How Clean Commercial Kitchens Influence Food Choices

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Published on 2024-05-24


A clean commercial kitchen plays a vital role in ensuring customers enjoy safe and healthy dining experiences, free from foodborne illnesses and allergic reactions. Maintaining cleanliness in commercial kitchens contributes to the overall health and well-being of diners. In Australia, the importance of this practice is underscored by the potential to significantly reduce the estimated 4.7 million cases of foodborne illness that occur each year. By prioritising cleanliness, commercial kitchens can provide a safe and enjoyable dining environment for everyone.

Moreover, numerous studies have found a correlation between kitchen cleanliness and food choices. A disorganised and dirty kitchen subconsciously affects people’s ability to make healthy food decisions. On the contrary, a clean and organised kitchen environment influences better food choices.

Considering that customers don’t interact with commercial kitchens, what can food businesses do to help customers make healthier food choices and engage in safe dining experiences in their establishments?

One of the effective methods is eliminating poor kitchen hygiene practices. We’ll discuss how to do that later in the article. Let’s start with exploring the connection between a clean commercial kitchen and better food choices.

The Impact of Kitchen Cleanliness on Food Choices

Understanding the impact of your establishment’s kitchen hygiene on customers’ food choices will improve your food safety culture, preventing any foodborne disease outbreaks and protecting your business from reputational and financial implications.

Psychological Impact

A cluttered and dirty space causes and increases cognitive stress. Why does this happen? Because brains are designed to prefer order and organisation. A visual distraction of messiness interferes with the brain’s ability to concentrate as everything commands our attention simultaneously.

According to a Neuroscience News report, clutter, disorder, and mess can affect more than cognitive resources but also eating and productivity decisions. On the other hand, a clean space reduces cognitive overload and fosters a sense of calm and control— making people engage in more thoughtful meal preparation.

In commercial kitchens, the stakes are even higher. The staff is responsible for the food preparation process. They need to be able to afford to have their cognitive resources disrupted by untidiness. They need a clean space to think clearly and feel more motivated to prepare fresh, visually appealing and safe food for customers.

Additionally, customers associate cleanliness with reduced potential for health risks linked to food illnesses such as food poisoning. They know the required safety measures companies in this industry must follow to provide safe and suitable food. Thus, maintaining proper food handling practices and restaurant cleanliness can help customers establish trust in your establishment— making them more confident in choosing your business for their dining experience.

Health Impact

Modern-day customers have varying dietary needs they need food service businesses to meet. Some follow gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian lifestyles, while others have specific diets for medical reasons. Proper cleaning procedures ensure you avoid any potential health risks from cross-contamination.

Furthermore, the cleanliness of a commercial kitchen is critical for preventing foodborne disease outbreaks, the staff’s well-being, and compliance with health regulations.

Under the Australia New Zealand Food Standard Code- Standard 3.2.2 – Food Safety Practices and General Requirements, food service establishments must produce high-quality, safe and suitable food. They must ensure that food-eating and drinking utensils and food contact surface equipment are clean to prevent the spreading of infectious diseases.

What are the Benefits of Clean Kitchens?

Running clean commercial kitchens:

●  Improves efficiency and encourages the use of fresh, high-quality ingredients and meticulous cooking practices
●  Enhances the quality and taste of food served in these establishments
●  Increases customer confidence and satisfaction due to the cheerful dining experience received
●  Strengthens brand reputation and credibility as customers establish trust in the food business due to the quality of food and clean kitchen environment observed
●  Reduces the risk of legal and financial liabilities, such as lawsuits or fines, that may arise as consequences of poor hygiene practices

What are the Elements of a Clean and Hygienic Kitchen?

A clean and hygienic commercial kitchen is essential for ensuring food safety, encouraging healthier food choices, preventing foodborne disease outbreaks and maintaining a high standard of operations. The key elements that contribute to kitchen hygiene and cleanliness include:

Proper Food Handling and Storage Practices

All kitchen staff must know the importance of storing food at the correct temperatures. According to the Department of Health, understanding the danger zone is crucial as bacteria grow quickly between 5 °C and 60 °C in high-risk foods.

