inside functioning refrigeration (if needed), to prevent food poisoning.
  • Have waste bins.

Fridges used for the storing product or samples, must not be used for storing staff food.

Catering

Where catering or vending machines are provided, they must be compliant to local laws and be managed using a Product Safety Plan, to prevent:

  • Allergenic contamination of product.
  • Food poisoning of staff working on site.

Catering and vending machines must be checked using the internal audit and GMP inspections programme.

Handwashing

Handwashing facilities must be provided:

  • In toilet facilities.
  • Prior to entering product areas.
  • In areas where specific tasks require the washing of hands afterwards.

The handwashing facilities need to have:

  • Signs to prompt handwashing.
  • Enough water at a suitable temperature.
  • Hands-free taps.
  • Liquid soap, single-use towels with bins, or air dryers.

Water facilities

Drinking of water from water fountains or dispensers is allowed in product areas, if:

  • Drinking is confined to a specific area.
  • Facilities are designed and maintained so that it doesn’t pose a risk to product.
  • Bins are provided.

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