Commercial kitchens are often faced with a lot of scrutiny and criticism, and unfortunately, some of the concerns aren’t misplaced. A significant percentage of foodborne illnesses seemed to be linked to commercial kitchens in restaurants.
Moreover, unhygienic kitchens aren’t just bad for a restaurant’s reputation, but the bacteria buildup and germs can also affect the health of the kitchen staff.
That being said, cleaning commercial kitchens is very different and more challenging than cleaning regular kitchens at home. This is primarily why most commercial facilities struggle with it.
If you’re supervising a commercial kitchen, here are a few simple tips you can follow to keep it clean.
Know the Industry Regulations and Adhere to Them
Different countries have different laws and regulations regarding commercial kitchen standards. Even within Canada, industry regulations may differ based on which province you’re in.
As a restaurant owner or manager of a commercial kitchen, it’s your job to determine what regulations you need to follow within the kitchen. These may mean specifications like cleaning with certain solutions, having 3-sink-based washing stations, ensuring garbage areas are away from food storage, and so on.
Following the industry regulations ensure the cleanliness of your commercial kitchen to a great extent. These guidelines are especially useful if you’re new to the industry and feel overwhelmed about managing the cleanliness.
Create A Cleaning Schedule and Stick to It
A cleaning schedule is a must for any commercial kitchen. It should be comprehensive, and every member of the kitchen staff needs to know it thoroughly.
The schedule should be based on the following factors:
- It should outline cleaning checklists for different times, including daily tasks before, during, and after the shift, weekly cleaning tasks, and monthly and quarterly deep-cleaning checklists;
- It should be very specific in terms of what needs to be done and how;
- It should clearly mention which employees are responsible for what specific tasks;
- The schedule should also include the cleaning products and equipment that needs to be used.
Encourage Your Kitchen Staff to Clean as They Work
This may come as a surprise, but most of the bacteria growth in your commercial kitchen is hiding in plain sight, i.e., on your countertops. If not wiped regularly, grease and grime can build up, making the surface a haven for bacteria, especially given the warm environment.
Countertops and other surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected multiple times throughout the day. Your staff should also make sure to remove any small utensils and other items when cleaning the counters.
And as a general rule of thumb, if anything is spilled or dropped on the counter or the floor, it should be wiped away right then.
Clean and Sanitize Washing Stations and Sinks
Washing stations and sinks are not self-cleaning fixtures, no matter how many hands and dishes are washed in these areas. They need to be cleaned and sanitized after every shift.
Hand washing stations especially need to be super clean, with sinks, soap dispensers, and taps sanitized multiple times throughout the day. As multiple staff members will be touching this space, you don’t want any germs to spread.
Drains, waste disposal units, grease traps, dishwashers, and other glassware cleaners need to be cleaned periodically as well.
Clean Commercial Appliances and Units Regularly
Commercial appliances and any other big or small kitchen equipment that’s being used daily needs to be cleaned regularly. This is not only important from a health and hygiene perspective, but it’s also crucial for equipment maintenance. Keeping appliances clean every day would help to extend their life.
Deep cleaning certain commercial appliances and units occasionally is also a good idea. For instance, you can boil out fryers about once a week. Ovens, ranges, and grills can be deep cleaned once a fortnight. On the other hand, burners and cooktops need to be cleaned through the day and degreased and disinfected at the end of the day.
Clean Stainless Steel the Right Way
Commercial kitchen interiors are widely dominated by stainless steel, and it’s more than just an aesthetic choice. Certain stainless-steel types and grades tend to be bacteria resistant, making them an excellent choice for kitchens. Bacoban products are approved for food processing use, and suitable to disinfect stainless steel with no rinse necessary after application.
Stainless steel can also be cleaned daily with a wet cloth and mild cleaning solution. And in case of any grease buildup, you can use a solution made of baking soda and water or a commercial cream detergent. Make sure to rinse and dry right after cleaning.
Don’t Forget the Kitchen Floors, Walls and Ceilings
Even when you make a bowl of salad at home, pieces of iceberg often find their way onto the kitchen floor. Naturally, in a commercial kitchen, there’s a lot more you’ll find on the floor and the ceilings and walls.
So ideally, you should be cleaning the floors every day—multiple times. While it’s okay to just mop throughout the day, the floors need a deep clean at the end of the day. This means vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping with strong cleaning solutions, degreasers, and a disinfectant.
The walls and ceilings can be cleaned weekly or monthly to eliminate any grease or grime buildup. Simple washcloths, soft bristle cleaning brushes, and mild cleaners should do the trick.
Stock Up on The Right Cleaning Equipment and Solutions
It takes a truckload of cleaning supplies and equipment to keep a commercial kitchen in top-notch condition all the time. And if you’re short on any of these essential items, it can be hard for your staff to follow the cleaning schedule to the T.
Therefore, make sure to keep supply lists updated and cleaning closets well-stocked. From washcloths, mops, and sponges to high-powered vacuum cleaners, drain cleaners, soaps, detergents, cleaning solutions, and disinfectants—make sure your staff has everything they need to keep the kitchen squeaky clean.
If you’re not satisfied with your current supplies, check out the cleaners and disinfectants we offer at Bacoban. Besides effective disinfectant solutions, we also have cleaning and disinfecting wipes that your staff can use to clean smaller spaces and countertops in case of spills.