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Basic setting up requirements

Whakatuu ngeetehi momo whakaritenga

The design and construction of the facilities used in the food business must meet the requirements of the Food Regulations 2015 and meet requirements of the New Zealand Building Code.  The regulations require that the design, construction, and location of the place of food business enable food to be safe and suitable.

When considering these requirements the following matters may be relevant (Note this is intended as a general guide only and is not to be considered a prescriptive requirement).

Design, construction and location 

You must ensure that the design, construction, and location of the place of food business enable food to be safe and suitable.


You may need resource consent to establish a food business in your chosen location. To find out if this is required please phone 0800 492 452 or contact a duty planner.

Contact a duty planner

Layout and spacing

All areas in a food premises are required to have enough space to allow movement of workers and customers without contaminating food or food contact surfaces by clothing or personal contact.


Flooring needs easy to clean and maintain. It should be smooth, impervious and free from cracks and defects which may harbour bacteria.

Coved up the walls and any permanent fixtures, such as units, by at least 75mm. to assist with cleaning to prevent accumulation of dirt, grease in the wall/flooring corners

Walls and Ceilings

Walls and ceilings need to be designed and constructed in a way that they are easy to clean and maintain plus there can be nothing that could flake off and contaminate food like old paint. In cooking areas the walls need to be heat resistant.

A sera tone quality wall lining is a low maintenance; high quality lining that meets this standard.

The minimum height for a ceiling from the floor is 2.4m and any exposed trusses or beams should be completely enclosed.


Adequate lighting is necessary to create a better working environment and improve housekeeping. It is recommended that light fittings are provided with protective covers to prevent contamination of food with glass.

Water Supply

Food premises must have an adequate supply of portable water.

Any water used must:

  • be suitable for the purpose for which it is used
  • not adversely affect the safety or suitability of food
  • be the appropriate temperature for its use.

Grease trap

The capacity of the unit required for different food businesses is outlined in the Acceptable Solution G13/AS2 of the Building Code.

Any food operation which involves the use of fat will require a grease trap.

It is recommended that the units are emptied every three to six months by a contractor (depending on grease throughput). Keep your receipt from the contractor as your Environmental Health Officer may wish to see it.


Adequate ventilation should be provided in order to reduce condensation, remove odour and create a comfortable working environment.

  • If natural ventilation is not satisfactory, mechanical ventilation must be provided.
  • An easily cleaned extraction canopy with removable filters is required over all cooking units. The canopy is to be constructed of stainless steel or alloy and meet AS 1668.2 Section 5 of the Building Code.
  • A producer statement may be required.
  • Discharges from cooking appliances must not cause a nuisance i.e. objectionable odor.

Facilities, fittings and equipment 

You must ensure that your facilities equipment and essential services are designed, constructed, and located in a way that enables food to be safe and suitable.

These surfaces must be:

  • Smooth, impervious and free from cracks and crevices.
  • Easily cleanable and sanitised.
  • Prevent pests from entering and remaining on premises.
  • Made of material that will not contaminate food and not able to absorb and accumulate grease from food.
  • If equipment is permanently fixed there should be adequate access provided to clean the surrounding area, underneath fixtures and fittings.

All temperature control equipment should be kept and maintained to operate at the following temperatures

  • Hot holding equipment should be maintained at a temperature of not less than 60 ˚C.
  • Refrigerator and cool rooms should be maintained at a temperature of less than 5˚C.
  • Freezers should be maintained at a temperature of less than -18˚C.

Staff lockers and changing rooms

Food premises should provide a separate storage facility for staff personal items.

Lockers or cupboards for the storage of clothing and personal belongings of workers should be provided. They should be located out of preparation areas to avoid contamination of food and be convenient to the workers.

Cleaning chemicals and equipment 

Chemicals and cleaning equipment must be stored in a location that ensures that these will not affect the safety and suitability of food.

It is recommended that these are kept in a separate designated area or an enclosed cupboards located away from food preparation, food storage and display areas to avoid contamination of food.


You must provide toilet facilities for staff and customers, to comply with the Building Act 2004. The number of toilet facilities required is detailed in the Acceptable Solution G1/AS1 of the Building Code.

Toilet facilities must meet the following requirements:

  • Conveniently located to the customers and workers for whom it is provided (i.e. within your premises or building) but not through any kitchen/bar areas.
  • Toilets/urinals cannot be in an area opening directly into a food/beverage/dining area.  A lobby area is generally required.
  • Each compartment, including lobby, needs to be vented to the exterior.
  • There must be hand washing facilities with hot and cold running water.

Hand wash basin

You must have an adequate number of hand wash basins on the food business premise.

Hand wash basins must meet the following requirements:

  • One in each kitchen area and bar, in the same room as the work area without accessing through a door.
  • To be supplied with piped hot and cold running water or tempered running water at a minimum temperature of 38oC.
  • To be supplied with soap (preferably liquid), clean nailbrush and suitable hand-drying facilities (e.g. disposable towels).


It is recommended to provide the following sinks:

  • Preparation sink – for washing food, connected directly to waste.
  • Dish wash sink – for washing dishes, connected to the grease trap.
  • Cleaner’s sink – for emptying and filling buckets used to clean floors and toilets.

All sinks must have a continuous supply of piped hot water whilst the premises is in use.

The minimum water temperature is 63oC for all sink units. In most cases a standard cylinder with a 180-litre capacity is acceptable.


Dishwashers must be operated and serviced according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It is highly recommended where re-usable crockery, cutlery and glasses are used.

Pest control

Pest control procedures must be implemented to ensure that there is no adverse effect on safety and suitability of food.

We recommend the following pest prevention methods:

  • Avoid clutter which makes inspection difficult. Rodents and cockroaches may use this material as harbourage.
  • Thorough cleaning of the premises ensures no food debris is available which may attract pests.
  • Fly screening of all windows and entrances will help deter flies and birds.
  • All plumbing joints or other fittings must be sealed to prevent entrance or harbourage for rodents or insects.
  • Undertake a regular pest check of your premises.

Rubbish storage

You must have adequate facilities for the storage and disposal of rubbish. Requirements include:

  • All rubbish, both in the kitchen and awaiting collection, is to be stored in easy to clean containers with a secure lid
  • Perishable rubbish such as waste meat trimmings in a butcher's shop, are required to be stored under refrigeration
  • If operating a mobile food vehicle - provide a rubbish container outside the vehicle for use of customers.