What is the certificate of acceptability (COA)?2019-05-13T11:12:37+00:00

A COA is a certificate that is issued out by the local health authority whereby an inspector will carry out an inspection to ensure the food establishment meets the requirements set out.

This regulation (R638) defined the basic hygiene requirements that EVERY food handling business should have in place to ensure minimum legal compliance. This is what we refer to as the entry level regulation. Your certificate of acceptability (COA) is issued under this regulation. This regulation defines the legal physical must-haves for a hygienic environment.

Who needs to apply for the certificate of acceptability?2019-05-13T11:13:13+00:00

The person in charge of the food premises who manufacture, process, produce, pack, prepare, keep, offer, store, transport or display food for sale or serving in a food premises which includes a structure, stall, caravan, vehicle and stand.

Duties of the person in charge of food premises2019-05-13T11:13:51+00:00

The person in charge (this should be the person who is able to supervise food handling practices on a day to day basis, and who will be liable for any criminal acts) must be able to demonstrate that he/she is suitably qualified and/or trained in principles and practices of food safety and hygiene. This should be accredited training or provided by the inspector.
The person in charge must then still ensure all food handlers are now trained in principles and practices of food safety and hygiene. In addition to training, the person in charge must evaluate the effectiveness of the training through assessments and arrange for follow up training if required. Finally records of training must be kept and training programmes must be updated.

The person in charge must ensure that persons under his control, who handle food, meet the standards and requirements of the regulations.

In addition to this requirement for training, the person in charge must demonstrate compliance with the regulations by keeping records of processing, production and distribution. These should be kept for at least 6 months after the shelf life of the product.

A traceability system is required and a recall procedure must be in place. A recall activation must be formally reported to the local inspector and the National Directorate: Food Control.

What are the requirements for walls, sides, ceilings, roofs without ceilings, floor surfaces or any other similar horizontal or vertical surface?2019-05-13T11:14:47+00:00
  • No open joints or open seams.
  • Shall be made of a smooth, rust-free, non-toxic, cleanable and non-absorbent material that is dust proof and water resistant.
  • Be of such a nature that it cannot contaminate or contribute to contamination of food.
What type of ventilation is required?2019-05-13T11:15:37+00:00
  • Artificial ventilation that complies with the requirements of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act
  • Natural ventilation through openings or operable sections which are directly connected to the outside air. Provided that such openings shall have a surface area equal to at least 5% of the floor area.
  • Whichever of the two methods will facilitate the addition of adequate fresh air and the effective removal of polluted or stale air that arises during the handling of food.
What type of illumination is required?2019-05-13T11:22:56+00:00
  • Artificial illumination which complies with the requirements of the National Building Regulations and the Building Standards Act.
  • Permits illumination strength equal to at least 200 lux.
Are wash-up facilities required?2019-05-13T11:23:21+00:00

Yes, with hot and cold water for the cleaning of the facility.

What requirements are set for the illumination of pests?2019-05-13T11:23:46+00:00
  • Rodent proof in accordance with the best available method.
  • Access prevention and elimination of flies or other insects.
How many hand wash basins are required?2019-05-13T11:24:42+00:00
  • The number must comply with Annexure D as stipulated in the regulations.
  • You must have HOT where possible
  • Antibacterial hand soap.
  • Disposable hand drying material.
  • Use a hand washbasin for the cleaning of hands and simultaneously for the cleaning of facilities.
What food storage / display requirements should be adhered to?2019-05-13T11:26:26+00:00
  • Adequate storage space for food, facilities and equipment.
  • Food on displayed or stored shall not be in direct contact with a floor surface.
  • All shelving or display unit shall be kept clean and free of impurities.
  • Non-prepacked, ready to consume food, including food served as meals and displayed in an open container shall be protected against droplet contamination or contamination from insects or dust.
  • During the storage, transport or display be kept at a core temperature of annexure d
  • Exemption is that food that will be sold directly to a consumer within one hour of being processed.
  • Any food marked as frozen has thawed but the surface temperature does not exceed 5 ° C may be refrozen.
  • When handling ready-to-eat non-packaged foods, these must now also be protected against contact by bare hands.
Is staff change rooms required?2019-05-13T11:27:17+00:00

Yes, a separate changing area is required with storage facilities for clothes and personal belongings.

What are the requirements for staff toilets inside the food handling area?2019-05-13T11:28:39+00:00
  • A proper ventilated lobby provided with interconnected doors.
  • All doors shall be fitted with durable self-closing devices.
  • Without a lobby there must be a self-closing door and be equipped with effective mechanical extraction ventilation
Name the standards and requirements for a facility2019-05-13T11:29:33+00:00
  • All food contact surfaces must be made of a smooth, rust-proof, non-toxic, and non-absorbent material that is free of open joints or seams.
  • Crockery, cutlery, utensils must be clean and do not have any chipped, split or cracked damages.
  • Deposable containers or utensils (designed for single use) shall be stored in a dust-free container and shall be used more than once.
  • All surfaces must be cleaned and washed before and after use.
  • Clean as you during shift work must be practised.
  • Swabs must not read more than 100 viable micro-organisms per cm2 and the swab technique to comply with SANS 763.
  • Chemicals used may not pollute the food (sans 1828, 1853).
  • All chilling and freezer equipment / facilities must be equipped with a thermometer.
  • All heating equipment / facility must be equipped with a thermometer.
Standards and requirements for facilities on food premises2019-05-13T11:30:42+00:00

Additional requirements for the heat treatment of milk and bulk milk storage tankers used in retail are also addressed specifically to improve the safety of bulk milk sales.

