Fast food and full-service restaurants can expect a local health inspection about every six months. Although you don’t typically get inspected more than twice a year, it’s essential to keep your business clean at all times.
If you own a commercial kitchen, upholding high sanitary standards should be the number one priority. Without proper cleaning protocols in place, you risk illness, disease, and getting shut down by officials.
Your daily cleaning regimen could be holding you back if you believe in common kitchen cleaning myths and misconceptions. Keep reading to learn facts from fiction.
5 Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Myths and Misconceptions:
1. Floors and Stovetops Are the Most Unsanitary Surfaces?
Commercial kitchen floors and stovetops are no doubt dirty and grimy, but sinks and sponges are most likely to spread food-borne illnesses.
Sinks and sponges are used to scrub raw chicken juice off cutting boards and for rinsing germs off vegetables.
Most kitchen staff don’t pause to properly disinfect and clean the tools and basins they use. This creates the perfect environment for germs to multiply and thrive.
If your kitchen drain sink and sponges start to smell, this is because they are homes to breeding germs. Germs hate dry and clean surfaces so replace your sponges often and always clean your sink thoroughly.
At the end of every night, it’s beneficial to disinfect the sink with the proper products. Consider switching to washable/reusable dish rags in place of sponges as well.
2. You Can Simply Polish Stainless Steel?
If you have commercial kitchen equipment made of stainless steel, you might use stainless steel cleaner and polish. A lot of people believe that cleaning with this product is helpful, but it’s not.
These polishes don’t clean very well. Because they lubricate some dirt, they can be called cleaners even though they don’t have disinfectant or detergent ingredients.
Even worse, the polymers and waxes in these products can create a film that traps dirt that you have yet to remove. Trapped oily dirt makes it easier for new germs and dirt to develop on appliances.
The solution to this is to clean before using polish. This is especially beneficial on appliances that you constantly touch throughout the day. An all-purpose quality disinfecting cleaner is safe for stainless steel.
Use these cleaners, wash down the appliances, and buff them with a small touch of polish.
3. Spraying and Wiping Countertops Is Enough?
Quickly spraying and wiping down countertops with disinfectants is not good enough. The main problem is that people lack knowledge on how to use disinfectants the right way. This creates a risk in a commercial kitchen.
Spraying and immediately wiping up disinfectant cleaner makes battling germs even more difficult. Give your disinfectant at least 60 seconds to sanitise. If you want a full-grade disinfection, consider leaving it on for 10 minutes.
Removing a disinfectant right away kills only the weakest germs which leave the beefy ones alive to keep breeding.
Disinfectant misuse leads to superbugs which are stronger and more dangerous germs.
4. Bleach Is an Ideal Cleaner for All Surfaces?
Although bleach can be great for cleaning a commercial kitchen faucet, it’s not the best solution for every surface.
Bleach can kill germs fast but it is not the right product for breaking down the build-up of surfaces. Bleach can also be unsafe to use if not used correctly. In a commercial kitchen, it’s important to consider safety when cleaning.
Another common myth about bleach is that it works best with hot water. Hot water mixed with bleach can turn the white colour into a yellow tint. To avoid this yellow stain on surfaces, don’t use bleach and hot water together.
It’s important for commercial kitchens to use diluted bleach. The safety recommendation from the Water Quality and Health Council is to dilute 1 tablespoon of regular bleach with 1 gallon of water.
Food contact surfaces should be cleaned, sanitised, and allowed to air dry for at least two minutes. This can help your commercial kitchen achieve effective sanitation.
5. You Don’t Need to Clean Every Day?
The idea that you don’t need to clean your kitchen every day is one of the most dangerous myths to believe. The fact is that your staff should be cleaning and sanitising the kitchen throughout their shifts.
Use sanitisers throughout shifts and at the end of the day for the following:
- Grill, range, griddle, fryer, and flattop
- Microwaves, slicers, coffee makers, and toasters
- Prep area surfaces
- Beverage dispenser heads and guns
- Waste disposal areas
There are some items in a kitchen that only require weekly, monthly, or annual cleaning. Surfaces you touch and appliances you use every day don’t fall into these categories.
Every week, you need to:
- Delime faucets and sinks
- Clean ovens inside and out
- Clean and reseason cast iron skillets
- Empty, wash, and sanitise walk-in coolers
Once a month, you should clean potential fire hazards by cleaning grease build-up behind ranges, fryers, and ovens. You can also empty and clean freezers, dry storage areas, and ice machines.
Exhaust systems and hoods should be cleaned every six months. However, you might need to clean these kitchen appliances more often depending on the traffic of your system.
Although all forms of commercial cleaning can be completed by professional cleaners, annual cleaning tasks should always use the hand of an expert.
Professional cleaning services can annually clean:
- Oven and grill pilot lights
Cleaning can keep your business safe from illnesses and fire hazards.
Hire a Commercial Kitchen Cleaning Service
If you manage a commercial kitchen, cleaning should be a top priority. Unfortunately, if you clean every day, you could be following practices based on these myths and misconceptions.
When you run into the problems listed in this guide, your commercial kitchen is never really clean.