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Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) Sri Lanka. National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA) Sri Lanka. United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP) Iceland. Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA) Iceland.

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principles for hygienic design and zoning

Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR)

Sri Lanka

National Aquatic Resources Research and Development Agency (NARA)

Sri Lanka

United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP)


Icelandic International Development Agency (ICEIDA)


Principles for hygienic design and zoning

Quality and Safety Issues in Fish Handling


A course in quality and safety management in

fishery harbours in Sri Lanka


  • Sources of contamination
  • Hygienic design – key criteria
  • Zoning of harbour
learning objectives
Learning Objectives

After this lecture participants will be familiar with:

  • how seafood can be contaminated
  • how the hygienic design criteria and zoning can reduce the contamination during handling
  • requirements for different zones

Increased pressure on fish handlers regarding hygiene:

  • "New" hygienic problems (e.g. bacteria, viruses)
  • More demanding specifications from buyers
  • Increased interest in further processing of foods and in chilled products
  • Consumption of raw or minimally processed seafood e.g. Sushi, sashimi, cold smoked fish
origin of bacteria in seafood environmental routes
Origin of bacteria in seafood -environmental routes
  • surface
    • directly via product’s contact surfaces
      • e.g. pallets, tables knives
    • indirectly via other routes
      • e.g. drains, floors, pier
    • people and animals (dogs, cats, crows)
  • water – harbour seawater
  • air
  • sewage from toilet waste
    • fish waste, blood water,
    • trash fish

“Cleaning” fish with harbour water

basic problems in handling and processing fish
Basic problems in handling and processing fish:
  • high number of bacteria and/or
  • presence of pathogenic bacteria or indicators thereof
bacterial load in fish
Bacterial load in fish

(Ganegamarachchi, et al 2004)

hygienic design of food handling processing facilities and equipment
Hygienic design of food handling/processing facilities and equipment
  • Three major benefits to food manufacturers
    • maintains product in the main product flow - Quality
    • prevents contamination of the product with substances that would adversely affect the health of consumer - Safety
    • reduces time required for an item of equipment to be cleaned - Efficiency
basic hygienic design requirement
Materials for construction

Surface finishes



Internal angels and corners

Basic hygienic design requirement

Stainless steel –AISI 304:2B

  • untreated (RA:0,16-0,17)
  • polished (RA:0,16-0,22)
  • glassbeaded (RA: 0,7-0,8)







basic hygienic design requirements cont
Basic hygienic design requirements (cont.)
  • Drainage
  • Bearings and shaft seals
  • Instrumentation
  • Doors, covers and panels
  • Controls
  • Dead spaces
hygienic design

Hygienic design?

Good or bad?

most common materials used for construction in the food industry
Most common materials used for construction in the food industry
  • Stainless steel
    • AISI-304, AISI-316 and AISI 316L
  • Plastics
    • polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride unplasticised (PVC), Acetal copolymer, polycarbonate (PC), high density polyethylene (PE)
  • Elastomer
    • ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM), nitrile rubber, nitrile/butyl rubber (NBR), Silicone rubber, fluororelastomer (Viton)
  • Lubricants
    • food grade
use of wood
Use of wood is only acceptable when:

it plays a favourable role e.g. cheese ripening, wine and vinegar production

its mechanical properties cannot be obtained with other available materials e.g. butcher's block

Splinters can result in foreign body contamination

Wood cutting table

Use of wood???????

Wooden surfaces must be

cleaned effectively and disinfected

because they can retain

microorganisms which can grow

in the presence of nutrients

break up of processing areas zoning

Break up of processing areas - Zoning

In a fish handling environment there are various demands regarding cleanliness in each area

hygienic requirements

low risk area and high risk area

traffic of people and vehicles

The areas must be separated according to these demands

zoning for prevention
Zoning for prevention
  • Keeping away unwanted items, animals and people from the product contact point is a major step towards prevention of food hygiene problems…………….
zoning of harbour
Zoning of harbour

high hygienic demands

Different zone are:

  • Pier - unloading area
  • Auction hall
  • Loading area for buyers
  • Loading of provisions to boats
  • Cleaning of boats
  • Other facilities
    • toilets, canteens, offices, fuel sheds,
    • parking areas,
    • ice-plants
    • net-maintenance
    • waste treatment/disposal
    • repair areas
    • more?

