Keeping kitchens clean is challenging for those who operate commercial kitchens but of utmost importance from the health and hygiene perspective. Commercial kitchens for catering businesses or restaurants must maintain the highest cleanliness standards that ensure proper hygiene and safety of the food prepared in the kitchen. It requires hard work with an honest approach to maintaining specific safety and hygiene standards. It becomes a part of the work culture instead of doing some cosmetic cleaning occasionally to satisfy the health inspector, feels John Spach.
Since the standards of food hygiene in commercial kitchens are very high, it requires a proper plan for maintaining cleanliness, hygiene, and safety by undertaking various tasks at regular intervals during the day and between the shifts. Food borne illnesses can ruin a restaurant business that will never remove the blot once things go wrong. It will be impossible to regain customers’ trust who would feel scared to give you a second chance. Mice infestations are a big concern and a source of infections in any kitchen, particularly in commercial kitchens. Unclean and cluttered kitchens are highly unsafe as they can lead to restaurant fires.
Spread the kitchen cleaning tasks over the year but ensure that you stick to the schedule as described below.
John Spach emphasizesDaily cleaning
Change the foil linings of your grille, flattop, and range to avoid the accumulation of food particles and run-off grease. Disinfect the prep surfaces and clean the hood filters by immersing them in the dishwasher. Clean all equipment from the fryer to grille, flattop, and range thoroughly and wash the tools and tackles used to cut, slice, and open cans besides mopping floors and wiping the walls to keep it speck-free.
After the shifts
Ensure that the earlier shift workers handover a clean kitchen to those coming in the next shift. Besides washing and sanitizing all surfaces after every shift, clean the prep tables, the line, the cutting boards, and the reach. Put all cleaning rags in dirty laundry, empty the sanitizing buckets, wash floors and floor mats, including the walk-in refrigerators’ floors.
Sanitizing the walk-in coolers, cleaning the ovens inside out, de-liming your faucets and sinks are the weekly cleaning tasks to undertake. Cleaned ovens will prevent unwanted and weird flavors from being added to the recipes. Cast iron skillets need proper upkeep with weekly oiling. Sharpening the kitchen knives is a weekly activity too.
The monthly cleaning includes cleaning the back of the ovens, fryers, and rangers to prevent grease buildup. Remember that grease is a fire hazard, and allowing it to build over time makes its removal difficult. Empty the ice machines and freezers and clean them dry before restarting to avoid bacteria and frosting issues. Also, carry out the general maintenance of equipment and devices every month.
Half yearly cleaning
Clean the exhaust hoods by a professional cleaning twice a year to avoid grease collection that can pose fire hazards. However, follow the manufacturer’s cleaning schedule if it is different.
Cleaning the pilot lights of gas equipment is a yearly task but follow the recommendation of the manufacturers.