Regular, proper cleaning is vital for all restaurant kitchens. Cleaning not only keeps your restaurant looking nice, it also helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination that can cause dangerous foodborne illnesses. While it is easy to clean obvious places like floors and restrooms, it’s also important to clean these less obvious areas:
- Ice Machine: Just like anything else your restaurant serves, ice is food. It goes in customers’ drinks and can make people sick if it’s contaminated. Clean and sanitize your ice machine and any ice storage areas regularly to prevent mold and mildew growth.
- Beverage/Soda Machines: Bacteria, mold and even fruit flies can live in the nozzles of your soda machine. Remove the nozzles daily and soak in your approved cleaning solution. Use your Beverage Tower Brush to scrub the valves and underside of the dispensers to dislodge anything that might be growing in your soda machine.
- Around Equipment: Food particles, crumbs and other dirt can get trapped in between, underneath and behind your equipment. Bacteria, bugs and even mice are highly attracted to these scraps and crumbs. Make sure to use tools like a Hi-Lo Scrub Brush to clean under your equipment. You will also need to move equipment regularly to get to any scraps, buildup or crumbs in hard-to-reach areas. In addition to keeping your kitchen food safe, cleaning will extend the life of your expensive restaurant equipment. When you’re cleaning, don’t forget the refrigeration coils, which can affect the cooling properties of your fridge.
- Walls: Just like food particles can get on the floor and behind equipment, grease, oil and food splatters can buildup on your kitchen’s walls. If food splatters, clean it immediately. You should also wipe down kitchen walls regularly to prevent buildup.
The best way to ensure these for areas (and all of the others) in your restaurant get cleaned is to set up a schedule. A simple chart with employees’ names and designated cleaning areas is a great first step. The more specific you make that chart (i.e. cleaning toilets, sinks, stalls, refilling soap and paper dispensers rather than just “restroom cleaning”), the better. It holds employees accountable for their work. A manager or shift supervisor should double check when an employee is finished cleaning to ensure the tasks were completed properly.