For obvious reasons, a spotless kitchen is imperative for any food related business but despite its importance it’s amazing how many restaurants and cafes ignore the basic rules and are subsequently closed down due to poor hygiene standards.

Legally you are obliged to make sure standards are met, by law but especially for your customers as well as your staff.  If you run a clean kitchen it filters down to the people who work for you, they will take a pride in what they do and want to keep the standards high. The Alliance website has a section especially dedicated to cleaning appliances, equipment and products all designed for use in commercial kitchens.  In this article we advise you on what needs to be done to ensure a spotless environment.

Spotting The Invisible

Even very clean kitchens can sometimes become contaminated and this is because there are invisible bacteria which creates havoc in a restaurant, hotel or café.  By being organised and thorough you are better equipped at preventing the spread of germs.  Firstly, according to the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, your food business must have a cleaning schedule in place which is rigorously followed.  Environmental Health Officers can visit at any moment so being able to show a clean kitchen and a cleaning rota shows you respect the rules.  Ask yourself if you clean in between as it’s these areas where grime and dirt collects causing a hygiene hazard.

There is a difference between deep cleaning and cleaning that your staff undertakes on a daily basis.  It’s vital that these areas which aren’t noticeable are kept scrupulously clean.  Keep a list stuck on the wall so whoever is responsible for cleaning tasks remembers the areas which are out of sight and add these to one day per month dedicated to a deep clean:

  • Behind appliances
  • Underneath appliances
  • On top of shelves
  • Skirting areas
  • Between equipment and in between any gaps in units
  • Around the seals of fridge and freezer
  • Inaccessible areas
  • Around the base of surfaces
  • Walls/light fittings

While these areas might appear to be clean to the naked eye, if they aren’t dealt with regularly dirt, grease and bacteria builds up risking contamination which could seriously damage your business.  The last thing you need is customers getting ill after eating at your restaurant so it’s vital these areas are checked and dealt with regularly.

Divide Up Cleaning Duties

Once you have your rota in place, you should write a list of cleaning duties and list them in order of importance, for example high priority, medium priority, low priority.  Split these into time slots, daily chores, weekly chores and monthly chores.  Divide up the tasks among your staff fairly and give each of your employees a checklist so they keep track of their jobs.  For daily tasks, your staff should take responsibility for his or her area and the head chef should oversee hygiene procedures.

There are always cleaning jobs which should be undertaken during shifts, for example, cleaning food preparation areas, washing chopping boards, sanitizing work surfaces and changing dishcloths and towels.  Cooking utensils must be regularly washed in warm soapy water and of course, hands scrubbed and sanitized after handling different food types and especially after using the restroom. The bins need to be emptied two or three times a day depending on the size of your business and large cooking appliances wiped down regularly.  Equipment such as grills should be wiped down after each order.  Use a good multi-purpose cleaner such as Diversey CIF All Purpose Cleaner.

Every day, all appliances should be cleaned out and surfaces scrubbed.  The HOB/gas boiler area must be cleaned and the inside of the ovens sanitized too.  It’s good practice to check on leftover or unused food and dispose of anything which is past its use by date.  Floors should be washed down with an anti-bacterial solution too, ready for the next shift, something such as Flash New Zealand Spring will sanitize floors.


Every Week

The fridges need to be cleaned out weekly and sanitized with a food-safe anti-bacterial product plus any food that is out of date or going out of date removed and destroyed.  Sinks, taps and drain areas must be cleaned and sanitized as well and appliances such as kettles de-scaled, toasters and coffee machines cleaned out.

Every Month

Conduct deep cleaning, either employ an external company to come in and clean the areas which are hard to reach or divide tasks up among your staff.  You should dedicate a day you are closed to this big job or if you open daily, allocate extra hours to maintaining a spotless environment.  This is when those hard to clean areas must be addressed and other appliances cleaned such as the freezers and storage cupboards. Your food stores should all be checked for pests and contamination.  For heavy duty cleaning, choose Cleaver Heavy Duty Degreaser for ovens and Cleaver Deep Clean Hard Surface Bactericidal Cleaner.

The reward far outweighs the penalty when it comes to a spotlessly clean restaurant kitchen.  Your customers will expect nothing less than the good food, service and a spotless kitchen so don’t give them any reason to complain.  Having a positive food safety record is a marketing tool, don’t forget to publicise your food safety and cleanliness rating.

For everything you need to keep your industrial kitchen sparkling clean, visit the Alliance website where you will find equipment ranging from ware washers, glass washers, laundry appliances to day to day cleaning equipment and products.