This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Food contamination

Foods such as raw meat, fish and poultry pose an increased risk of becoming contaminated with bacteria. Microorganisms from such foods can be transmitted to other products via cutting boards and other equipment and surfaces, leading to gastrointestinal problems associated with food poisoning. To mitigate foodborne illnesses, foods must be properly stored and clearly labeled, and prepared at sufficiently high temperatures. Effective sanitation techniques also need to be put in place to prevent or minimize the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and thus reduce the risk of contamination and transmission.

Part 1: Cold Storage

If raw meat, fish, or poultry is prepared or stored on site, cold storage spaces contain the following:

a.71 At least one removable, cleanable drawer or container located at the bottom of the unit, designated and labeled for storing raw meat, fish and poultry.
b. A visual display of holding temperatures to ensure accurate representation of storage temperatures.
Part 2: Food Preparation Separation

If raw meat is prepared or stored on site, the following conditions are met:

a.69 Food preparation areas have distinct, designated seamless cutting boards for raw foods (uncooked meats, fish and poultry) and ready-to-eat foods (2 minimum).
b.69 Each commercial food preparation or communal dining area has at least 2 separate sinks.
Part 3: Residential Kitchen Sinks

All sinks in kitchens must:

a. Have two or more basins.
b. Have a faucet which can swivel between the basins.

Applicability Matrix

Core & Shell New & Existing Buildings New & Existing Interiors
Part 1: Cold Storage - P P
Commercial Kitchen Education Multifamily Residential Restaurant Retail
Part 1: Cold Storage P - O - -
Part 2: Food Preparation Separation P - - - -
Part 3: Residential Kitchen Sinks - - O - -

Verification Methods Matrix

Letters of Assurance Annotated Documents On-Site Checks
Part 1: Cold Storage Owner Spot Check
Part 2: Food Preparation Separation Owner Spot Check
Part 3: Residential Kitchen Sinks Visual Inspection

Food and Drug Administration. Food Code: 2013 Recommendations of the United States Public Health Service Food and Drug Administration. PB2013-110462. Published 2013.


The FDA's Food Code recommends that food contact surfaces be smooth and easily cleanable.


The Food Code requires a sink with at least 3 compartments shall be provided for manually washing, rinsing, and sanitizing equipment and utensils.


Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland. A Survival Guide to Food. Published 2014. Accessed September 15, 2014.


The Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland's A Survival Guide to Food recommends keeping raw meat in a separate storage space at the bottom of a refrigerator.