The last chapter in this series of articles is about cleaning the work area and food hygiene and the law.
The two main objectives of cleaning are
- to remove dirt and grease
- to destroy bacteria (this is referred to as disinfection)
There are two ways in which cleaning should be approached.
- clean as you go
- scheduled cleaning (often also called deep cleaning)
Clean as you go refers to the everyday cleaning that you should do as you go along. This prevents the risk of cross-contamination or injury and keeps the work environment clean and tidy. Examples of this are cleaning up spillages as they occur and washing anything that is contaminated, such as a chopping board which has been used to prepare raw meat, immediately after use.
Scheduled cleaning refers to cleaning tasks which are carried out at regular intervals. Most commercial kitchens have a scheduled timetable or rota which specifies what has to be done when.
Some tasks are done daily, eg sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor.
Others might be done weekly or monthly, eg cleaning all the grease from the ovens.
It is important to establish what has to be done, when it has to be done, and who is responsible for doing it. Some smaller kitchens require the chef to mop the floor at the end of the shift. Other kitchens have KPs (Kitchen Porters) for janitory tasks.
Next it needs to be established how the cleaning is to be achieved. Perhaps there is a machine for the purpose or it’s a case of using elbow grease.
Chemicals may be required and these should always be stored away from food. They may also require the use of protective equipment such as rubber gloves.
This is Chapter Seven, Part One in a series of articles broadly similar to the course offered by the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health for its Food Hygiene Certificate.
Part Two: Cleaning and disinfection chemicals
Chapter One: Food Poisoning
Chapter Two: Bacteria
Chapter Three: Hygiene Control and Personal Hygiene
Chapter Four: Pest Control
Chapter Five: Kitchen Layout and Design
Chapter Six: Temperature Control