Keeping a clean and safe kitchen for your customers depends on how much you like your business and want people to eat what you make. A clean kitchen with tasty food will ensure customers want to visit time and again. In contrast, a dirty kitchen can make customers sick, sometimes seriously and get your business shut down by the authorities. This makes kitchen cleanliness highly important for most companies with a vision for the future and prioritising business longevity, not to mention diner safety.
Why All The Fuss?
The kitchen is the centre of activity in a hospitality venue, whether a restaurant, cafe, diner, or even a canteen. This is where the prep, cooking, and plating happens before delivering the final edible creation for people to consume. Consequently, meal service kitchens need extra special attention, more than any other part of a venue with multiple regulations to ensure compliance. A commercial kitchen needs cleaning after each service, and additionally, have a regular deep clean to keep it up to scratch. There are a few significant reasons for this, including:
- Bacteria: Many illnesses are caused by bacteria, spreading quickly through contaminated food and drink, including E-coli, salmonella, and listeria. Implementing suitable hygiene systems to bypass bacteria growth is vital when running a commercial kitchen.
- Rotten food: Sinks and other hard-to-reach and clean areas are prime areas for food scraps to get stuck and linger. Blockages that occur from food scraps or cause buildup in pipework or compacting in drains can allow rotting and decomposing food to fester. This bacterial breeding ground stinks and infects everything it touches around the drain. Not great when dishes are supposed to be cleaned in the same area!
- Grease and grime: Not only are both health and safety hazards as they create breeding substances for bacteria, but they are also potent fire hazards that easily catch alight when they coat surfaces. The sticky consistency also leads to easy cross-contamination.
- Pests and rodents: The list includes rats, mice, and cockroaches – which create a serious hazard often transmitted when in contact with rodent urine and faeces. This contaminates food and water and passes it on to humans. Transmitted diseases can include hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Tularemia and many more. Pests also cause electrical cable and wire damage and create structural issues from burrowing in walls and cavity spaces, leading to fire and electrical malfunctions.
These are a few more serious hazards that regular cleaning can help you sidestep altogether. But when we say regular cleaning, it seems like a vast and laborious undertaking. So how can it be made easier?
Get Your Entire Team Trained and Aligned With The Program
If this job falls on one person, it’s insurmountable, but when every member of staff in a venue – from management to front-of-house – is on the same cleanliness routine, everything becomes more manageable. Part of this comes with providing all members have sufficient training on business expectations and maintenance. With proper training and setting of expectations, the whole team investing in cleaning ensures high-level health and safety standards that will significantly improve venue and kitchen operations, which positively affects kitchen operations the next day.
Use The Right Cleaning Supplies
Using the correct commercial cleaning equipment, including detergent and sanitiser designed for a commercial kitchen is essential to keep it up to scratch. Taking advice or researching which commercial-grade products are best for your type of kitchen is best, and it’s advisable never to scrimp on quality as quality products will make the job easier every time. It’s essential to remember PPE, as many of the products your kitchen will require are only suitable for use with gloves. Commercial grills, ovens, or cooking surfaces have different cleaning requirements depending on their use or the material they’re made from, so using the correct cleaning products will extend their lifespan and keep them in tip-top condition. And while cleaning ensures hygiene, sanitisation of surfaces after is the final necessary step to destroy bacteria and viruses that may linger on various surfaces and reduces contamination risks. This is vital to ensure no viruses are left to spread to customers.
Ventilate Your Space
Equally important but often overlooked in kitchen cleaning is the ventilation system. Airflow and quality are necessary for kitchen safety and cleanliness as they extract steam and other pollutants from the air. However, the extraction and ventilation system is often clogged up by grease and grime during day-to-day use. Kitchen duct cleaning is another aspect of kitchen maintenance that is heavily regulated as lack of breathable air poses a severe health hazard, with non-compliance possibly resulting in death. Cleaning and staying on top of this is a specialist job that needs to be taken care of regularly.
The Professional Cleaning Difference
Having venue staff clean each day as they go and at the end of the shift is one thing, and while they do a good job, it’s not their primary occupation. For this reason, it helps to have a professional cleaning company regularly to maintain the venue and ensure nothing is missed or overlooked. Regular frequency of professional visits is vital to ensure effective cleaning procedures can make the difference they should. Your cleaner may come along daily, weekly, fortnightly, once a month, or for a three-monthly deep cleaning service. Still, however the times are configured, the additional help will elevate cleanliness and help on the road to legal compliance. Compliance and cleanliness will help to keep your kitchen open and serving customers while maintaining standards and adhering to regulatory obligations.
Clean = Customers
A regular professional clean schedule is necessary to help maintain proper hygiene and serving standards that will entice clients and staff back to you regularly. This repeat business will keep your venue running for years to come and ensure your kitchen has a long and happy life ahead. But, most significantly, your customers will enjoy clean food that tastes great and keeps everyone healthy and content – which is what a commercial kitchen should be about.