In addition to temperature awareness, staff must separate cooked foods and raw foods to prevent cross-contamination. They must use clean, food-grade storage containers and properly label food with dates to help monitor the freshness of the ingredients and eliminate the chances of using expired food items.

Suitable Kitchen Sanitation Protocols

All surfaces in the kitchen, such as countertops and sinks, must be cleaned regularly. Similarly, equipment and utensils must also be cleaned regularly. This should be followed by thorough sanitisation and disinfection to ensure the eradication of bacteria and viruses.

Regular Personal Hygiene Practices

Kitchen staff must maintain personal hygiene to contribute to the overall cleanliness of the kitchen. Proper hand washing is essential, especially after handling raw food, using the restroom, or touching the face or hair. It is also important to emphasise the correct use of gloves to prevent the spread of contaminants.

Furthermore, staff should be encouraged to wear clean uniforms and use protective hair coverings. They should also avoid wearing excessive jewellery or nail polish.

The Role of Commercial Kitchen Equipment

The quality of kitchen equipment can significantly impact hygiene, cleanliness, and food safety. When food businesses invest in durable and easy-to-clean equipment, they ensure that regular maintenance occurs, reducing the risk of contamination.

Additionally, regular preventive maintenance ensures equipment functions correctly and identifies potential issues early. Deep cleaning and sanitation protocols, and using specialised products and techniques are crucial hygiene rules for maintaining clean kitchens. Following manufacturer instructions for proper care and handling of equipment helps maintain cleanliness and prolongs the equipment’s lifespan.

High-quality equipment is designed to comply with health and safety regulations, ensuring that businesses meet legal standards and minimise operational risks.

Implementing a Comprehensive Cleaning Program

It’s important to consider providing comprehensive training on proper hygiene and cleaning protocols and food safety practices to enhance cleanliness at your establishment. Continuous education and reinforcement are necessary to ensure consistent adherence to these protocols. Monitoring staff compliance and holding them accountable for maintaining high hygiene standards is essential for sustaining a safe and clean working environment.

Commercial Kitchen Exhaust System and Canopy Cleaning

A crucial aspect of maintaining kitchen hygiene is ensuring that the commercial kitchen exhaust system and canopy are regularly cleaned. This prevents grease build-up, reduces fire hazards, and ensures proper ventilation, contributing to a safer and cleaner kitchen environment.

Kitchen Filter Cleaning

Regular cleaning or replacing of kitchen filters is essential for maintaining air quality and preventing the spread of contaminants. Clean filters enhance the efficiency of kitchen ventilation systems, ensuring a healthier environment for both staff and customers.

Kitchen Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning involves thorough cleaning of all kitchen areas, including hard-to-reach spots and behind equipment. This process ensures the removal of hidden dirt, grease, and bacteria, maintaining a high standard of cleanliness and hygiene in the kitchen.

Partnering with professional cleaning services specialising in commercial kitchen cleaning brings significant benefits due to their extensive expertise in the field. Professionals can access specialised cleaning products and equipment designed specifically for commercial kitchen environments, ensuring thorough and effective cleaning. Additionally, professional cleaning services provide consistency and quality assurance, ensuring that high hygiene standards are consistently met.

In Conclusion

A clean kitchen significantly influences people’s food choices by creating a positive psychological impact, providing visual appeal, and transforming your commercial kitchen into an environment conducive to healthy meal preparations.

By prioritising kitchen cleanliness, you are making meal preparation more enjoyable for your staff, transforming customers’ eating habits, and ensuring that your establishment is a trusted option for their dining-out occasions.

Take the first step today and book a professional cleaning service with us. We’ll take care of your commercial kitchen cleanliness needs!

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