Specific Hygienic and Sanitary Practices to be followed by Practices to be followed by Food Business Operators engaged in catering / food service establishments

In addition to Part-II the Catering/ food Service establishment in which food is being handled, processed, manufactured, stored, distributed and ultimately sold to the customers and the persons handling them should conform to the sanitary and hygienic requirement, food safety measures and other standard as specified below. It includes premises where public is admitted for repose or for consumption of any food or drink or any place where cooked food is sold or prepared for sale. It includes:

(a) Eating Houses
(b) Restaurants & Hotels
(c) Snack Bars,
(d) Canteens (Schools, Colleges, Office, Institutions)
(e) Food Service at religious places
(f) Neighbourhood Tiffin Services / dabba walas
(g) Rail and airline catering
(h) Hospital catering


I. Food Preparation Areas
The following rules apply to rooms where food is prepared. There will be no smoke nuisance in the food preparation area. Wherever cooking or frying of any kind is being done, a chimney having appropriate suction capacity as per the size of the kitchen has to be installed prior to start of business.

II . Hand washing facilities and toilets
(1) Adequate number of wash-hand basins made of porcelain/stainless steel shall be provided along with soap to wash hands, with hot and cold running water, and materials for cleaning hands and drying them hygienically. Clean and dry towels shall be kept for the use of customers.
(2) Separate sinks must be provided, where necessary, for washing raw food and cleaning equipment.
(3) Sinks with a draining board, detergent and hot water shall be provided to ensure proper cleaning of utensils, crockery and cutlery there will be a separate place for washing pots and pains.

2. Changing facilities:
Facilities for staff to change their clothes, where necessary must be provided.


1. Cleaning
Food areas and equipment between different tasks, especially after handling raw food shall be cleaned.
The surface shall be thoroughly cleaned in case if somebody spills food / water / drink.
A systematic cleaning schedule and instructions has to be developed by the FBO.
Food handlers should strictly follow the systematic cleaning schedule to make sure that surfaces and equipment are cleaned when they need to be.
The schedule should include:
what needs to be cleaned
how often it needs to be cleaned
how the cleaning should be done
Cleaning instructions should indicate:
what cleaning products should be used
how the products should be stored ( away from raw, cooked, packed food) and used
how much they should be used or diluted
how long that should be left in contact with the surface (following the manufacturer's instructions)

2. Raw materials

1. Raw materials shall be purchased from reliable and known dealers and checked for visible deterioration & off- odour.
2. There should be no physical hazards and foreign body contamination.
1. Raw paste, sauces etc. should be stored in properly covered containers made of food grade material and checked regularly for fungal growth, deterioration etc.
Preparation of fruits/ vegetables:
(1) Fruits and vegetables that have been protected from cross-contamination and properly conserved should be used.
(3) Whole fruits and vegetables should be washed in potable water before being cut, mixed with other ingredients. Uncooked, ready-to-eat fruits & vegetables should be with 50 ppm chlorinated water before cutting, peeling or serving.
(4) Fruits and vegetables should be peeled, squeezed and/or cut, as appropriate, with clean equipment/utensils made of non-absorbent food grade materials.
(5) Previously prepared fruits/vegetables should be kept in clean and properly covered food grade containers under refrigeration or at a maximum temperature suitable for the product in question.

Preparation of Non-veg. Products:—

(1) Raw meat and processed meat should be separated from other foods; items and surfaces.
(2) Separate items (e.g. cutting boards, dishes, knives) and preparation area for raw meats and poultry and marine products should be used to avoid cross contamination of food.
(3) Hands should be thoroughly washed before switching from preparing raw meat or poultry or marine products to any other activity.
(4) Ensure proper cooking of all non vegetarian products.
(5) Used surfaces should be washed with antibacterial cleaning agent, rinsed properly with water and sanitized after preparing raw meat/poultry.
(6) Ensure that frozen products are thawed as per point no. 9 under special requirements for high risk foods.

3. Cooking

(a) The preparation/ processing/ cooking should be adequate to eliminate and reduce hazards to an acceptable level which might have been introduced at the raw food level.
(b) The preparation/ processing/ cooking methods should ensure that the foods are not re- contaminated.
(c) The preparation/ processing/ cooking of veg. & non-veg. products should be segregated.
(d) Whenever cooking or reheating of food is done, it should be hot all the way through, It is especially important to make sure that food is cooked thoroughly.
(e) Re-use of cooking oil should be avoided.
(f) Food hot held at 60°c and cooled at 21°c within 2 hrs or cooled to 5°c in 4 hours and thereafter refrigerated might be reheated.
(g) Reheated food must reach a minimum internal temperature of 74°C.When using microwave to reheat, food must reach a minimum temperature of 74°C and stayed covered for 5 mins to allow the temperature to equilibrate.
(h) Reheat food quickly in ovens, steamer, microwave oven and/or on top of range in a steam kettle.
(i) Never reheat food on a steam table, in a bain marie, in a bun drawer and/or under a heat lamp.
(j) In case of reheating of oil use maximum three times to avoid the formation of trans fat. It is ideal to use once if possible.

