How to properly clean and sanitize your kitchen surfaces
Infusing food businesses with poor hygiene practices can lead to cross-contamination, resulting in customers getting sick. Customers are protected from food borne illnesses by properly cleaning and sanitizing surfaces that harbor bacteria.
Make sure you have clean and well-maintained cleaning and sanitizing tools. A sponge or towel that looks clean, even if it has been used infrequently with cleaning agents, doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to use on your kitchen surfaces. Sponges can trap harmful microorganisms within their porous materials.
Sponges should be replaced regularly before they start to smell or look bad.
Dish towels can hold a lot of germs, so it is important to use different towels for different tasks. Don’t, for example, dry your hands with the same towel that you used to wipe down a counter.
To kill any organisms, wipe down all kitchen surfaces with clean towels and strong cleaning products every day.
Sanitizing is not the same thing as cleaning.
Both of these processes require different products and tools and serve different purposes.
Cleaning is the process of removing all dirt, soil, chemical residues, and allergens from equipment and surfaces. After cleaning, sanitizing reduces the risk of infection by microorganisms. Sanitizing will not work if the surface hasn’t been cleaned first.
Every surface that comes in contact with food should be cleaned after each use. This is especially important if you are switching to working with ready-to-eat and raw foods. Dishware, glassware and cutlery are all examples. It is important to clean and disinfect any item used frequently, at least once per hour.
It is important to regularly clean and disinfects items that have not been in direct contact with food, such as chairs, floors and doors, windows and walls, under cushions, light fixtures, curtains, and walls.
For best results, schedule cleaning and sanitizing.
To keep track of cleaning and sanitizing, create a Kitchen Equipment Cleanup Schedule. This schedule will include daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. It will also include a checklist that employees must follow as part of their job duties. The following should be included in your schedule:
- Specific instructions for cleaning all surfaces are provided
- How often each item should be cleaned
- Who is responsible?
- Which cleaning agents should be used (including temperature, concentration and contact time).
- How to prevent food from being contaminated
Staff should be taught how to clean and sanitize the workplace and receive regular refresher training.
7 steps to clean and sanitize
To ensure that employees follow the correct cleaning and sanitation procedures, print the 7 Steps to Effective Cleaning and Sanitising Poster from the Australian Institute of Food Safety (AIFS).
- Scrape This is a way to get rid of all food particles, grease, and dirt from your kitchen surfaces. Before moving on to the next step, make sure you have removed all visible debris with a brush or cloth.
- First-time rinse: After food and dirt have been removed from the surface, wash it with hot water. It should be at least 45 degrees Celsius.
- Use a cleaning agent: Use hot water and a cleaner to clean any food or grease after scraping and washing. Use the recommended amount and clean any small indentations or grooves. Bacteria can hide in these areas.
- Rinse again: Wash the item with hot water at a temperature of a minimum of 45 degrees Celsius. This is essential as it removes detergents and lowers the chance of chemical contamination.
- Use sanitizer: Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the right concentration and the proper time. Use a test kit to ensure safety when using chemical sanitizers.
- Last rinse: This final rinse removes any chemical agents or sanitizers that may have been left behind and could lead to cross-contamination.
- Dry: Always let items air dry. This is more sanitary than using dish towels or cloths, which can carry bacteria and cause you to undo your work.
Always clean and sanitize your home.
Customers will appreciate the cleanliness and sanitation that you provide. Unhygienic places are not good places to eat at or buy food from. A good reputation can increase your business’s revenues.
Pests will be attracted to food residues such as grease, scraps, and crumbs. Cleanliness is also a deterrent. Food businesses are legally obliged to maintain a clean and sanitary environment. Proper cleaning and sanitation procedures are the best defense against any foodborne illness outbreak.
Effective cleaning and sanitation procedures should be taught to all staff members of your food business. Our Restaurant Cleaning checklist will help you stay on top of cleaning and sanitizing.