The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 50 percent of foodborne outbreaks are linked to restaurants. It is essential that cleaning is a consistent and thorough mainstay that is deeply embedded into the operation of your restaurant.
Safeguard your customers’ health and protect the reputation of your business
Needless to say, the current COVID pandemic further underscores the importance of sanitation and disinfecting. To achieve an effective cleaning protocol for your restaurant, it is helpful to organize the cleaning activities by using CHECKLISTS that are checked off daily/weekly/monthly as the task itself demands. This will also provide you with valid documentation for when the Health Inspectors arrive.
There are four Cs of food hygiene:
Failure to exercise strict cleaning and disinfecting measures is one of the most common reasons why food businesses face prosecution. Stringent cleaning practices must be a natural component of your daily tasks in order to ensure that all of the food you serve is safe to eat, as well as to reduce the risk of contamination that could make your customers or your staff ill.
Here is a breakdown of what needs to be cleaned:
Ovens & Stovetops:
Clean up all spillages after each shift to prevent a build-up of grease and grime. Clean oven interiors using a specialist oven cleaning product weekly. Use a professional cleaning service at least every six months for large commercial catering ovens.
Clean and flush with hot water and a specialist cleaning fluid weekly.
Kettles & Water Boilers:
Clean and descale once a month, or weekly if you serve a lot of hot drinks every day.
Any spills should be cleaned immediately, and the entire inside should be wiped down weekly. Microwaving a bowl of water for one minute before cleaning will loosen most caked-on food or grime . Use a cloth and an antibacterial cleaner
Fridge hygiene can greatly impact the quality and safety of food. Wipe and sanitize the interiors of your fridges between every shift. A deep cleaning should be completed once a week.
Hoods, vents & exhausts:
Inefficient filtering of vapor and condensation leads to unhygienic build-ups of grease and grime on other surfaces. So, if you are using a deep fat fryer frequently every day, then cleaning vents and hoods should be performed every 30 days.
Major spillages should be cleaned immediately, as they present both a hygiene hazard and the risk of slips and falls. Floors should be swept/vacuumed and then cleaned with a disinfectant antibacterial floor cleaner after every shift.
Countertops & work surfaces:
Wipe clean between every task to avoid cross-contamination and any left over bacteria, and then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected again at the end of the shift.
Sinks, taps & draining boards:
Like all other kitchen surfaces, clean and sanitize after every shift.
To avoid blockages and lingering odours, every couple of weeks use a professional grade drain cleaner, then flush with hot water.
Dishwashers, cutlery & glassware cleaners:
A weekly wipe down with an antibacterial cleaner, then run the appliance on its self-clean cycle.
Hand washing stations:
Clean entire station including wall-mounted soap dispensers with an antibacterial cleaner after every shift.
Waste disposal units:
Monthly washing to remove build-ups and unpleasant odors. Never use bleach or drain cleaner. There are specialty cleaners available.
Most grease traps are self-cleaning but keep on top of maintenance to ensure that yours are functioning effectively. Consult the manufacturer’s guide for more information.
Your cleaning checklists should include ‘At the Start of The Shift’, ‘During the Shift’ and ‘After the Shift’ duties.
After Shift cleaning is intensive. Either your staff or a professional cleaner who comes in after everyone has left, must perform the following tasks:
- Replace any cloths and sponges that are no longer clean enough to use
- Empty and clean deep fryers
- Thoroughly clean stovetops using a specialist cleaning product
- Place dirty chef whites & aprons in a separate area for laundering
- Cover and seal all ingredients properly before placing in the fridge overnight
- Sweep walk-in fridges’ floors and storage areas
- Sweep and mop kitchen floor with a disinfectant or floor cleaner
Checklists should also exist for the WEEKLY & MONTHLY CLEANING TASKS.
What’s better then to have cleaning and washing supplies including detergents, bathroom tissues, dispensers, trash cans, cleaning chemicals (bathroom cleaners, bleach, dishwash, floor cleaner and equipment cleaner) and cleaning supplies (brooms, mops, scrubbers, towels, brushes) all at one platform and that too at the greater value and convenience. Especially, in these Covid times, when everything needs to be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly it is always advisable to upgrade the hygienic standards a notch.