Friday, June 8, 2012

Maintaining a Sparkling Clean Commercial Kitchen Makes Good Business Sense

Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers

In a competitive market business owners will take care to keep their overheads as low as possible especially when trading conditions are difficult, but cutting back on preventative measures can be a false economy.

In the catering industry, for example, it might be tempting to rely on the daily hygiene and cleaning routines in a busy restaurant or café kitchen or introduce longer intervals between thorough kitchen deep cleans.

The consequences may be costly, however, as one pub landlord discovered when health and safety inspectors acted on a customer complaint and did a spot check. They found a grimy kitchen with dirt and grease ingrained on the walls and were not convinced by the landlord's assertion that the kitchen was closed for a week in order to carry out a deep clean. The landlord was taken to court and fined.

No matter how thorough the daily cleaning in a busy kitchen the gradual build up of grease on walls or floors, or ice in a walk-in fridge, or deposits of grime in hidden corners, underneath cupboards and appliances may not be noticed until someone working there slips and injures themselves leaving the owners open to often costly compensation claims and a reduced workforce while the person recovers.

While staff may be well-trained and thorough in the hygiene measures applied to work surfaces and utensils and to the safe preparation of food they are neither trained nor have the time to deal with the hidden build-up of food particles and grease dissolved in steam that can gradually leave deposits on surfaces that do not need to be cleaned every day.

Specialist commercial companies provide deep cleaning services to deal with this gradual accumulation and leave the kitchen thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom.

It is possible to have them do a preliminary inspection and report of what needs to be done and then schedule it so that it is carried out at a time that is convenient so that the normal workflow of the kitchen is not disrupted.

A thorough kitchen deep clean should start at the top of the room and work down to ensure nothing is left untouched.

High level cleaning will include fixtures and fittings including the ceilings and roof structure supports that are often out of reach. They may require special safety measures that will not normally be part of the training of the establishment's health and safety regime for staff and may also require specialist equipment that can be expensive to hire or buy. The commercial cleaning company will have all that equipment already available as well as the correct cleaning solutions to do the job safely.

The deep clean will include kitchen canopies, which can be particularly difficult for staff to access and will eliminate the potential fire hazard deposits that soon build up on internal surfaces of canopies, grease filters and drip trays.

Slippery floors are a particular hazard for kitchen staff and may need special thorough cleaning from time to time, especially in the hard to access areas around and under appliances.

Having a regularly scheduled thorough kitchen deep clean will not only ensure the kitchen is a safe and hygienic place for staff to work in and for food preparation, it will also ensure that the establishment has a certified record of its attention to these issues and will therefore encounter no nasty surprises if inspectors carry out a spot check.

Cutting down on regular maintenance and deep cleaning can be a false economy for a commercial catering business. By Ali Withers. kitchen-deep-cleaning.asp

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