Why Is Cleaning And Sanitising So Important In The Kitchen?

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Clean as You Go in the kitchen

Cleaning and sanitising is a basic step in a kitchen.

Which revolves around cleaning during the day and between various tasks. Cleaning and sanitising is one of the key ways to prevent bacteria from getting into foods. During which tasks is it important to clean and sanitise?

These tasks include :

  1. Raw and ready-to-eat food preparation
  2. Cleaning tasks
  3. Leaving your work station

This is commonly known as clean as you go.

Below are the steps to be followed when implementing cleaning and sanitising :

  1. Remove excess dirt or grease
  2. Spray on a multi-purpose cleaner
  3. Wipe off with a clean material cloth
  4. Spray on a sanitiser
  5. Allow a sufficient contact time (3 – 5 minutes)
  6. Wipe off with paper towel

This is the only proven method to remove dirt and kill bacteria. These steps need to be followed in the order set out, such that bacteria cannot hide behind dirt and grease. This allows a good contact time for the sanitiser to be effective.

Using an approved supplier is also critical to the cleaning process. Chemicals, especially sanitisers should be registered and tested against your local or international standards.

The sanitiser must be correctly diluted (ideally with an automatic dispenser), placed in a spray bottle with the nozzles adjusted to emit a fine mist.

Chemicals should also be correctly labelled at all times. The best chemical suppliers will also have various colours to easily distinguish the different chemicals during the clean as you go process.

Some suppliers have a 2-in-1 cleaner/disinfectant and advocate a 1-step cleaning and sanitising procedure. However be aware of this, as international best practice dictates a 2-step cleaning and sanitising. This would mean spraying the same chemical twice, once to clean and again to sanitise.

Regardless of the sanitiser used, it is extremely important to physically clean a surface before sanitising. This ensures that dirt and grease are removed, as bacteria can ‘hide’ behind these and discourage the sanitation process.

It is also important to remember that the use of a clean material cloth must be used to do the cleaning. This is because the physical action of scrubbing is almost more effective in removing bacteria than the sanitiser.

The contact time for the sanitiser on a surface is also important. So, be wary of suppliers who promise very short periods for sanitising.

3 – 5 minutes is reported as being the most effective.

Cleaning and sanitising are distinctly different from the way we would deep clean the kitchen. Check out our article on deep cleaning in the kitchen.  We also have a deep cleaning schedule available for download.

Deep Cleaning in the Kitchen

The next step in the kitchen cleaning and sanitising pillar is deep cleaning in the kitchen.

All areas in the kitchen should be cleaned. This is fundamental in not allowing bacteria to grow. As is often the case, the kitchen’s main priority to make and serve food.

When does one find time to clean the entire kitchen?

Developing a cleaning schedule would form the basis for a deep cleaning procedure.

How to develop a cleaning schedule:

Firstly, Identify the highest risk items and clean these most often (Critical).

These areas would include your daily kitchen cleaning (clean-as-you-go) items:

  1. Tables
  2. High-risk equipment
  3. Cutting boards
  4. All food contact areas

Secondly, highlight areas that are not critical but do come into contact with food indirectly (Major risks).

  1. Shelves in all areas
  2. Basins
  3. Handles

Lastly, address all other areas that do not come into contact with food and identify how often these areas build-up dirt (Minor risks).

  1. Cooking equipment
  2. Floors
  3. Walls
  4. Table legs
  5. Doors

Once these areas have been identified, list all items per section. The cleaning schedule forms the basis for kitchen cleaning in general, but specifically the deep cleaning policy.

Running a deep cleaning schedule is the only effective method that ensures all areas within the kitchen are cleaned according to the risks. This also ensures that cleaning takes place in a time and resourceefficient manner.

How detailed should a cleaning schedule be?

To ensure that all areas are cleaned at least once per week in the normal kitchen cleaning, all areas should be listed and should be specific to your kitchen. You will also notice that tables form part of both the clean-as-you-go and deep cleaning schedule.

What is the difference?

The difference comes down to the cleaning, clean as you go versus (end of shift) deep cleaning.

Why is this?

This is because tables will hold your foods, cutting boards and all preparation takes place on these items. So attention is needed for more concentrated cleaning.

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