Food Safety Issues/4 compartment sinks


We are in process of redesigning kitchen area in New York City.  Since we have a very small kitchen, can I use 1 compartment of 4 compartment as hand washing sink?  Meaning, I have 4 compartment sink and can I designate one of 4 sinks as hand washing sink?

Please let me know.  Thank you so much.

Hi Mark,

You really need to ask this question of the New York City Health Department, Division of Environmental Health, as they are the ones that will be inspecting you and will have the final say as to whether they will allow the use of a 4 compartment sink in your operation.

Where I live they would allow a 4 compartment sink to be used as a 3 compartment sink plus a handsink if the handsink area has a separate faucet that supplies hot and cold water.  For a picture of a portable 4 compartment sink that is used in concession trailers, just search Google Images for "4 compartment sink."

Again...please contact your local health department before you start any construction or renovation.  A plan review with the health department where you present your plans for your restaurant is usually required before construction in most states and that will be the time where they will approve the sink setup for your kitchen. You don't want to spend money for equipment to just find out later that it won't be allowed.

Good luck with your kitchen.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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