Most important

zoning will be


without coaching

and correct


zoning for prevention20
Zoning for prevention

………must remain realistic and affordable

  • What is to be prevented?
  • What are the contamination sources of concern?
  • What services are necessary?
requirement for the pier unloading area
Requirement for the pier – unloading area
  • Good access and easy to clean
  • Restrict unnecessary traffic
  • No direct landing of fish on the pier
    • access to boxes, plastic baskets and pallets
    • land directly into boxes or baskets and then onto pallets in the auction hall
  • Easy access to potable water
requirement for auction halls
Requirement for auction halls
  • Easy access to potable water
  • Access to ice made from potable water
  • Washing table/basin for the fish
  • Cleaning facility – cleaning programme – high pressure equipment (20-70bar)
  • Waste bins
  • Cutting table
requirement for auction halls24
Requirement for auction halls
  • Floors should be made of waterproof materials that are easy to clean and disinfect
    • concrete
    • ceramic tiles
    • seamless resin screeds ( heavy duty, self-levelling and coatings)
  • Water must drain away easily
    • slight slope towards the drain (1 in 40 or 1 in 60)
  • Hygienic drainage system for waste water is an absolute necessity
    • durable and easy to clean material
    • should be as straight as possible
auction hall

Auction hall

Auction hall to close to pier

Wrong use of auction hall

requirement for other areas
Requirement for other areas
  • Toilets
    • high standard to ensure maximum lifetime,
    • properly maintained with adequate water supply to flush
    • never open to a work area where fish is being handled due to risk of flooding from blocked drains
    • wrong use of toilet
  • Wash hand basins
    • adequate number in each toilet block
    • hand - or foot -operated faucets and soap available at all time
requirement for other areas cont
Requirement for other areas (cont.)
  • Showers
    • the importance of showers in a hot climate should not be underestimated
  • Signs and bill boards
    • listing food hygiene regulation for the harbour area
    • prohibition of dumping spillage into the harbour basin
    • prohibition of using seawater from harbour basin
    • indication of directions e.g. to toilets
requirement for other areas cont29
Requirement for other areas (cont)
  • Ice-plant
    • Ice made from potable water
    • Cleaning programme
    • Restrict traffic
    • Protective clothing
  • Canteen
    • Hygienic requirement
  • Restroom
    • Hygienic requirement
  • Fuel shed
  • Repair/ maintenance area
ideal arrangement for the fish harbour
Ideal arrangement for the fish harbour



Auction hall

Ref: Ice in fisheries. FAO fisheries technical paper no. 331 (1992)



  • Marriott, G. M.(1997). Essentials of food sanitation. Chapman and Hall. New York and London
  • Training material from UNU-FTP/Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories
  • Guide to Hygiene within the Fish Industry (2000). Eastfish - Fachpresse Verlag, Michael Steinert, An der Alster 21, D-20099, Hamburg
  • EHEDG (European Hygienic Engineering & Design Group)
    • document 8 – Hygienic equipment design criteria, second edition 2004
    • document 13 – Hygienic design of equipment for open processing, 1996
  • Edt. H.L.M. Lelieveld, M.A. Mostert, J. Holah and B. White (2003) Hygiene in food processing:. Wood Head Publishing Limited. Cambridge, England.
  • Ice in fisheries. FAO fisheries technical paper no. 331 (1992)
  • Fishery Harbour Manual on the Prevention of Pollution – Bay of Bengal Programme. FAO report, BOBP/MAG/22, 1999
  • Ganegama Arachchi, G.J. Kariyawasam, M.G.I.U., Heenatigala, P.P.M. Ariyaratne, T. Dahanayeka, T. and Jayasinghe, J.M.P.K. (2004) An investigation on the quality and handling practices of skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) along the main commercial distribution channels of Beruwala fishery harbour. Sri Lanka J. Aquat. Sci. 9: 109-121