What is the standards and requirements of food containers2019-05-13T11:31:16+00:00
  • Not allowed to sell any container of which bulges on the sides or blown or gas escapes with opened
  • All containers shall be cleaned and free from any toxic substance, ingredient or any other substance
  • All perishable and replaced food shall be packed in dustproof and liquid proof containers.
What are the standards and requirements for protective clothing?2019-05-13T11:32:05+00:00
  • No person shall be allowed to handle food without wearing suitable protective clothing.
  • Protective clothing include head covering and footwear
  • All ppe must be clean and neat prior to use
  • Must be worn at all times during the handling of food
  • So designed that it does not come into direct contact with any part of the body.
  • Required to provide clothing for visitors
What is the general requirement of a food premises?2019-05-13T11:33:09+00:00
  • Shall be of such a location, design, construction, finish and equipped in such a condition without creating a health hazard.
  • Food is handled hygienically.
  • Food shall be protected by the best available method against contamination or spoilage by poisonous or offensive gases, vapours, odours, smoke, soot deposits, dust, moisture, insects, or other physical, chemical or biological contamination or pollution.
  • Shall not be in direct connection with any area which gas, fumes, offensive odours or any impurity is present or may arise.
  • No room shall be used from sleeping purposes, washing, cleaning, ironing or laundry
  • The premises and any land use in connection with the handling of food shall be kept clean and free from unnecessary materials, goods or items.
  • No animal is permitted in any room or Area.
What are the duties of a food handler?2019-05-13T11:34:24+00:00
  • Any person working on the food premises is adequately trained in food hygiene.
  • No person handling food wears any jewellery or adornment.
  • Not allowed to touch any food item without prior hand washing.
  • All food items shall be handled with good manufacturing practise.
  • Any person may not have any suppurating abscess, sore, cut or abrasion unless it is covered with a moister proof dressing and secured to prevent contamination
  • A person that is suspected of suffering from or being a carrier of a disease or condition in its contagious stage
  • Spit in an area where food is handled or on any facility
  • Smoke or use tobacco in any other manner while he or she is handling non-prepacked food or while he or she is in an area where such food is handled
  • Handle non-prepacked food in a manner that brings it into contact with any exposed part of his or her body, excluding his or her hands
  • Lick his or her fingers when he or she is handling non-prepacked food or material for the wrapping of food
  • Cough or sneeze over non-prepacked food or food containers or facilities
  • Spit on whetstones or bring meat skewers, labels, equipment, or any other object used in the handling of food or any part of his or her hands into contact with his or her mouth, or inflate sausage casings, bags or other wrappings by mouth or in any other
  • Walk, stand, sit or lie on food or on non-hermetically sealed containers containing food or on containers or on food-processing surfaces or other facilities
  • Perform any act which could contaminate or spoil food
When is hand washing required?2019-05-13T11:35:22+00:00
  • Fingernails, hands or clothes must be clean immediately prior to the commencement of each work shift.
  • At the beginning of the day’s work or after a rest period.
  • After every visit to a latrine or urinal.
  • Every time he or she has blown his or her nose or after his or her.
  • Hands have been in contact with perspiration or with his or her hair, nose or mouth.
  • After handling a handkerchief, money or a refuse container or refuse.
  • After handling raw vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat or fish and before handling ready-to-use food.
  • After he or she has smoked or on return to the food premises.
  • After his or her hands have become contaminated for any other reason.
Standards and requirements for waste containers and storage areas are:2019-05-13T11:35:57+00:00
  • Liquid proof, easy to clean refuse / waste containers with close fitting lids
  • Suitable storage area for the hygienic storage of refuse containers pending removal
  • Refuse is stored or disposed of in a manner that does not create a nuisance
  • Bins must be cleaned and disinfected regularly
What are the requirements and standards for the handling of meat?2019-05-13T11:36:50+00:00
  • No person shall on food premises handle meat derived from an animal slaughtered in contravention of the Meat Safety Act, 2000.
  • Meat on a carcass shall not be handled on food premises, unless the carcass has been properly bled.
  • The abdominal viscera were removed within 30 minutes after the killing of the animal in such a manner that neither the stomach and intestinal content nor any other matter polluted or spoiled the meat and the thoracic viscera were removed within three hours after the killing of the animal.
  • Unskinned carcasses shall not be so handled that the skin thereof comes into contact with other food on food premises.
  • No animal shall be killed, bled, eviscerated, skinned or dressed on food premises other than in a room used specifically and exclusively for that purpose in accordance with good manufacturing practice.
What are the standards and requirements for the transportation of food2019-05-13T11:37:26+00:00
  • The container and vehicle must be to prevent chemical, physical or microbiological contamination.
  • May not be together with contaminated food or waste food, poison or any harmful substance, live animal or any object that may contaminate or spoil the food.
  • All food must be wrapped in liquid proof and dustproof sealed containers.
  • The interior must be easy-to-clean and smooth, rust free, non-toxic and non-absorbent material without open joints.
  • Food may not be walked on or cause any type of contamination.