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Food Establishment Requirements

This list is not comprehensive and does not guarantee your facility will be permitted. This list merely highlights the most common requirements for opening a food service facility.

Water and Plumbing
  1. Water must be potable and from a source approved by the ADEC Drinking Water Program.
  2. A hand sink must be conveniently provided in each of the food preparation and dishwashing areas, as well as the restrooms. Provide the following at all hand wash sites:
    • Soap and paper towels.
    • Hot (at least 100°F) and cold running water.
    • A 6 inch barrier may be required (depending on location of sink) to prevent splashing and cross contamination.
  3. Dishwashing requirements:
    • Contact the city or state plumbing authority regarding connections to the wastewater system.
    • Three-compartment sinks is required and must be large enough to wash/rinse/sanitize your largest utensil.
    • Automatic dish machines may be used in addition to 3-compartment sinks but they must be commercial grade.
    • Self-draining drainboards, utensil racks, or tables large enough to accommodate all soiled and clean items that may accumulate during the hours of operation.
    • An ample air drying area must be provided.
    • Sanitizer test strips and/or thermometers.
  4. A food prep sink is required for washing of food if the menu or method of preparation requires frequent soaking, rinsing, culling, or cleaning of raw ingredients or produce.
    • The food prep sink must be indirectly plumbed.
    • Prep sinks may not be used for any other purpose including handwashing or mop washing.
  5. At least one utility sink, for the cleaning of mops and for the disposal of mop water or similar liquid waste, is required. The use of utensil washing or equipment washing sinks or food preparation sinks for this purpose is prohibited. Space for mop storage to be hung between uses must be provided.
  6. The hot water heater must be of sufficient capacity to meet the peak hot water demands of your facility. If hot water availability is found to be problematic, additional hot water generating equipment will be required.
  7. Plumbing must be sized, installed and maintained according to the Alaska State Plumbing Code.
  1. Provide at least one restroom for each sex and an adequate number of toilets, urinals, and hand wash sinks for your planned occupancy. Please consult the Alaska State Plumbing Code on these requirements.
Food/Operational Requirements
  1. Employees must have their Food Worker Cards within 30 days after beginning work.
  2. There must be at least one full time Certified Food Protection Manager who is involved in the daily operations of the food establishment (unless otherwise specified) within 45 days of the facility opening.
  3. Operators are encouraged to develop Food Safety Management Systems that address policies, training of employees, and self inspection. More information can be found at the ADEC active managerial control page.
  4. Provide metal stem probe thermometers that read 0°F -220°F.
  5. Equipment should be placed so that there is no splashing or cross contamination. Three feet of aisle spacing is customary. See building codes for more information.
  6. Adequate refrigeration units must be provided and equipped with a thermometer, located in front, by the door. They must hold food at 41°F or below. Commercial grade equipment may be required depending on the level of food prep proposed.
  7. Storage space for food, non-food items, chemicals, and all restaurant related items must be provided to prevent contamination. Storage of food items should be a minimum of 6” off the floor.
  1. The walls, wall coverings, floors, and floor coverings of food preparation areas, equipment-washing and utensil-washing areas, toilet rooms and vestibules must be, smooth, non-absorbent, and easily cleanable. FRP board or stainless steel may be needed behind those walls having water splashing or high heat. Floors must be constructed of smooth durable material such as sealed concrete, ceramic tile, durable grades of linoleum or plastic.
  2. Openings to the outside must be protected against the entrance of rodents and insects.
    • Screening for doors and windows must be less than 16 mesh to the inch.
    • All openings to the outside must be tight- fitting and free of breaks.
    • Doors to the outside must be self closing.
  3. Junctures between walls and floors in preparation, processing, display, storage, and warewashing areas walk in refrigerators, locker rooms, and toilet rooms must be sealed and coved or have concave molding.
  4. Carpeting is prohibited in food preparation, storage, processing, produce display, warewashing, and restroom areas.
  5. Lights located over or within food storage, walk in refrigerators/freezers, food preparation, food display facilities, and facilities where utensils and equipment are cleaned and stored must be shielded, coated or otherwise shatter resistant. Adequate illumination should be provided throughout the facility including refrigerators and storage areas.
  1. The wastewater system must be approved by the ADEC Division of Water.
  2. Cooking oils must be disposed of in accordance with the requirements of the local landfill (PDF). If your establishment is required to have a grease trap it must be installed so it is accessible for cleaning.
  3. Garbage and refuse must be kept in durable, easily cleanable, insect-proof and rodent-proof containers that do not leak and do not absorb liquids. Containers must be kept covered when not in actual use. Containers must be cleaned at a frequency to prevent insect and rodent attraction. Containers should be located on hard, non-absorbent surface such as cement or asphalt.