All types of food-related commercial businesses need to be clean, hygienic, and safe. From restaurants to bakeries, coffee shops, and even outdoor catering businesses, high standards of cleanliness are expected. This is even more so for kitchens, where food is prepared and served. Management has to ensure standards are met, to keep the business running and safeguard the public against illnesses.
Maintaining these standards involves a couple of things. First, food handling training for all staff has to be carried out. This shows them how they should carry out their jobs to ensure the highest possible standard of hygiene. It also allows them to come forth with questions in case of any. The other things involve the possession of the required resources and appropriate building standards.
During the shift, this should be done by the cooking staff on duty:
Grills should always be wiped clean before changing different kinds of meats and vegetables. This is vital for food safety and maintains the right food flavors. Cutting boards should also be cleaned after use, and when they begin wearing off, they should be replaced. This is because the cracks and crevices on chopping boards harbor harmful bacteria.
Additionally, as the shift progresses, all surfaces should be regularly cleaned and dried after use. Finally, trash cans should be emptied regularly and sanitized to kill any organisms harbored therein.
After the cooking shift ends, all surfaces should be left sparkling clean, with no evidence of previous food preparations. Appliances should also be readied for a cooking restart. Additionally, preparation tables should be sanitized to kill bacteria, and cutting board inspected for replacement. Utensils should also be washed and if there are any cold rooms or walk-in refrigerators, they should remain devoid of debris.
Kitchen clothes also pose a huge risk. This said, after every shift, all aprons, jackets, and dirty kitchen clothes should be sorted into categories and readied for laundry. Moreover, the floor has to be left clean. All debris on the floor should be swept. This is then followed by mopping and collection of all floor mats for laundry.
The secret to holding staff accountable for a dirty kitchen or absconded cleaning duties is knowing who does what. A detailed list indicating all jobs, and the persons responsible should be prepared for each day, week, month, and even year. This should include regular cleaning activities and extra duties usually conducted after a certain period of time, like cleaning freezers, walls, and ceilings.
As a rule of thumb, commercial kitchens should operate on stainless steel surfaces, and the walls should have a defined color scheme without cracks. PVC wall linings are hygienic and easy to keep clean.
Qualifications must be met before acquiring a job as kitchen staff. Additionally, thorough training ensures that all staff is aware of food handling, disease & infection, stock rotation, and reporting of accidents and incidents.
There are innumerable statutory and federal laws that provide guidelines on commercial kitchen safety and cleanliness. Each food business owner must get acquainted with these laws, regulations, and guidelines, as well as specifics of hygiene inspections. This prevents incidences of closing down of businesses because of particular hygiene issues observed after inspection.