Operating a food business - Frequently asked questions

How many toilets do I require in my food premises?

The food safety regulations require that an adequate number of toilets are to be available and connected to an effective drainage system. Toilets are not to open directly into rooms in which food is handled. Toilet facilities are to have adequate natural or mechanical ventilation.

Depending upon the size and nature of the food business toilet facilities may be provided in premises nearby.  Please also refer to the paragraph below which explains the requirements for employees.

You will need to provide a wash hand basin in your toilet or the adjacent lobby for cleaning hands.  Wash hand basins for cleaning hands are to be provided with hot and cold running water (a single mixer tap is acceptable), materials for cleaning hands and materials for hygienic drying of hands, such as disposable paper towel or warm air hand dryers.

If you employ people to work in your business you must also take account of the Welfare regulations under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.  The welfare at work guidance for employers covers welfare provisions for staff and explains what toilet and washing facilities you will need to provide for your staff.

There are several sources of information to help you to determine the number of public toilets and disabled public toilets that you will need to provide in public areas of new and existing food premises.

The first are the requirements under the building control regulations, please contact the building control team

The second is the British standard document: British Standard 6465-1:2006 +A1:2009 Sanitary Installations, your architect or builder should be aware of this document.