Regular cleaning of the kitchen can quickly become an overwhelming task if appropriate systems are not set in place and if hygiene is allowed to slip, the results can be disastrous. Food poisoning often sounds the death knell of customer loyalty, failure to keep within the Food Safety Act can result in harsh penalties, and a build-up of grease and grime is a fire hazard.
Some tasks are daily, others are weekly or even monthly, but all are equally important to keep within your Food Control Plan as required by law. Regular cleaning can help you avoid hefty fines, bad health ratings and even help prevent food waste – savings you can pass on to your customers to increase satisfaction and build loyalty.
DURING THE SHIFT
Simple things include wiping down prep and cooking areas, changing sanitising water and emptying bins. While these things may seem like common sense, in a fast-paced kitchen environment sometimes the small things can fall by the wayside. Aside from the obvious health risks associated with sloppy kitchen upkeep, failing to keep on top of these tasks can result in a greater cleaning effort come the end of the day.
AFTER THE SHIFT
If you’ve kept on top of the tasks to do during the shift, then the post-shift clean is made much easier. Clean the fryers, grills, wash all prep surfaces, floors and floor mats. Put aprons in the laundry (separate from cleaning rags) and tidy up the refrigerator to avoid food going to waste.
Clean out the grease traps, run all equipment through the dishwasher and do a final check to make sure everything is in order. Apps such as Chomp can make it quick and easy for anyone to run through and make sure everything is completed.
Weekly tasks can be rotated and shared among staff to maintain a fair and equal workload. These tasks include cleaning the coffee machines and ovens (as directed by the manufacturer), maintaining cast iron items, cleaning floor drains as well as sinks and taps.
Again, these tasks can be shared among workers. Monthly tasks include walls and ceilings, washing behind the oven and fryers to remove built-up grease, cleaning out the fridges and freezers and checking ovens and thermometers for calibration. It is also a good time to check and change pest traps.
On top of these tasks, you should also make sure that your venue complies with all fire and electrical safety guidelines. These often require the help of a third party, but fire suppressions systems are invaluable. Hoods and pilot lights for gas equipment should also be cleaned and checked two or three times a year, again with the help of a professional.