03 Cleanliness of Facilities, Surfaces and Equipment

All Oiva evaluation guidelines for approved food establishments.

3.1 Cleanliness and Order of Facilities and Structures

Guide/version: 2120/04.02.00.01/2021/3, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline is applied to all establishments.
  • This point pertains to the evaluation of the cleaning of food production facilities and structures in these facilities. Facilities and structures are usually not in direct contact with foodstuffs.
  • The cleanliness and order of cleaning equipment store rooms and staff facilities are also evaluated in this point.
  • The maintenance of the facilities and structures of the establishment is evaluated specifically in point 2.2.
  • Structures refer to e.g. ceiling, floor, and wall surfaces as well as ceiling, floor, and wall structures, such as piping, wiring, and ceiling tracks.
  • The cleanliness of structures also refers to the cleanliness of e.g. the outer surfaces and stop ends or protective enclosures/grilles of various piping and wiring (the internal cleanliness of ventilation ducts is evaluated in connection with maintenance in point 2.2), the cleanliness of ceiling tracks, and door and window surfaces, as well as the cleanliness of floor drains and their strainers.
  • The order of facilities refers to the order of raw materials, finished products and other items maintained in production facilities, as well as the order maintained in the corridors of production facilities, for example.
  • The cleanliness of water supply points is evaluated in point 5.3 Hygiene of Water Supply Points and Equipment Using Water.
  • The microbiological monitoring of cleanliness is evaluated in point 17.1.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Cleanliness and order of ceiling, wall, and floor surfaces and structures in the food establishment.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".
  • As concerns own-check activities, the following matters, for example:
    • The plan/programmes cover all facilities and structures
    • Sensory monitoring of cleanliness
    • Instructions for cleaning and disinfection
    • Detergents and disinfectants used.

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

Operations comply with requirements as regards the matters that are controlled. For example:

  • The facilities and structures of the establishment are clean and in orderly condition.
  • Own-check activities are adequate at the establishment to ensure the cleanliness and order of the facilities and structures.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

For example:

  • Items not used in production are stored in corridors where they gather dust and dirt, but food safety is not impaired, however.
  • The surfaces of facilities or structures are covered with dirt or mould in staff facilities and other facilities where no unpackaged food is handled.
  • Own-check activities do not cover all the facilities or surfaces or the cleaning interval is too long, but food safety is not impaired, however.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

For example:

  • The surfaces of facilities or structures are covered with dirt or mould in a high-hygiene area and this shortcoming impairs food safety.
  • In facilities where no unpackaged food is handled, the surfaces of ceiling structures (such as ventilation pipes or ceiling tracks) are covered with dust or dirt (e.g. track grease) which may fall onto food.
  • The maintenance of the facilities or structures, for example, has not been effective due to the presence or amount of items which should not be in the production facilities.
  • Staff facilities or other facilities where no unpackaged food is handled are dirty and in disorderly condition, which impairs working hygiene and the safety of foodstuffs. 

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

For example:

  • The surfaces of facilities or structures are covered with grime or mould in high-hygiene areas and this shortcoming jeopardises food safety.
  • Ceiling structures, for example, are extremely dirty or extremely dusty in the facilities where unpackaged food is handled and dirt or dust falls onto unpackaged food.
  • The operator has failed to fulfil the orders issued with the grade To be corrected.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 on food law
  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on hygiene rules for food of animal origin
  • Finnish Food Act 297/2021
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021.


Updates in version 3:

  • Guideline 2120/04.02.00.01/2021 is replaced by guideline 10271
  • References to Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls and Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 on official controls on products of animal origin have been deleted
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene at establishments 795/2014 has been deleted
  • The number of the Food Act has been updated
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021 has been added.

