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Food Facility Restrooms: Requirements and Best Practices

Food Facility Restrooms: Requirements and Best Practices

Food manufacturing, food packaging manufacturing, and storage and distribution facilities shall be equipped with adequate, readily accessible toilet facilities. These facilities shall be kept clean and must not be a potential source of contamination of food, food-contact surfaces, or food-packaging materials. Additionally, several GFSI schemes have supplemental requirements for restrooms.

Food Industry Restroom Requirements. Bathroom

What are the Restroom Requirements for GFSI Facilities?

Several GFSI schemes (i.e. SQF, BRCGS) go a step further in defining restroom requirements to prevent contamination. SQF and BRC require that restroom facilities are easily accessible to staff, but separate from food processing and handling operations (they cannot open directly into food processing, handling, or storage areas).

Additionally, SQF requires that restrooms are accessed from the processing area via an airlock vented to the exterior or through an adjoining room. Some facilities have a room, hallway, or vestibule between the restroom and the processing and handling areas, this is acceptable. If your facility does not already have this infrastructure in place, please raise this concern to your consultant to discuss options.

Restrooms must be cleaned regularly with dedicated tools and equipment that is not shared for cleaning food processing or handling equipment, surfaces, or tools. It is a good practice to have restrooms near or inside the locker rooms/changing rooms where employees can store their garments and PPE while using the restroom to prevent contamination. When restrooms are located away from break rooms and lockers, racks or hooks should be provided to keep PPE (coats, smocks, etc.) clean while using the facility. A handwashing sink shall be located directly in the restroom or immediately outside of the restroom. Handwashing signage should be installed in the restrooms to instruct employees to follow company handwashing procedures before returning to work.