If you run a commercial kitchen, you will no doubt be aware of the importance of keeping it clean and tidy. As well as complying with UK and European hygiene standards, a clean kitchen is also vital for the health and safety of customers and staff.
Commercial kitchens are prone to build up of oil, grease and grime on a number of surfaces, so it is important that these be cleaned properly. Cleaning of surfaces such as walls, light fittings, extractor hoods, and ceilings, as well as worktops, cupboards, and hobs, should be carried out regularly to ensure that the risk of contamination is eliminated.
In the UK, commercial kitchens preparing food for general consumption are required to have everything in the kitchen cleaned thoroughly at least twice per year. However, apart from the fact that this extensive cleaning is required by law, a clean kitchen will also ensure that equipment lasts longer, and it will make for a more comfortable working environment for staff.
Some commercial kitchens will employ staff specifically for cleaning, but it is a good idea to ensure that all staff are trained in proper cleaning procedures within their area. Staff should be taught the importance of a clean and tidy workspace and on best practice for creating a safe working environment.
To ensure that all areas are regularly cleaned, it is a good idea to set up a rota. Certain areas will need to be cleaned every day while others can be attended to on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. A checklist is the best way to ensure that all areas are cleaned as and when they are due to be cleaned. Make sure staff sign and date the checklist so that you can track who has taken care of specific areas.
Worktops and hobs are regularly cleaned in a commercial kitchen, but one area that tends to be frequently missed is the walls. When food is cooked, grease, oil, and sauces can splash on walls and these marks are often missed. Nonetheless, allowing these splashes to dry could result in bacteria forming and, ultimately, make them harder to clean. Make a point of cleaning walls regularly and training staff to wipe down walls after cooking.
Crumbs and other food residue tend to find their way behind equipment and underneath cupboards, shelves, etc. So it is imperative that these areas be cleaned on a regular basis also. Allowing crumbs to build up could lead to pests such as ants or mice. Remember, just because you cannot see behind the equipment, does not mean that it is clean.
Commercial kitchens accumulate quite a bit of waste, but it is essential that this waste not be allowed to build up and overflow. Waste receptacles should be regularly emptied to prevent a build-up of bacteria and to reduce the risk of pests.
The floor can be a breeding ground for bacteria because of spillages, so ensuring that it is swept throughout the day and mopped each evening is important. Spillages should be cleaned up immediately to prevent falls and to keep the area hygienic.
Keeping your commercial kitchen clean will ensure the safety of both customers and staff, and will save you money in the long run as equipment will last much longer.
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