Keeping a commercial kitchen or food processing unit safe, clean and functioning efficiently provides a lengthy checklist of items requiring regular attention when managing the safety and efficiency of a commercial kitchen or food processing unit.
Broadly they fall into two categories, attention to food hygiene to ensure there is no contamination and secondly to the health and safety of those working in or visiting the establishment.
Both depend on good working practices, on regular maintenance and on keeping equipment and the kitchen environment completely clean, germ free and safe.
Maintenance covers everything from regular checking of cookers and refrigerators to ensure they are working properly and at the correct temperatures, to keeping any air ducts, filters and extraction systems free of dust and debris build-up, to make sure that they do not harbour any bacteria, are not a fire hazard and also that they are not using more energy than is necessary and adding to operating costs.
Most often ductwork above cookers is the location for the start of kitchen fires and therefore regular inspection and maintenance are generally required by insurers.
There are other potential hazards for people working in commercial kitchens because it is in the nature of the work that it is generally carried out under pressure and because cooking hot food generates quantities of steam, often with oil and food particles dissolved in it.
Steam settling on surfaces will make them slippery and the chief cause of kitchen accidents is slips and trips, sometimes with serious consequences. This makes careful choice of materials for flooring essential as well as prompt repair and maintenance of any damage.
Generally commercial catering establishments have a robust risk assessment, cleaning and health and safety policy to prevent potential accidents but even where these are in place and followed it is inevitable that over time there will be a build-up of dirt in out of the way or hard to reach places.
As part of its regular maintenance and cleaning regime, therefore, regular kitchen deep cleaning may be necessary.
Commercial kitchen cleaning services are well equipped to deliver this thorough type of kitchen cleaning with minimal disruption to the work flow of the kitchen.
Professional cleaning companies have trained staff, specialised equipment and cleaning materials appropriate for use in an environment where food is prepared and their methodology uses a “top down” approach, which will make sure that every surface, corner, nook and cranny of the kitchen receives thorough attention.
How often this type of commercial kitchen cleaning will be needed will be determined partly by the type of food that is cooked and the pattern of work in the kitchen. It may be only be needed once a year, but the cleaning company will provide an assessment so that kitchen managers can schedule what is needed not only to keep the budget under control but also to reduce the risk of costly accidents and ensure a safe, clean working environment.
Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers