Food Courts

The purpose of this document is to provide a guideline for the design and construction of food courts as they relate to the infrastructure provided for the support of the food court permitted vendors.  See the Regulations Governing Sanitation of Food Establishments for complete regulatory requirements.

Necessary aspects of a food court permit:

Restrooms:  Men’s and women’s restrooms (or two unisex restrooms) are required to be provided whenever seating for 10 people or more are provided for the purpose of consumption of food on premises. A restroom access clause must be provided in each vendors lease agreement.

  • Restrooms must meet the following design criteria:
    • Water closets and urinals shall be of a sanitary design.
    • Exhaust fans shall be installed in all new construction and extensively remodeled restrooms.
    • Rooms with toilets must be completely enclosed and have solid doors which must fit tightly, close automatically and remain closed except during cleaning or maintenance.
    • Restroom walls shall have a 4 foot wainscoting of sealed, impervious material, a sealed base cove, and sealed impervious floor.
    • Ceilings may be of drop or hard-lid design.
    • Lighting shall be at least 20 foot/candles 30 inches above the floor.

Cleaning Facilities:  A mop sink, service sink or can wash area must be provided and serviced with hot and cold running water, for the emptying, filling and cleaning mop buckets and mops. Location and installation of mop sink/can wash must be made to preclude the possibility of contamination of food and preparation areas.

Common Sewage Collection & Grease Interception:

  • As per the regulations adopted by the Southern Nevada Uniform Plumbing Code, one or more grease traps or grease interceptors shall be installed at any food establishment that generates grease that could enter a sewer system.
  • Grease traps or grease interceptors shall be easily cleanable.
  • A grease trap or grease interceptor shall be located outside the food establishment whenever possible.
  • A grease trap or grease interceptor shall not be located in any area where food is prepared, or where utensils or tableware are washed or stored. Prior to installation the location shall be approved by the Health Authority.
  • Sewage shall be conveyed to the point of disposal through an approved sanitary sewage system, or other approved system, including use of sewage transport vehicles, waste retention tanks, pumps, pipes, hoses and connections that are constructed, maintained and operated in an approved manner.
  • Sump pumps and lift stations are not allowed for the purpose of draining food service equipment to the sewer, except in the case of a lift station installed outside the food establishment that has been approved by the building and sanitation regulatory authority. In such a case, an alarm system with both audio and visual signals shall be installed within each food establishment serviced by the lift stations.
  • Secondary HVAC drains, within food processing or storage areas, may not terminate at the ceiling or at any place that may be a source of food or utensil contamination.

Refuse-related Issues:

  • Outdoor Storage Surface:An outdoor storage surface for refuse shall be constructed of non-absorbent material, including but not limited to concrete or asphalt, and shall be smooth, durable, and sloped to drain.
  • Outdoor Enclosure:An outdoor enclosure for refuse shall be constructed of durable and cleanable materials. o Receptacles – Receptacles and waste handling units for refuse and for use with materials containing food residue shall be durable, cleanable, insect and rodent resistant, leak proof and non-absorbent.
  • Outside Receptacles:
    • Receptacles and waste handling units for refuse, that are used outside a food establishment and contain food residue, shall be designed and constructed to have tight-fitting lids, doors, or covers.
    • Receptacles and waste handling units for refuse, including but not limited to an on-site compactor, shall be constructed and installed so that accumulation of debris, and insect and rodent attraction and harborage, are minimized and effective cleaning is facilitated around and, if the unit is not installed flush with the base pad, under the unit.
  • Storage Areas, Rooms, and Receptacles, Capacity and Availability:
    • An inside storage room and area, and outside storage area and enclosure, and receptacles shall be of sufficient capacity to hold refuse that accumulates.
    • A receptacle shall be provided in each area of the food establishment, or premises where refuse is generated or commonly discarded.
    • If disposable towels are used at hand washing sinks, a waste receptacle shall be located at each sink, or group of adjacent sinks.
    • Receptacles and waste handling units for refuse shall be kept covered with tight-fitting lids.
    • Drains in receptacles and waste handling units for refuse shall have drain plugs in place.
    • Areas for housing rubbish for disposal shall be constructed of paved surface, with metal gates, to enclose the disposal container. Where allowed by the building authority, drains shall be installed to facilitate cleaning of the area. Such drains shall be plumbed to the sanitary sewer through a grease interceptor to prevent discharge of wastewater to the environment.
  • Cleaning Implements and Supplies:
    • Suitable cleaning implements and supplies, including but not limited to, high pressure pumps, hot water, steam, and detergent shall be provided as necessary for effective cleaning of receptacles and waste handling units for refuse.
    • Off-premises based cleaning services may be used if on-premises cleaning implements and supplies are not provided.

Tray-Washing Area: If a food court provides tray or ware-washing services under lease agreement to their tenants, the tray/ware-washing room must meet all applicable requirements listed under chapters 4 of the food regulations, including:

  • Finishes: ware-washing areas must have impervious sealed floor and wall (FRP) covering, base cove & washable ceiling treatment.
  • Lighting: fifty foot-candles at 30 inches.
  • A three-compartment sink with optional dishwasher meeting the requirements of sections 4-404and 4-405 of the food regulations.

A wall-hung hand-washing station with mixing or tempered hot/cold service located within the same room as the ware-washing equipment, with soap and paper towel dispensers; splash guards will be required if the hand-washing sink is located within 18 inches of a drain board, dish landing, or other food contact surfaces.

Contact Information

Phone: (702) 759-1258


Updated on: July 11, 2021