Preparing and maintaining a regular cleaning schedule that covers all the areas in your restaurant is the best way to avoid health code violations. Most health code violations originate from the most unlikely places and equipment that are usually overlooked during cleaning. Health inspectors understand this and will try to make you pay dearly for your shortcomings in cleaning these spots. Maintaining these red-flagged areas and items spotless is the most effective defense you can put against dismal hygiene performance during surprise inspections. You should categorize cleaning tasks to be done on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
Daily Cleaning Tasks
Many food establishments fail to meet health regulations on cleanliness due to failures in daily cleaning tasks. Tasks in this category are sensitive and failing to execute them compounds the resulting mess. Areas that come into direct contact with dirt should be cleaned on a daily basis. Some of these areas will require to be cleaned more than once in a day when they become dirty. Daily cleaning tasks include:
- Wiping down the walls to clear them of splashes
- Disinfecting food preparation areas
- Wiping the electronic appliances to remove spills from food and prevent accumulation of dirt.
- Cleaning beverage dispenser heads and bottle openers.
- Wash the crockery and utensils and leave them to dry.
- Clean rags, aprons, towels, and uniforms.
- Replenish the soap dispensers and paper towel rolls.
- Remove waste material and recycled products from the kitchen store.
- Disinfect the waste disposal area and the waste bins
Weekly Cleaning Tasks
Areas that do not require daily cleaning but are exposed to a considerable amount of soiling should be cleaned once in a week. The cleaning work includes:
- Cleaning the ovens.
- De-liming the faucets and sinks
- Disinfect walk-in freezers and refrigerators
- Cleaning of mats
- Cleaning the floor drains
- Monthly Cleaning Tasks
- Remove grim on electrical appliances in the kitchen
- Clean and disinfect the cold store
- Dust the refrigerator coils
- Wash vent hoods
- Empty the grease traps
- Clean and sanitize the freezer
- Wash walls and the ceiling to get rid of grease build-up
- Replace pest traps.
Personal hygiene must also be incorporated into your restaurant cleaning habits. Food handlers must wash their hands and ensure to work with clean equipment. Hand washing sinks must be within reach when preparing food. Dishwashers must be maintained at the right temperature, and cleaned utensils let to dry and not be wiped. Finally, chemicals and other cleaning materials must be stored away from food items to avoid contamination.
You should ensure that your restaurant cleaning can pass internal inspections to have the assurance that you will not be held in contravention of health codes. Having some cleaning schedules that run concurrently is vital to have an overlooked spot be remedied when you still have time and also put in place measures to avoid the shortcoming in future. Entrenching proper cleaning habits among your employees in your establishment might take time, but the benefits far outweigh the long wait. Maintaining a fool-proof cleaning schedule is vital for the good health of your staff, customers and business growth.