Admin on July 3, 2015 0 Comments Keeping up with the cleaning in your commercial kitchen can be overwhelming and time-consuming, but with some planning and organization, you can learn to do it efficiently. You have to stay on top of it, but you will surely notice the difference when you take the time to do it. Not only will your customers be happier when your restaurant looks clean and professional, but you will have confidence when the health inspector comes around. You feel better knowing that you are doing everything you can to serve safe food, so you’ll have peace of mind. These areas are often overlooked, so make sure you implement a system that maintains the cleanliness of every piece of equipment in your commercial kitchen. The Walls The walls in your commercial kitchen should be cleaned daily, just like the floors. When there is a spill, have your staff wipe it up quickly. However, even though nothing is spilled on the wall, it still picks up dirt and grime, often that isn’t visible to the naked eye until there is a buildup. This is especially true around appliances, like your soda fountain or fryer, that can spray a fine mist on the walls. Wiping down the walls frequently can keep your restaurant looking fresh. Soda Fountain Nozzles Warmth, moisture, and sugar are very attractive to bacteria and small insects. The nozzles to your drink station need to be cleaned daily. Don’t forget to clean coffee nozzles and tea stations as well. Bacteria and mold get into the heads and live around the gaskets, making drinks taste bad. This is something that may not get noticed right away, but eventually customers will complain. When drinks are a large portion of your profit margin, it’s important to serve crisp and clean-tasting products. Meat Slicer Your staff probably cleans the top slicer blade of your meat slicer, but they may forget to clean the bottom side of the blade clean as well. It’s much harder to get to the side blade, and takes more time when things get busy. This side of the blade comes into contact with food and harbors bacteria just as the top side of the blade does. You need to make sure both blades on the meat slicer get cleaned between different cuts of meat. The entire meat slicer should be taken apart daily to make sure all the food bits get cleaned out so bacteria doesn’t grow. Fridge Coils Although none of your customers are going to walk around behind your refrigerator to look at the coils, you are going to notice that your fridge has to work harder to get cool. At least once a month, you should have someone clean behind the fridge and clean out the coils to keep your fridge operating efficiently. Make sure they have the tools to do this job and that the person understands what has to be done so that you don’t need to call for repairs because it wasn’t doesn’t properly. Outdoor Garbage The dumpster area is an attractive place to rats, flies, and other vermin that are difficult to control once they move in. You have to make sure that your garbage area stays clean and tidy. All of the lids should be able to fully close. Have a staff member hose down the containers every day or two and make sure that all of the trash goes into the dumpster. Don’t leave any waste on the ground. A clean dumpster area smells better, which makes your business more inviting, especially if you have nearby outdoor seating. Ice Machine Have you ever considered how many hands dip into your ice machine every day? Almost every customer has ice in their drink, making this one food item that could shut down your business if it becomes contaminated. The ice machine is another place that picks up a lot of germs that are not visible to the naked eye right away. Prevent buildup by cleaning your ice station daily to prevent a potentially dangerous situation. Fans and Lighting Fan blades attract dust, but many places neglect to clean them. When you turn the fans back on in the morning, they spread the dust back into the air and on clean tables. It is a pain to keep them clean, but you need to include them in your plan. Don’t forget to make sure employees lightly dust the walls and other knickknacks around your business. It’s much easier to run a dust mop over them once a day to keep them well maintained than it is to clean everything when dust builds up. It is also a good idea to dust around the restaurant after the fans have been cleaned so you can be sure you are picking up all of the fallout. Under and Behind Equipment It’s easy for staff to get busy and forget to clean up behind and under tables and equipment in your kitchen. Things that spill and run under a stove can be forgotten for weeks and months, unless someone makes a pointed effort to move them. When the health inspector comes in, you can be sure that they will look under your tables and behind the stove. Make sure to have someone maintain your commercial kitchen daily. How Can You Make Sure Things Are Being Cleaned? The most effective method of not missing anything when cleaning is to have a daily and monthly schedule posted where everyone can check off the items. When you have a system in place, it’s easy to go back and find out who is not keeping up with it. Another benefit is that you can have anyone close the business at the end of the day, and they will have guidelines on the procedure without you having to give them complete instructions. It might even be worth investing in a tablet for your kitchen or front end manager to be able to pull up the checklist every day. You can even set up a timetable for everyone to know what needs to be done when there is a lull in business. Have a weekly inspection to make sure that cleanup is being done to your satisfaction. You need to be as thorough as your health inspector would be to ensure you won’t be hit with fines and a bad review. It’s up to you to stay on top of these things to ensure the cleanliness of your business.