Hygiene rules in restaurants and food shops

Verified 15 September 2023 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Do you handle food in your professional activity? They explain the strict hygiene rules that you must follow.

Layout of premises

You must arrange your premises in accordance with the following practices:

  • Separate dirty work areas (diving, rubbish bins) and clean areas (preparation and storage)
  • Arrange the premises in such a way as to facilitate regular maintenance
  • Do not have to walk through kitchens or shops to get to the trash bin
  • Provide sanitary facilities for the staff and sanitary facilities for the clients
  • Sanitary facilities must not overlook rooms where food is cooked or stored
  • Store cleaning products separately (closet, room)
  • In case of changing rooms, locate them near the employees' workstation

Please note

If at least 25 employees have lunch at the workplace, a catering room must be made available to them, with tables and seats in sufficient quantity, tap of drinking water and fridge.


Equipment obligations are as follows:

  • A grease tray is required.
  • The equipment must bear the PSECA or Food Hygiene Notice of Compliance.
  • We must favor stainless steel or enamel utensils and equipment.
  • Drying hands with disposable paper (dishcloths are microbe sources) should be preferred.
  • Bins should be closed with a lid and open with a pedal.


Utensils and equipment made of raw wood are prohibited.


Your store must have the following equipment:

  • Ventilation system that does not mix clean and dirty air
  • Toilets with toilet and toilet bowl, washbasin and soap
  • In the kitchen, different sinks for hands and vegetables
  • Washbasins with non-manual control (with presence detector or control by leg or foot)
  • Hand dryers with either forced air or disposable paper
  • Floor syphon for draining washing water
  • Sufficient lighting
  • Cold room with thermometer and temperature control
  • Locker room for employees if the work requires a specific outfit

Please note

Rationalization activities should be carried out regularly.

Rules for the use of equipment

The following hardware practices must be followed:

  • Wash worktops and utensils at each shift at the end of the day
  • Do not place food on the floor
  • Do not place personal objects on workplanes (example: phone)
  • Use clamps for serving bulk food to customers

Mandatory training (HACCP)

Training in food hygiene rules is mandatory.

It is often called HACCP training.

The name HACCP means in English Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is a method of preventing and identifying hazards related to food hygiene practices.

It concerns all professionals of the food chain: traditional catering, cafeteria, fast food, restaurant bar, self-service, food shops, etc.

All it takes isonly one of the people of the institution has completed the training.

It lasts about 14 hours.

Its cost varies between €200 and €500. It shall be issued by a recognized organization. A list of training organizations registered in a region can be found on the Regional Directorate for Food, Agriculture and Forestry.


It is not compulsory for a professional who can demonstrate at least 3 years of activity in the food sector as manager or operator.

Most diplomas in the cooking and catering sector automatically includes this training.

Exceptions to the HACCP training obligation

Some activities are not covered.

These activities include:

  • Hotel serving only breakfast
  • Caterer
  • Processor radius for large and medium-sized areas
  • Meat lovers (butchers, cooked meats, bakers, pastry cooks, fishmongers) offering cooked dishes, sandwiches, salads
  • 'Hot spot' in shops with a few 'stand-up' tables
  • "Chef" preparing meals at the home of private individuals
  • A host table that meets all of the following conditions:
    • Complements the hosting activity
    • Offers a single menu and a quality cuisine composed of local ingredients
    • Meal service at the family table
    • Offers a capacity limited to that of the accommodation

If these criteria are not all met, then it is a restaurant that must comply with the HACCP training obligation.

Main hygiene rules for staff

Anyone who comes into contact with food should follow the following practices:

  • Wearing clean clothes
  • Wear a cap
  • Wear gloves when preparing or serving food
  • Throwing away and changing gloves often
  • Se wash hands is mandatory in the following cases:
    • Return to work
    • Exit from the toilets
    • After handling the waste
    • After handling raw materials
    • Before handling dairy products (mayonnaise, butter, cheese, fresh cream, etc.)


An employee sick person (flu or gastroenteritis) or wounded with a wound is not allowed to handle food.

Sufficient drinking water must be supplied.

Non-potable water must not be connected to, or able to flow back into, drinking water systems.

Ice which comes into contact with foodstuffs must be made from drinking water.

If ice is intended to refrigerate (whole) seafood, it must be made from clean water.

Water vapor used to cook food must come from clean water.

Chain of hot and cold

The cold chain (storage between 0° and 3°) must never be broken.

The temperature in refrigerators and cold rooms must be continuously monitored.

Respect for the hot chain is also required: for cooking, food must reach rapidly 63°. This temperature must be kept stable during cooking.

Cooling must be done as quickly as possible to reach the temperature of 3°.

After cooling, food should be refrigerated as soon as possible.

Raw materials and processed products must be stored in different refrigerators.


Packaging materials must be disinfected.

Raw materials must be kept in airtight containers.


The following practices are forbidden :

  • Refreeze a product that has already been thawed once
  • Thaw a product in the open air (thaw it in the fridge)
  • Freeze raw material, leftovers (in restoration), pre-packaged products to be stored at positive temperature

Please note

Products coming directly from the slaughterhouse and fresh fishery products may be frozen.

Food waste should not accumulate.

Bins must be emptied very regularly.

They must have a lid and open with a pedal.

They should be washed regularly.

The local garbage cans must be self-employed the rest of the store.

Staff should not cross the kitchens or service room to the garbage room.

Personnel must wear suitable equipment (boots safety, gloves) to get there.

Please note

Butchers must use a renderer to dispose of waste from meat preparation, frying oil must be collected by an approved body.

You have to make a statement for any activity manipulative food of animal origin intended for consumers.

This obligation applies to traders who sell or remit directly food to consumers.

It must be sent to the departmental directorate responsible for the protection of populations (DDPP).

It has to be done front the opening of the establishment.

This declaration is mandatory to allow the DDPP's Hygiene and Food Safety department to schedule the health check visits.

You can make this declaration either online or by post.


Online declaration of food of animal origin

Who shall I contact
By mail

The form must be downloaded, printed and completed.

Declaration on the handling of food of animal origin (paper form)

It must be sent to the Departmental Directorate for the Protection of Populations.

Please note

If the activity consists of selling animal food to other professionals, you must to apply for approval.


The 1re health inspection shall take place after the opening of the establishment.

The hotel has been warned of 1re visit.

The following checks are scheduled either at regular intervals or unannounced.


In the case of a health check, you must be able to show all the documents following:

  • Cleaning, deratization and disinfection (record with date of the interventions and signature of the professional)
  • Product receipt forms
  • Temperature record sheets (reserves, refrigerators, time/temperature pairs for cooking and cooling)
  • Maintenance sheets for hoods and extractors
  • Control sheets for frying oils
  • Staff training and information documents
  • Certificate of suitability of the staff, issued during visits to occupational medicine
  • Microbiological Analysis Reports
  • Maintenance Product Data Sheets
  • Vendor contact information
  • Customer contact information in case of delivery to a company
  • Product Non-Conformity Record Sheets
  • Problem Correction Action Sheets (What, When, How?)


In the event of an infringement of the hygiene rules found during a check, the penalties range from the warning (minor infringement), to the report and the closure of the establishment (endangering the health of consumers).

The consumer can report a hygiene problem to the fraud prevention.

The company is defendant and can fix the problem before any health check.

Official guides are drawn up by the operators of a professional branch and are validated by the State.

He is recommended to consult the official guide to hygiene practices (GBPH) corresponding to your professional branch.

Indeed, specific rules and derogations may apply to specific sectors.

You can access it for free online:

Consult a guide of good hygiene practices (GBPH)

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