Chapter 2 LAYOUT

One of the most important decisions you make in building or modifying an establishment is how you plan the layout of your building, including the placement of rooms and equipment, product flow and people traffic patterns. Not only does a poorly designed establishment affect your productivity, but it may result in congested operations that can lead to unsanitary conditions. This chapter provides guide lines that you may wish to consider in planning any modifications to your existing establishment or in building a new one.

1. Flow of Operations

The direction in and mean s by which product moves or flows with in a plant is an important but often neglected consideration that can have enormous influence on sanitation and the safety of finished products. From a product flow standpoint, all raw meat and poultry products ought to be considered as potentially microbiologically contaminated and handled accordingly.

Product being processed should flow progressively from highest potential

Exposure to contamination to the least potential exposure to contamination,  with intervening processes designed to remove or otherwise reduce the contaminants whenever possible. The flow of air and people should be just the opposite, moving from the cleanest areas progressively toward less clean areas.

When designing product flow, consider the following:

  • Moving product from raw to final cooked product areas to systematically reduce the risks of contamination along the way.
  • Locating trash dumpsters and receptacles so that they do not create a risk of product contamination.
  • Selecting rooms large enough to permit the installation of all necessary equipment with space for establishment operations and inspection.
  • Locating people passage ways to provide maximum clearance to products, work areas, and production equipment.
  • Keeping truck ways unobstructed .

2. People Traffic Flow

In adequate control of the flow of people th rough product operational areas is one of the most serious risks for production contamination. People can act as carriers and bring from the outside contaminants such as dirt, debris, and vermin which are ideal vectors form microbiological growth and which can both directly and indirectly contaminate product. Ways in which you can reduce and control the flow of people include the following:

  • Establishment design should not require personnel not routinely assigned to specific work areas to be routed through those work areas. For example, personnel working in the live animal areas should not be required to travel through cooked product areas to use welfare rooms.
  • Welfare rooms, such as toilet rooms, dressing (locker) rooms, and cafeterias, should be designed to minimize contamination because of the traffic pattern s of the people.