Maintaining a clean kitchen in a restaurant, bar, or other food service establishment is an owner’s number one priority. If a food-bourne illness breaks out, patrons will not return and likely tell their friends and family about their misfortune. This can be devastating for business, and possibly even career ending. Through proper cleaning and sanitization, you can put these fears to rest. It is necessary to ensure that employees are trained on the appropriate methods to guarantee the protection of customers. By clarifying these easy steps with the kitchen team, any place that prepares and sells food can preserve health and safety for all.
1. Surfaces. By sharing with your employees what products to use, having them readily available, and indicating how often to clean them, you can ensure that every surface is properly cleaned throughout the work day. When each surface is sanitized appropriately at multiple times, you can ease your worries that someone will ingest something that will make them ill.
2. Equipment. Training should be provided to any worker who will be cleaning specialty restaurant equipment such as food processors, meat slicers, and espresso machines. The appropriate cleaning materials should be kept near the commercial kitchen equipment so that employees can sanitize the instruments at a moment’s notice. When a piece of machinery is constantly in use, it is important to outline how frequently it should be cleaned.
3. Color-Coding. High volume restaurants often utilize color-coded food preparation utensils such as knives and cutting boards to ensure that no cross-contamination takes place within the kitchen. The staff of any restaurant should be aware which color is associated with which food so that boards and knives are only utilized for the associated foods, such as red meat, seafood, poultry, and fruits and vegetables. If a restaurant or bar maintains a visible list of these colors and their codes, it is even less likely that there will be a mistake.
4. Protective Material. Single-use gloves should be available for any employee who is handling food items. If the gloves become dirty, workers will be able to change gloves quickly and easily. Any restaurant should provide strict guidelines that explain when gloves should be switched. Food preparation specialists should wear an apron at all times, and exchange them should they get dirty. Gloves and aprons should also be removed before leaving the kitchen and replaced with fresh gear when they return.
As cross-contamination and dirty commercial cooking equipment can cause and spread bacteria and viruses, a food service kitchen needs to be often cleaned. If you own a bar or restaurant, make sure that your employees are adequately trained on the correct sanitization techniques for all restaurant supplies before they begin working in the kitchen.
This article was inspired by restaurant.org. Check out their site for other great tips for restaurant and bar owners!