3.2 Cleanliness of Surfaces, Fixtures, Equipment and Utensils

Guide/version: 2121/04.02.00.01/2021/2, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline is applied to all establishments.
  • The cleanliness of surfaces, fixtures, equipment and utensils need not be verified through sampling; instead, evaluation can be carried as a sensory inspection. Microbiological monitoring is evaluated in point 17.1 Sampling and Own-check Test.
  • In this point, surfaces refer to e.g. work surfaces that are in direct contact with unpackaged or packaged foodstuffs. Not to wall surfaces.
  • When evaluating the cleanliness of cleaning equipment, their intended use is to be taken into account; are they intended for public areas or used for surfaces on which unpackaged perishable foodstuffs are handled.
  • The maintenance of the facilities and structures is evaluated in point 2.2.
  • The maintenance of fixtures, equipment, water equipment and utensils is evaluated in point 2.3.
  • The cleanliness and order of facilities and structures are evaluated in point 3.1.

Matters to be controlled:

  • The cleanliness of the work surfaces, fixtures, equipment (excluding water equipment, including ovens and heating equipment) and utensils (including cleaning equipment) used at the establishment.
  • Daily cleaning of water chilling equipment for poultry.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

  • Surfaces, fixtures, equipment, and utensils are clean at the establishment.
  • Own-check activities are adequate at the establishment to ensure the cleanliness of surfaces, fixtures, equipment, and utensils.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

The grade can be Good e.g. in cases where:

  • Surfaces, fixtures, equipment, and utensils that are in contact with unpackaged foodstuffs are clean.
  • There are some minor shortcomings in the cleanliness of other surfaces, fixtures, equipment, and utensils, such as uncleaned dirt or dust, but this does not impair food safety, however.
  • There are some minor shortcomings in the cleanliness of cleaning equipment, but they are not so dirty, taking their intended purpose into account, as to have an adverse effect on food safety.
  • Own-check does not cover all the surfaces, fixtures, equipment, and utensils at the establishment or the cleaning interval is too long, but food safety is not impaired, however.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

The grade can be To be corrected e.g. in cases where:

  • There are shortcomings in the cleanliness of surfaces, fixtures, equipment, or utensils at the establishment which may impair food safety.
  • Surfaces that are not in direct contact with foodstuffs are covered with grime or mould, for example.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The grade can be Poor e.g. in cases where:

  • The cleaning of surfaces, fixtures, equipment, or utensils has clearly been neglected.
  • The surfaces, fixtures, equipment, or utensils of the production facilities are covered with grime or mould.
  • Unpackaged foodstuffs are handled using surfaces, fixtures, equipment, or utensils that are dirty or mouldy and this jeopardises food safety.
  • The cleaning equipment is so dirty that it is no longer appropriate for the intended purpose and needs to be urgently replaced.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021.


Updates in version 2:

  • Guideline 2121/04.02.00.01/2021 is replaced by guideline 10272
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene at establishments 795/2014 has been deleted
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021 has been added.

3.5 Vermin Control

Guide/version: 2122/04.02.00.01/2021/4, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • This Guideline is applied to all establishments. The responsibility for appropriate vermin control lies with the establishment, even if vermin control has been outsourced.
  • The products used for vermin control are authorised by the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency Tukes (Frontpage - Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes)). Authorised control products are listed in the biocide register of Tukes (http://biosidit.tukes.fi).

Matters to be controlled:

  • Can vermin (such as rodents, insects, birds) or indications of vermin (such as droppings or materials damaged by rodents) be found in the facilities of the establishment.
  • The products used for vermin control do not contaminate foodstuffs, raw materials and/or packaging materials.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

The plan of the establishment for vermin control complies with requirements, the plan is complied with, and records are kept of control measures. There are no vermin or indications of the presence of vermin.

Vermins or signs of them can be seen, for example, in outdoor bait boxes, after which observation has been enhanced according to the plan and traps have been installed.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

The grade can be Good e.g. in the following cases where:

  • There are some minor shortcomings in the plan; for example, if bait boxes or traps are used, the map showing their locations is not updated.
  • There are some minor shortcomings in the implementation of the plan; for example, if traps are used, they are not controlled as frequently as planned.
  • There are shortcomings in the records.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

The grade can be To be corrected e.g. in cases where:

  • There is no plan at all, or there is no plan for the control of a specific group of vermin, such as flies.
  • Vermin, such as insects, or indications of vermin are found in the facilities of the establishment and the control measures are not adequately effective.
  • Vermin control measures are only implemented on a random basis, although vermin, such as insects, or indications of vermin can be found in the facilities of the establishment.
  • Records are deficient.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The grade can be Poor e.g. in cases where:

  • Own-check does not include a vermin control plan, or several vermin groups are missing from the plan.
  • No vermin control is implemented, and vermin or indications of vermin can be found in the production facilities.
  • There are no records at all of vermin control.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:


Updates in version 4:

  • Guideline number 2122/04.02.00.01/2021/4 en replaces Guideline number 10273/3 en
  • Finnish Food Act: number has been updated
  • List of legislation has been updated.

