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What is the correct temperature for water at handwashing sinks?

Water should be at 100 degrees F or hotter. There is no provision in the NC Foodservice Rules that requires water to be at 110 degrees F. Here are the requirements for lavatory facilities in foodservice operations as they appear in the NC Rules.

(a) Lavatory facilities, including hot and cold running water and a combination supply faucet or tempered water and sanitary towels or approved hand-drying devices and soap, shall be provided for employees and customers.

(b) For employees, at least one lavatory shall be provided in the kitchen area in addition to any lavatories, which may be provided in employees' toilet rooms.

(c) Dishwashing sinks, vegetable sinks, and pot sinks shall not be used as handwashing facilities.

(d) The lavatories shall be kept clean and in good repair.

However, foodservice establishments are advised to get hot and cold water lines at hand sinks or to accept tempered water if that is the facilities' choice. Tempered water is, by the Plumbing Code water that is between 85 and 110 degrees F.

The U.S. Food Code (2005) provides a temperature standard for handwashing sinks. The Food Code states a handwashing sink shall be equipped to provide water at a temperature of at least 100 degrees F through a mixing valve or combination faucet. This is the standard used in the NC School HACCP template because it is based on the U.S. Food Code (2005).