4. Chilling

Semi cooked or cooked dishes and other ready-to-eat foods such as prepared salads and desserts having short shelf life should not be left standing at room temperature.
Chilled food intended for consumption should be cold enough.
Food items that need to be chilled should be put straight away into the fridge.
Cooked food should be cooled as quickly as possible and then put it in the fridge.
Chilled food should be processed in the shortest time possible.
Fridge and display units should be cold enough and as per requirement.
In practice, fridge should be set at 5?C to make sure that food is kept in chilled condition. Also, fridge and display units should be maintained in good working condition to avoid food spoilage and contamination.

5. Cross-contamination

Following should be done to avoid cross - contamination.
Raw food/ meat/poultry and ready-to-eat foods should be kept separate at all times.
Hands should be thoroughly washed after touching raw meat/poultry.
Work surfaces, chopping boards and equipments should be thoroughly cleaned before the preparing of food starts and after it has been used.
Separate chopping boards and knives for raw fruit/ vegetables/ meat/poultry and ready-to-eat food should be used.
Raw meat/poultry below ready-to-eat food should be kept in the fridge.
Separate fridge for raw meat/poultry should be kept.
Staff should be made aware how to avoid cross-contamination.


1. High standards of personal hygiene should be maintained.
2. All employees handling food should wash their hands properly:
before preparing food
after touching raw food or materials, specially meat/poultry or eggs
after breaks
after using the toilet
after cleaning the raw materials or utensils / equipments
3. Street shoes inside the food preparation area should not be worn while handling & preparing food.
4. Food handlers should ensure careful food handling & protect food from environmental exposure.
5. Food handlesr should not handle soiled currency notes to avoid cross contamination.


(1) The vehicle/transportation being used to carry cooked/prepared/processed food should be clean and, dedicated for this purpose and should not carry anything else.
(2) Time required for transportation should be minimum, to avoid microbial proliferation.
(3) Cooked food served hot should be kept at a temperature of at least 600 C to prevent microbial growth.
(4) Cooked food to be served cold should be kept below 50 C to prevent growth of pathogens.
(5) All foods during transportation must be kept covered and in such a way as to limit pathogen growth or toxin formation by controlling time of transportation, exposure, temperature control and using safe water for cleaning etc.
(7) Handling of food should be minimal. It should be ensured that utensils, crockery, cutlery and specially hands of the food handlers/seller are clean and sanitized.
(8) All surplus food and unused thawed food should be discarded.
(9) Food to be kept for cold storage should be distributed in small volumes to ensure uniform cooling.
(10) Dry, fermented and acidified foods should be stored in cool and dry place.
(11) All packaged food viz. sterilized milk, bottled beverages, canned foods etc. should be stored properly during transportation to ensure that seals remain intact and undamaged.


1. It is very important to store food properly for the purpose of food safety. Following things must be ensured:
Foods should be cooked, stored and kept at right temperature
Raw meat/poultry should be stored separately from other foods
Veg. foods should always be stored above non-veg. foods and cooked foods above uncooked foods on separate racks in the refrigerator.
Storage temperature of frozen food should be -18oC or below.
Cooked food to be eaten later should be cooled quickly, and kept it in the refrigerator 

- It is advisable to put date on food packages or containers, using stickers or any other way of identification , before keeping inside the refrigerator to keep track of food prepared date wise and use accordingly to minimise wastage .
Storage instructions over food packaging should be followed.
Dried foods (such as grains and pulses) should be stored off the floor, ideally in sealable containers, to allow proper cleaning and protection from pests. Stock rotation
The rule for stock rotation is FIFO (first in, first out) to make sure that older food is used first. This will help to prevent wastage.


This section deals selectively with varieties of food which are high risk as per HACCP and may need special attention. The type of foods covered here are as follows:

1. Cut fruits/salads, fresh juices and beverages

(1) Fresh fruits /vegetables cut or juiced should be used immediately; however, short storage should be only under refrigeration in sanitized and properly covered vessels.
(2) Water used in beverages should be potable.
(3) Ice used should be made of potable water only.
(4) Food or beverages should not be stored in the same container used to store the ice intended for consumption.
(5) Juice concentrates must be checked regularly for any fungal growth / change of colour, odour or gas formation in the bottle.
(6) Juice dispensing machine should be cleaned and rinsed with water regularly.

