I write a lot about green cleaning on this blog, but when it comes to restaurants, hotels, hospitals and certain other industries, there are requirements in place requiring businesses to use specific chemicals or types of chemicals. They’re in order to necessary in order to clean, disinfect and sanitize to prevent the spread of germs that can cause foodborne illnesses and other deadly diseases.
Whether you work in a business that requires specific cleaning chemicals or choose to use some at home, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some steps you can take for proper cleaning chemical and storage safety.
- Never store chemicals near food, food storage areas or any tools or equipment that will touch food. Keep them at least a few feet away, preferably in a designated area only for cleaning tools and chemicals.
- Never leave chemicals on or near a food preparation area. That includes on top of counters, stoves, etc.
- Do not store chemicals above food prep areas, kitchen sinks or drain boards.
- Store chemicals in their originally labeled containers and make sure they are closed properly.
- Never use beverage cups, pitchers, drinking, beverage or food storage containers to store, transport or mix chemicals.
- Always read the instructions on the label before use, even if it’s a product you use regularly. You don’t want to accidentally use the product in the wrong area or use it incorrectly.
- Use safety posters or graphics to warn employees about chemical safety precautions. In businesses where language barriers could be a problem, create materials that are either bilingual or use pictures that don’t require further descriptions.
- Always spray chemicals holding the spray nozzle away from you.
- Never mix two different chemicals together.
- Always wear protective gloves and goggles when recommended.
- If you have kids or pets around, keep chemicals locked up so no one mistakes them for a drink. You should use locks even for chemicals kept on high shelves to prevent young climbers from getting into them.
When it comes to chemical safety and storage, you can never be too cautious. It’s always better to play it safer than to deal with the consequences of chemicals accidentally getting into food or into someone’s stomach.