3.6 Disposal of Wastes and Wastewater

Guide/version: 2123/04.02.00.01/2021/2, valid from 1.7.2021

To be taken into consideration:

  • The hygiene and adequacy of the disposal of food wastes, other wastes and wastewater are evaluated according to this Guideline only to the extent that the establishment is responsible for the disposal.
  • By-products at establishments are evaluated in point 5.7 Hygiene of Handling and Storage of By-products.
  • The working hygiene of the personnel is evaluated in point 4.1.

Matters to be controlled:

  • Storage of food wastes and other wastes.
  • Disposal of food wastes and other wastes from the establishment.
  • Compliance with transfer routes specified for wastes at the establishment.
  • Suitability of waste containers for collection of wastes. Closed containers or other suitable containers, or a disposal system. Waste containers are clearly distinguishable from containers designed for storage of foods.
  • Washing and cleanliness of waste containers and waste management facilities.
  • Hygiene of waste management activities for which the establishment is responsible.
  • Monitoring of general cleanliness and order of waste treatment facilities for which a waste management company or some other external service provider is responsible, and submittal of complaints to the responsible service provider, in case a shortcoming related to the waste management facilities causes a risk to food safety.
  • Suitability and functionality of drainage systems in the food processing area.
  • The adequacy and suitability of own-check activities and, where appropriate, the plan are controlled by applying the Annex to Guideline 1.6: "Adequacy and Suitability of Own-check Activities".

Excellent: Operations are in line with the requirements.Operations comply with requirements.

  • Food wastes and other wastes are stored adequately separated from manufacture and handling of food.
  • Food wastes and other wastes are transferred to waste management areas as soon as possible, during the following production break or at the end of the production shift.
  • The cleanliness of waste containers is looked after and the waste containers are suitable for their intended use.
  • The general cleanliness and order of the waste management facilities is on a good level.
  • The drainage system does not cause any risk of contamination to foodstuffs.

Good: There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.There are small issues with the operations which do not impair food safety or mislead consumers.

The grade can be Good e.g. in cases where:

  • There are some minor shortcomings in the transfer of food wastes and other wastes to the waste management facilities.
  • There are some minor shortcomings in the cleanliness of waste containers, but the waste containers are suitable for their intended use.
  • There are some minor shortcomings in the general cleanliness and order of waste management facilities.

To be corrected: There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.There are issues with the operations which impair food safety or mislead consumers. These issues must be rectified within a set period of time.

The grade can be To be corrected e.g. in cases where:

  • Food wastes and other wastes are stored at the establishment in a manner that impairs food safety.
  • Waste containers are dirty and/or waste containers are not suitable for their intended use.
  • The general cleanliness or order of the waste management facilities is not looked after.

Poor: There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.There are issues with the operations which jeopardise food safety or considerably mislead consumers, or the operator has failed to comply with orders that have been issued. These issues must be rectified with immediate effect.

The grade can be Poor e.g. in cases where:

  • Food wastes and other wastes are stored at the establishment in a manner that jeopardises food safety. For example, wastes are transferred from the production facilities to the waste management facilities only once a week.
  • Waste in partly or completely open drain troughs runs from a contaminated area towards or into a clean area, particularly to an area where foodstuffs exposed to contamination are handled.

Legislation and guidelines (with any amendments) pertaining to the subject:

  • Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs
  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on hygiene rules for food of animal origin
  • Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021.


Updates in version 2:

  • Guideline 2123/04.02.00.01/2021 is replaced by guideline 10274
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene at establishments 795/2014 has been deleted
  • Reference to Decree of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on food hygiene 318/2021 has been added.