Oregon Department of Agriculture

Rule Rule 603-025-0020
General Standards of Food Establishment Construction and Maintenance


Buildings: Food establishment structures shall be suitable in size, construction, and design to facilitate maintenance and sanitary operations for food preparation or distribution purposes.


Surroundings: The grounds around a food establishment that are under the control of the operator shall be free from conditions which may result in contamination of food, including the following:


Improperly stored equipment, litter, waste, or refuse, and uncut weeds or grass, within the immediate vicinity of the establishment structures that may constitute an attractant, breeding place or harborage for rodents, insects, birds and other pests;


Excessively dusty roads, yards or parking lots that may constitute a source of contamination in areas where food is exposed; or


Inadequately drained areas that may constitute a source of contamination of food products through seepage or food-borne filth, or by providing a breeding place for insects or microorganisms.


Floors: Floors in a food establishment shall be easily cleanable, smooth, and of tight construction. All new constructed, or reconstructed, floors shall be of nonabsorbent materials. When subject to flood-type cleaning, floors in new construction shall be sloped to drain and be provided with drains in compliance with state plumbing code standards. Joints at wall-floor junctions shall be covered and tight. The floors shall be kept clean and in good repair, and sweeping compounds (dust arrestors) shall be used when dry-sweeping floors.


Walls and Ceilings: The surface of walls and ceilings of all display, storage and processing rooms in a food establishment shall be reasonably smooth and easily cleanable. All walls and ceilings shall be kept clean, in good repair and of a light color.


Doors and Windows: All openings to the outside in a food establishment shall have tight-fitting doors, windows and effective screens. Properly operating air screens are acceptable. All doors used by the public shall be self-closing.


Lighting: Adequate lighting shall be provided in handwashing areas, dressing and locker rooms, toilet rooms, all areas where food or food ingredients are examined, processed or stored, and areas where equipment and utensils are cleaned. Light bulbs, fixtures, skylights or other glass fixtures suspended over exposed food in any step of preparation shall be of the safety type or the food otherwise protected to prevent contamination in case of breakage.


Ventilation: Adequate ventilation or control equipment shall be provided in order to minimize odors and noxious fumes or vapors (including steam) in areas where they may contaminate food. The ventilation or control equipment shall not create conditions that may contribute to food contamination by airborne contaminants, and shall be constructed and installed to comply with the State Fire Marshal codes.


Water Supply: The water supply shall be sufficient for the operation intended and shall be derived from a source of adequate pressure and volume, be safe, be of sanitary quality, and comply with the State Plumbing Code. Running water at a suitable temperature and under needed pressure shall be provided in all areas where the processing of food, the cleaning of equipment, utensils or containers, or employee sanitary facilities takes place. Water used for washing, rinsing or conveying of food products shall be of adequate quality, and water shall not be re-used for washing, rinsing, or conveying products in a manner that may result in contamination of food products. There shall be no cross-connections between a safe water supply and any unsafe or questionable water supply. All private water supplies shall be inspected and approved before the water can be used. Where applicable, and for the manufacture of ice, a water supply shall comply with all requirements of the Oregon Drinking Water Quality Act, ORS 448.119 (Application of ORS 448.119 to 448.285 and other provisions to water systems) to 448.285 (Penalty schedule), and the administrative rules adopted thereunder, OAR 333-061-0010 (Scope) to 333-061-0095 (Severability).


Toilet and Handwashing Facilities: The toilet and handwashing facilities shall be plumbed to comply with the State Plumbing Code. The toilet and handwashing facilities must be adequate, clean, in good repair, and conveniently located. The door to the toilet room shall be tight, self-closing, and shall not open directly into any room where foods are exposed for sale. The toilet room shall be completely enclosed and any window openings screened to prevent entrance of insects. All handwashing facilities shall have hot and cold running water, a wash basin, soap, single-service towels, and a waste container. A handwashing notice shall be posted in each toilet room and handwashing facilities. Handwashing facilities shall be provided convenient to food packaging and preparation area.


Waste Disposal: All liquid wastes resulting from cleaning and rinsing utensils, equipment and floors, from flush toilets, and from handwashing facilities, refrigeration devices and air conditioners, shall be disposed of into a public sewage system or by a method approved by the State Department of Environmental Quality or local health department having jurisdiction. All garbage and rubbish containing food wastes shall, prior to disposal, be kept in leak-proof, nonabsorbent, and easily cleanable containers, and be stored so as to be inaccessible to vermin. The containers, unless kept in a special vermin-proofed room or enclosure, shall be covered with tight-fitting lids. Disposable containers with leak proof liners may be used. Containers shall be provided for trash or rubbish. The establishment shall be free of unnecessary litter and rubbish, such as paper, empty containers or other material, that might serve as a place for rodent harborage or other vermin. The containers, and the room or area in which such containers are stored, shall be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized and shall be disposed of at regular intervals so as not to constitute being a nuisance or health hazard.


Vermin Control: All reasonable measures shall be taken to protect the establishment against the entrance, breeding or presence of rodents, birds, flies, roaches, weevils and other vermin. Unwrapped food display items shall be covered when an aerosol method of applying approved pesticides is being used for vermin control in the establishment.


