Restaurant premises can be hot and humid, particularly around the kitchen spaces. This provides an ideal climate for potentially dangerous bacteria to flourish.
Daily washing down of all surfaces with appropriate cleaning products is essential in keeping your restaurant clean and hygienic, but there are also particular pieces of equipment that should be tackled regularly to ensure that they are kept clear of food scraps and grease.
Here are five pieces of equipment that your restaurant cleaners should have on a rolling schedule.
Stovetops and ovens. These obviously need to be high on the cleaning priority list. Allocate a cleaning time well outside service periods so the ovens are cold, and the area is clear of kitchen staff. The tops of the stoves should be removed to allow easy access, so that residue from any spills can be cleaned up.Dishwashing machines. Again, this is a task best performed outside service times. Industrial dishwashers operate at much higher temperatures than domestic dishwashers. However, there is usually still a slow build-up of food scraps that can end up blocking water conduits, as well as compromising the washing standard. The dishwashers need to be fully drained, all filters need to be removed and cleaned, all water entry and exit points need to be checked, and the interiors washed out and disinfected.
Rangehoods. Industrial rangehoods draw steam, smoke and grease away from the cooking areas, but the filters in the rangehoods become traps for that grease and small food particles. All the filters need to be removed, soaked and scrubbed with degreasing agents prior to being refitted. While they’re out, the inside of the hood needs to be degreased as well.
Storage racks. This is a job best organised on a rotating basis as there will be storage racks in cold store, freezers and pantry areas. It’s also best done in conjunction with restaurant staff, as all foodstuffs will need to be removed in order to properly clean the racks, before being replaced again in original order.
Microwave ovens, sandwich presses and other small appliances. These appliances typically sit on bench tops, so there is a double-barrelled task here. Grease and food scraps can accumulate underneath and behind the appliances, so they should be moved and the benches and splashbacks should be thoroughly cleaned. The appliances themselves need to be cleaned too, before being put back into position.
Finally, it’s crucial that your restaurant cleaning service only uses products that are food safe on appliances or fixtures that come into direct contact with food.
Make sure your cleaners are trained in proper restaurant cleaning procedures to avoid cross contamination, and use hospital grade disinfectants where appropriate.