2. Confectionery products

(1) Prepared confectionery products should be kept in airtight containers and displayed hygienically.
(2) Cream to be used should be stored covered under refrigeration.
(3) Finished products should be refrigerated with proper labels indicating date of expiry.
(4) Products should be properly wrapped/ packaged after proper cooling.
3. Meat, poultry & fish products
(1) Non veg. products/raw materials should be purchased (chilled products temperature should be at 50C or below and frozen products at -18 deg C or below) from authorized/ licensed slaughter houses/vendors.
(2) Processing area should be cleaned and disinfected promptly.
(3) Preparation and processing of meat, poultry and marine products should be separate.
(4) Non-veg. products are washed with potable water before use.
(5) Non-veg. products are cooked thoroughly (core temperature 750 C) for at least 15 seconds or an effective time/temperature control e.g. 65 0C for 10 minutes, 70 0C for 2 minutes.
(6) Non-veg. products should be stored covered in refrigerator below the veg. products.
(7) Raw and cooked products should be stored physically separated with cooked products at the top.
(8) All refuse/waste should be promptly removed from preparation area.

4. Water based chutneys, sauces etc.

(1) All fruits/vegetables should be washed properly before processing.
(2) Clean and disinfected chopping boards/grinding stone/machine should be used.
(3) Personal hygiene of food handlers need to be ensured.
(4) Water used in the chutneys should be safe and potable.
(5) Only permitted food additives should be used, if required, and be added in recommended quantities only.
(6) Spoiled products should be discarded immediately after confirmation of spoilage (change in colour/texture/ odour).
(7) Sauces and chutneys should be stored in glass/food grade plastic containers with proper lids.
(8) Clean and intact containers should be used for storing sauces and chutneys.
(9) Sauces and chutneys should be stored in refrigerator when not in use.
(10) Perishable/uncooked chutneys should be consumed immediately.

5. Foods transported to point of sale from the point of cooking

(1) Food should be reheated more than 740 C before consumption.
(2) Food should be consumed or served for consumption within 4 hours of reheating.

6. Foods with Gravy

(1) Food products should not be stored at room temperature for more than 2 hours during display or sale.
(2) For prolonged storage, foods should be stored in refrigerators or kept for hot holding at or above 60°C.
(3) No water should be added after cooking/reheating/boiling.

7. Fried Foods

(1) Good quality / branded oils/fats should be used for food preparation, frying etc.
(2) Use packaged oil only.
(3) Use of oils with high trans fats (like vanaspati) should be avoided as far as possible.
(4) Re-heating and reuse of oil should be avoided as far as possible. Avoid using leftover oil wherever possible.
8. Adding ingredients after cooking
(1) Ingredients added to the cooked food should be thoroughly washed/ cleaned.
(2) After cooking or post cooked mixing, the food should be used immediately.
(3) Garnishes etc., if added, should be prepared using fresh, thoroughly washed and freshly cut vegetables and used immediately. Reuse of cooked food is not recommended.
Potentially hazardous foods and high risk foods such as hollandaise sauce, refried beans, scrambled
eggs and cut fruits are to be discarded.
All food at banquet setting that has been on display are to be discarded.
Food kept at more than 60°C during service may be reused, only by following the procedure indicated below:
never mix leftover with fresh product. If in doubt, throw out the product.
Reheat leftover food temperature to more than 74°C 

9. Thawing of Frozen Products.

Thawing-In Refrigerator
Items being thawed should be labelled with defrost date to indicate the beginning of 2nd shelf life.
Thaw food at 5°C or less.
Temperature controlled thawing is recommended for meat, poultry and fish.
Any other means of thawing apart from running water and microwave is not allowed.

Thawing In Running Water

Items being thawed should be labelled with date and time.
Thawing in running water advisable shellfish and seafood.
Thawing in running water should not exceed 90 minutes.
Ensure air break between tap and water.
Use sanitized food grade container.
Sink must not be used for other purposes during thawing
After thawing, product must be used within 12 hours.
Cold running water (from mains) should be at 15°C or less

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Comment by Nitin Rana on May 3, 2014 at 8:13am

Thanks for sharing the FSSAI regulations for Hygiene & Sanitation.

I will add the reference of FSSAI for complete rules & regulations.

FSSAI Standards

Guys, don't you think this has to be revised periodically with reference to World Food safety Guidelines.

It was a different experience when I was working with Global standards (Codex-Hygiene, GFSI, World Food Safety Guidelines for airline catering) with respect to FSSAI for Indian Catering Services.

I am preparing a presentation to understand the differences soon & it will be shared To FSSAI.

Any one knows from where FSSAI has defined these standards. Is there any reference.

Comment by RAVINDRA PATIL on November 7, 2013 at 10:00pm

Thanks for sharing valuable and important imformation............ 

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