Key Best Practices for Shared Kitchens
• Complying with all applicable state and local codes and ordinances. Shared
kitchens should collaborate with regulatory agencies to ensure the kitchen and all
operators are properly licensed and/or permitted with the appropriate agency.
• Maintaining the building and property in an acceptable sanitary manner, including pest control measures and sufficient garbage disposal.
• Providing sufficient handwashing facilities, equipment washing and sanitizing
facilities, and restroom facilities.
• Maintaining an incubator-kitchen operator schedule/calendar, including the date
Georgia (regulations and guidelines). 7
The importance of good communication and open dialogue among the
kitchen owners, the shared-kitchen operator, and the regulator cannot be overemphasized. Shared-use kitchens pose
special challenges, including unconventional hours and various regulating
entities overseeing food safety requirements. Many shared kitchens operate 24
hours a day; therefore, it is advisable for
kitchen owners to maintain a production schedule for each operator that they
can share with the appropriate regulator.
Regulators can use this schedule to conduct the necessary sanitary inspections
during working hours.
The fact that both a chocolate chip
cookie and a bottle of kombucha can
be produced in a shared-use kitchen
also presents its own unique food safety
challenges. Over the years, innovative,
artisanal products, such as fresh bottled
juices, protein-infused foods, fermented
foods, craft beers, and a variety of
ethnic foods, have flooded the marketplace. These products, often, may have
been developed in a shared-use kitchen.
In addition, different food safety
agencies across the U.S. are responsible
for regulating shared kitchens. Shared-kitchen owners and operators should
work with the appropriate local, state, or
federal food safety agency to determine
the regulations that apply to their food
facility, food product, and/or food process.
In 2017, the Association of Food and
Drug Officials (AFDO) recognized the
lack of specific and uniform shared-use
kitchen regulations nationwide and
created a guidance document to help
regulators understand basic food safety
practices and requirements as they apply
to shared-use kitchens. This guidance
document was based on best practices
found across the U.S. 8 The New York
State Department of Agriculture and
Markets saw a similar need and is currently creating a guidance document
for shared-kitchen owners and operators starting their business in New York
An Overhead Problem:
How To Prevent Birds In Your Facility
Much like rodents, birds are drawn to the inviting environment of
food processing facilities, but their added mobility can make them more
difficult to control. Birds, their feathers, and
their nesting materials can carry up to 60
transmittable diseases, along with parasites
like fleas and mites. Slippery and corrosive,
bird droppings can lead to maintenance
and liability costs in addition to being
unsanitary. Excluding birds from your facility is vital for product safety,
employee safety, and audit compliance.
Your building’s roof and overhangs may offer the right mix of sun,
shade, and nooks that birds find ideal for building their nests. As they
develop an attachment to the site, more birds are likely to be drawn to the
facility over time. The stakes are even higher when these flying pests make
their way inside the facility to feed on and contaminate ingredients.
To best protect your business from bird harms, follow these preventive
1. Identify areas on your property that would make ideal roosting, feeding,
and watering locations.
2. Modify the habitat to discourage nest building or loitering with
exclusion techniques. This can include installing physical barriers like
dock door flaps or wire, as well as caulking small gaps that birds can
3. Enhance habitat modification with trapping and audio/visual/other
harassment techniques. Check trapping regulations with appropriate
authorities and ask professionals for guidance with trapping/audit/
But what if a bird makes its way inside? Segregate warehousing and
production from shipping/receiving entrances with doors or plastic
sheeting. This minimizes the worst impact of in intrusion. Should a bird
find its way inside, usher the bird toward openings, and have fast trapping
equipment on hand if necessary.
Pest management professionals like IFC can recognize bird hotspots on
your building exterior, implement exclusion techniques, and monitor their
effectiveness. IFC’s pest bird facility risk assessment is a great first step to
keeping your facility safe and compliant. To learn more, visit