Personnel Cleanliness:


No person known to be affected with any disease in a communicable form, known to be a carrier of a communicable disease, known to be afflicted with boils, infected wounds or open sores, or known to have acute respiratory infection, shall work in any area of an establishment in any capacity in which there is a likelihood of the person contaminating food or food-contact surfaces with pathogenic organisms, or of transmitting disease to other individuals. The operator of an establishment, when he knows or has reason to believe that any employee has contacted any disease in a communicable form transmissible through food, or has become a carrier of such disease, shall immediately notify the county health officer or the department. The department may require a person engaged in the production, manufacture, packing, storage or distribution of food products to be examined by a physician if there is reasonable cause to believe that such person is affected by communicable or infectious disease;


All persons, while working in direct contact with food preparations, food ingredients or contact surfaces shall:


Wear clean and suitable outer garments, maintain a high degree of personal cleanliness, and conform to hygienic practices, while on duty so as to the extent necessary to prevent contamination of food products;


Wash their hands thoroughly (and sanitize if necessary to prevent contamination by undesirable microorganisms) in a handwashing facility before starting work, after each absence from the work station, and at any other time when the hands may have become soiled or contaminated;


Remove all unsecure jewelry or jewelry that cannot be sanitized, during periods when food is manipulated by hand;


If gloves are used in food handling, they should be of an impermeable material (except where their usage would be inappropriate or incompatible with the work involved) and maintained in an intact, clean and sanitary condition;


Wear hairnets, headbands, caps or other effective hair restraints for both head and facial hair;


Not store clothing or other personal belongings, eat food, drink beverages, or use tobacco in any form, in areas where food or food ingredients are exposed or in areas used for washing equipment or utensils;


Take any other precautions required to prevent contamination of foods with microorganisms or foreign substances (including perspiration, hair, cosmetics, tobacco, chemicals or medicants).


The establishment shall be responsible for the education of personnel, the training of food handlers and supervisors, and the appointment of competent supervisory personnel.


Dressing and Locker Room Facilities: A room or enclosure separate from food display, packaging and preparation areas in an establishment shall be provided where employees may change clothes, store outer garments and eat lunches. Dressing rooms and lunch rooms shall be kept clean, in good repair and be provided with covered waste receptacles.


Protection of Stored Foods Against Contamination: No dogs, cats, fowl, birds or other type animal shall be permitted in an establishment except for guide-dogs for blind or deaf persons, as authorized by ORS 346.620 and 346.650. All hazardous substances shall be stored in an area separate from food products so as to preclude any possible contamination of the stored foods. Rodenticides shall be placed in covered bait boxes, if necessary, to prevent spillage or possible contamination of stored food and danger to employees. The bait boxes shall be properly labeled with a warning notice. All rodenticide baits shall be applied so as to prevent contamination of stored food products. All pesticides used for control of vermin shall be of approved type and applied so as to protect stored foods from contamination and shall be applied in accordance with labeled instructions. Cleaning materials, pesticides, rodenticides or any other hazardous substances used in the operation of an establishment shall be stored in properly labeled containers, in a closed closet or cabinet, with a hazardous substance warning notice on the door. When a licensed pest control service is employed, it shall deliver to the establishment a diagram of the bait station locations and the rodenticides in use, or advise an employee of the establishment who has been designated by the operator to be responsible for the pest control program. There shall be no overhead waste drainpipes or other piping that may cause undue condensation problems unless equipped with protective shields to preclude possible contamination of foods stored below. Storage methods shall be used which will minimize deterioration and prevent contamination of stored food products. Shelves, cabinets, dunnage and pallets shall be used, if necessary, to protect stored food products from contamination or deterioration. Construction of shelving, cabinets, and storage methods shall permit ready access to cleaning and sanitary inspection. Bagged animal feeds shall be stored so as not to be intermingled with the storage of human food products. Storage on separate pallets is acceptable. Fixtures, ducts, pipes and catwalks shall not be suspended over working areas so that drip or condensate may contaminate foods, raw materials or food-contact surfaces. Only the toxic materials that are required to maintain sanitary conditions, for use in laboratory testing procedures, for maintenance and operation of equipment, or for manufacturing or processing operations, shall be used or stored in the establishment. These materials shall only be used in a manner and under conditions as will be safe for their intended uses.


Transportation of Foods: All cars, trucks or other vehicles used in the transportation of food products shall be kept in a clean condition at all times. Refuse, dirt and waste products subject to decomposition shall be removed daily. Food products shall be handled so as to protect them from deterioration or contamination by hazardous substances while in transit.


Protection of Food Quality: Potentially hazardous foods in food establishments shall be stored or displayed at a safe temperature in keeping with good manufacturing practices so as to insure that the food will reach the consumer in a condition that is safe and fit for human consumption. All refrigerated food display cases, food storage refrigerators and walk-in coolers shall be equipped with an accurate, visible thermometer located in the warmest storage areas. Frozen food shall be kept frozen and shall be stored in storage or display facilities capable of maintaining and having an air temperature of 0°F. or below, except during defrost cycles and brief periods of loading or unloading. All refrigerated food display cases, food storage refrigerators and walk-in coolers shall be kept clean and in good repair. Refrigerated food display cases shall not be filled above the load line.


Labeling of Food Containers and Packages: Labels on closed food containers and packages shall be clearly legible and contain all the information required by the provisions of ORS Chapter 616 (General and Miscellaneous Provisions), the administrative rules adopted thereunder, and the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.


Distressed Merchandise: Distressed merchandise shall not be offered for sale for human food unless reconditioned and inspected by the department to determine if it complies with the requirements of the 1984 Model Food Salvage Code, Chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, and the labeling and placard requirements of OAR 603-025-0160 (Package Labeling Requirements) and 603-025-0170 (Bulk Placard Requirements).


Variance clause: Upon written petition by the owner of a food establishment, the department may grant a variance to those sections of OAR 603-025-0020 (General Standards of Food Establishment Construction and Maintenance), 0030 or 0150 that regulate the physical facilities, equipment standards, and food source requirements when:


No health or sanitation hazard would exist as a result of this action; and


The variance is consistent with the intent of these regulations.
[Publications: Publications referenced are available from the agency.]

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021