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Food Preparation

Return to Cafeteria

Design Guidance

Overall Strategies

Food preparation areas are needed to wash, cut, peel, and otherwise prepare raw food for serving or cooking. These stations in a food service environment usually include a sink for washing fruits and vegetables, a cleanable, anti-microbial surface for cutting and temporary storage, refuse collection areas, and refrigerated under-counter storage.

Cool Food Prep Area

Surfaces used for food preparation should be easy to clean and anti-microbial. A sink should be within close proximity for both hand-washing and food washing. Trash and compost receptacles can be built into the prep area or located close by for easy removal of food scraps. Under-counter refrigeration units are often placed below the food preparation counter for easy storage of cut and washed food prior to serving or cooking.

Best Practices

  • Use cleaning and sanitizing chemicals that balance environmental considerations with appropriate food safety cleanliness standards. See the Commercial Food Service Standard 189 for additional information.

Compare Food Preparation Options

EB = Existing BuildingsNC = New Construction and Major Renovation

Federal Requirements

Guiding Principles

  • Energy Efficiency ( Guiding Principles [NC])
    Section: II. Optimize Energy Performance

    From the Guiding Principles for NC: “Employ strategies that minimize energy usage. Focus on reducing energy loads before considering renewable or clean and alternative energy sources. Use energy efficient products as required by statute.”
    Determining Compliance: “For new construction, ensure energy efficiency is 30% better than the current ASHRAE 90.1 standard. For modernization, ensure: (1) energy use is 20% below the fiscal year (FY) 2015 energy use Baseline, (2) energy use is 30% below the FY 2003 energy use baseline, (3) the building has an ENERGY STAR® rating of 75 or higher, or (4) for building types not in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, where adequate benchmarking data exists, the building is in the top quartile of energy performance for its building type. For new construction and modernization, use energy efficient products, as required by statute.”

  • Energy Efficiency ( Guiding Principles [EB])
    Section: II. Optimize Energy Performance

    From the Guiding Principles for EB: “Employ strategies that minimize energy usage. Focus on reducing energy loads before considering renewable or clean and alternative energy sources. Use energy efficient products as required by statute.”
    Determining Compliance: “Ensure: (1) the building has an ENERGY STAR rating of 75 or higher, (2) energy use is 20% below the FY 2015 energy use baseline, (3) energy use is 30% below the FY 2003 energy use baseline, or (4) energy efficiency is 30% better than the current ASHRAE 90.1 standard. Use energy efficient products, as required by statute.”

  • Waste and Materials Management ( Guiding Principles [NC])
    Section: V. Reduce Environmental Impact of Materials

    Incorporate adequate space, equipment, and transport accommodations for recycling in the building design. During a project's planning stage, identify local recycling and salvage operations that could process site-related construction and demolition materials. During construction, recycle or salvage at least 50 percent of the non-hazardous construction, demolition and land clearing materials, excluding soil, where markets or onsite recycling opportunities exist. Provide salvage, reuse and recycling services for waste generated from major V. Reduce Environmental Impact of Materials renovations, where markets or onsite recycling opportunities exist.

  • Material Content and Performance ( Guiding Principles [EB])
    Section: V. Reduce the Environmental Impact of Materials

    From the Guiding Principles for EB: Procure construction materials, products, and supplies that have a “lesser or reduced effect on human health and the environment over their life cycle when compared with competing products or services that serve the same purpose”, including:
    (i) “Use Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) section 6002 compliant products that meet or exceed EPA’s recycled content recommendations for building construction, modifications, operations, and maintenance.”
    (ii) “Per section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA), for USDA-designated products, use products with the highest content level per USDA’s biobased content recommendations.”
    (iii) “Purchase products that meet Federally Recommended Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels or are on the Federal Green Procurement Compilation.”
    (iv) Eliminate, to the maximum extent practicable, “ozone depleting compounds and high global warming potential (GWP) chemicals where EPA’s SNAP has identified acceptable substitutes or where other environmentally preferable products are available” during construction, repair, or replacement at the end of life.
    Determining Compliance: “Procure products that meet the following requirements where applicable: (A) RCRA section 6002, and (B) FSRIA section 9002, and (C) Federally Recommended Specifications, Standards and Ecolabels or are on the Federal Green Procurement Compilation for other green products, as appropriate, and (D) Avoid ozone depleting compounds and high GWP chemicals.”

  • Waste Diversion ( Guiding Principles [NC])
    Section: V. Reduce the Environmental Impact of Materials

    From the Guiding Principles for NC: “Incorporate appropriate space, equipment, and transport accommodations for collection, storage, and staging of recyclable and, as appropriate, compostable materials in building design, construction, renovation, and operation. During construction, where markets or on-site recycling exist, divert at least 50% (by weight) of construction and demolition materials, excluding land clearing debris and material used as alternative daily cover, from landfills. Maximize reuse or recycling of building materials, products, and supplies wherever possible. Provide reuse and recycling services, including composting, for building occupants, where markets or on-site recycling exist, and divert at least 50% of non-hazardous and non-construction related materials (by weight), from landfills.”
    Determining Compliance: “Where markets exist, provide reuse and recycling services for building occupants and divert at least 50% of non-hazardous, nonconstruction related materials from landfills.”

  • Waste Diversion ( Guiding Principles [EB])
    Section: V. Reduce the Environmental Impact of Materials

    From the Guiding Principles for EB: “During alteration and repair projects, where markets or on-site recycling exist, divert at least 50% (by weight) of construction and demolition materials, excluding land clearing debris and material used as alternative daily cover, from landfills. Provide reuse and recycling services, including composting, for building occupants where markets or on-site recycling exist, and divert at least 50% of non-hazardous and non-construction related materials (by weight) from landfills. Provide salvage, reuse, and recycling services for waste generated from building operations, maintenance, repair and minor renovations, and discarded furnishings, equipment, and property.”
    Determining Compliance: “Where markets exist, provide reuse and recycling services for building occupants and divert at least 50% of non-hazardous nonconstruction related materials from landfills”