Maintaning cleanliness in commercial kitchens is not only a safety concern; it is simply good business. Here are the things you need to do to optimise your commercial kitchen.
Build a clean culture.
Cleanliness starts with each individual’s hygiene. A dedicated hand-washing station will prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen. Employees should always wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before handling any food since even the smallest number of bacteria can cause someone to get sick when they get into food. This is particularly important after people have returned from bathroom and cigarette breaks.
Sick employees should strongly be discouraged from handling food. This is a no-brainer. There is a real possibility of these people infecting the food and ultimately your guests.
Employees should also be required to use kitchen gloves. These gloves should be changed when they handle different ingredients, especially when they move from raw ingredients to cooked food.
Training your employees is one of the best ways to keep them informed and empowered. Include a comprehensive safety and cleanliness course with their usual training regimen. They will adhere to food safety guidelines better if they understand what they are for.
For more comprehensive kitchen cleaning tips, this article by NiDirect Government Services will help you get sorted.
Use optimum ingredients.
Fruits and vegetables need to be washed thoroughly. These food ingredients carry a lot of bacteria and chemicals with them, even if you use the most ‘fertilizer-free’ ones out there. Use cold-running water for best results.
Different ingredients require different temperatures to cook. Do your research and teach your staff about this as well. Make sure meat is cooked all the way through with a kitchen thermometer. This will get rid of bacteria like E-coli and Salmonella.
Storing food items also requires special attention to temperature and humidity. Food ingredients spoil when they are not stored properly. Make sure everyone is aware of the best conditions to store your ingredients.
Keep a checklist of ingredients along with their important dates. This checklist can also include the useful information mentioned above, like the best conditions to store them. Teach everyone to make it a habit to check the list regularly.
Cross contamination is one of the most common sources of illness in food. This often happens when bacteria from raw ingredients make their way into food to be served. Use different equipment for everything and teach employees the importance of not handling both in succession.
Invest in top-quality equipment.
From the size of your refrigerators to the efficiency of your kitchen extract, all your equipment should be optimised for commercial and not residential use. On that note, your storage capacity should be enough for the amount of food you plan on storing. Less than ideal storage conditions will be hazardous for the preparation of your food.
Take the flow of your food into consideration and arrange stations accordingly. This will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. It will also make maintenance a little easier.
Similar to how you consider how food ingredients are prepared for use, you should also put some thought into how you will be cleaning them up. How you dispose of your trash also affects the integrity of your kitchen equipment. Regularly cleaning your equipment should be second-nature to you. However, for specialised cleaning services, like cleaning kitchen extract, you may want to contact professionals.
Keeping your commercial kitchen in optimum condition will not only protect your food from possible contamination, it will also protect your business from possible liability.