What Three Characteristics Must Food Contact Surfaces Have

Food contact surfaces can harbour a multitude of harmful micro-organisms and other substances which can contaminate food.

It’s important to understand
is considered food contact surfaces and the
to prevent food contamination.

In that location are many different types of food contact surfaces. More yous might realise!

One specific blazon of nutrient contact surface is ofttimes missed as such by food handlers. Can you estimate what it is?

What is Considered Nutrient Contact Surfaces (Definition)?

Food contact surfaces mean any surface with which food (especially unpackaged food) normally comes in contact.

Nutrient contact surfaces likewise include those surfaces from which food may drain, drip or splashback onto surfaces normally in contact with nutrient.

Simply put:
Nutrient contact surfaces are Whatever surface food comes in contact with.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What comes in contact with your food products?
  • What facilities like utensils, surfaces, equipment or tools do you apply during nutrient treatment?
  • Does any of the above have the potential to contaminate your food products and ingredients?

Examples of Food Contact Surfaces

For the purpose of this practice and to simplify things, we will use a restaurant or catering setup to identify some examples of nutrient contact surfaces.

This list is comprehensive but might not include all nutrient contact surfaces in your nutrient treatment enterprise.

Hands, Clothing and Gloves

Did you lot know that hands, clothing and food treatment gloves are considered food contact surfaces?

Hands are considered a nutrient contact surface.

These food contact surfaces are most probably the biggest sources of food contamination if expert hygiene practices are not followed.

Food Containers

Food containers are made of various dissimilar types of materials, for instance,
plastic, metal, glass, acrylic, brushed stainless steel, ceramic, canisters, etc.

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Food containers are used for
storage, display, serving, processing
of food products for short or extended periods.

Plastic food containers including packaging
Plastic nutrient containers, including packaging.

Examples of Food Containers

  • Plastic containers
  • The food trays used in serving units
  • The food trays used in display units
  • All types of packaging material –

    this is the i food contact surface oftentimes missed by nutrient handlers and considered non important to Food Rubber.
  • Blistering trays


Another case of food contact surfaces are utensils used during food treatment.

Utensils are normally items small enough that y’all can concur in your manus during food processing, preparation and serving.

There are food preparation utensils and eating utensils. Both are considered food contact surfaces. Sometimes the same particular can be used for both food preparation and every bit an eating utensil. For instance, a spoon or fork.

Utensils are considered food contact surfaces
Utensils are considered nutrient contact surfaces

Examples of Utensils

  • Cutting boards
  • Forks, spoons and knives
  • Hand mixers
  • Graters
  • Serving spoons
  • Basters
  • Pots and pans for cooking
  • Glasses, cups and mug
  • Measuring cups and jugs
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Ice paddles used for cooling hot food quickly


There are thousands of different types of equipment used in the food industry.

Food equipment is by and large used to
prepare, process, cook, handle, store,
food and food products. It can range from pocket-size to industrial size items.

This category can pose a real risk to Food Safety and even the safe of staff. Information technology is more difficult to clean and sometimes need more specialized and/or alternative cleaning methods.

Food processing and grooming equipment are normally mechanically / electronically operated, but you do get hand-operated equipment that doesn’t need a ability source, for instance, a mitt-operated mincer.

Power, water and people don’t go well together if the person cleaning the equipment are not well trained. Anyone cleaning power-operated equipment must exist well-trained in the cleaning processes and methods used.

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Food equipment are considered food contact surfaces
Food equipment like mixers and blenders are considered food contact surfaces

Examples of Food Processing and Preparation Equipment

  • Training equipment used for skinning, sorting, grading, cleaning or peeling of food products.
  • Mechanical processing equipment for cut, chopping, forming, crushing and grinding of food products.
  • Mixing and blending equipment.
  • Heating, cooking, and hot or common cold holding equipment.

Food Preparation and Processing Workstations

These normally include any surfaces yous might apply during the grooming or processing of nutrient products for case, countertops.

Food workstations are considered food contact surfaces
Food workstations are considered food contact surfaces

Not all food is put in containers when they are placed on a countertop.

For example, when making sandwiches and putting fruits and vegetables directly on the countertop.

Food can too autumn from cutting boards on the countertop and be placed dorsum on the cut lath.

Nutrient Washing Facilities

We should always wash/rinse fruit and vegetables earlier utilize.

Information technology’due south not immune in the nutrient industry to wash or rinse nutrient products in the same bowl where you wash your dishes or your hands. Split food washing facilities must exist available.

Food washing facilities are considered food contact surfaces
Food washing facilities are considered food contact surfaces

Food washing facilities are considered food contact surfaces and can be a source of food contagion if not cleaned properly and regularly.

Single-Employ Items

Unmarried-utilise items tin likewise fall under the utensils and container categories. These are whatever items that can just exist used one time during food treatment and serving.

You are not immune to reuse single-use items. They are non designed for cleaning.

Single-use items are ordinarily associated with the fast-food industry.

Single-use items are considered nutrient contact surfaces

Examples of Unmarried-Use Items

  • Gloves used during food handling
  • Plastic / polystyrene cups
  • Polystyrene food containers
  • Plastic utensils for eating (spoons, forks, knives)
  • Drinking straws
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The Characteristics and Requirements of Food Contact Surfaces

In that location are specific requirements for food contact surfaces. The characteristics and requirements of food contact surfaces are regulated by food laws.

Food contact surfaces must be:

  • shine;
  • not-absorbent;
  • easy to make clean and sanitise;
  • noncorrosive;
  • in a proficient condition and well maintained (for instance, no chips, cracks or worn parts);
  • cleaned regularly and as often as necessary to avoid nutrient contamination and cantankerous-contagion;
  • made from approved nutrient contact (food grade) materials.

Food contact surfaces should non accept any open up joints, cracks, or crevices where contaminants can accumulate.

You are non allowed to use any containers that previously held chemicals for whatever food handling, including nutrient storage.

Not-nutrient items should never exist used during food treatment.

Never reuse single-use items. Information technology’s important to protect single-use items from contamination because y’all cannot wash or clean them. Proper packaging and storage of single-use items are the preferred choices of protection against contaminants.

Well documented policies and procedures (instructions) should be in place for the condition, maintenance, cleaning and sanitising of food contact surfaces.


Food handlers need to identify all nutrient contact surfaces and empathise the specific requirements for cleaning and sanitising these nutrient contact surfaces.

Food handlers besides need to know how to foreclose cross-contamination between the different food contact surfaces; and between food contact surfaces and nutrient products.

Food surfaces are a real threat to Food Safety and can become hands contaminated and in turn, contaminate food products.

Please drop the states a comment in the comment section beneath. We would dear to hear from y’all!

Poor Food Hygiene Practices of Food Handlers

What Three Characteristics Must Food Contact Surfaces Have

Source: https://fssavvy.com/examples-of-food-contact-surfaces/