Food Hygiene and Cleaning Routines
Scheduled Cleaning Tasks
Here are a few words on food hygiene and cleaning. There are a number of cleaning tasks that can be programmed into the working week. Many will need to be undertaken at different frequencies; some will need to be undertaken on a daily basis, others every week. Drawing up a cleaning schedule helps you to provide a comprehensive cleaning programme covering all aspects of your business. By drawing up a schedule staff are made aware and can be clear as to what is expected of them and managers can check that tasks have been carried out.
Initially you may walk through premises and prioritise the different items, fixtures and equipment that you have at the premises.
Items that come into contact with food would be considered a high priority:
- Sinks and soap dispensers
- Re-usable cloths and work clothes
- Ice machines
Hand contact surfaces will also require regular attention:
- Rubbish bins, broom and mop handles
- Door handles, taps, switches and controls
- Can openers, telephones
Other items or areas may be less of a priority such as:
- Extraction hoods and grease filters
- Floors, walls, ceilings
- Storage areas and freezers
- Waste areas and drains
- Microwaves, ovens, dishwashers and display units
Effective cleaning is essential in ensuring that harmful bacteria or physical contaminants do not contaminate food and so that pests are not attracted into the building.
When it comes to food hygiene and cleaning, some tasks will need to be cleaned as a matter of course and habitually throughout the day, for example:
- Work surfaces and chopping boards
- Equipment e.g. knives
- Equipment with moving parts e.g. food mixers, slicers and processors
- Any item or fitting which has come into contact with raw meat or poultry
- Any spillages
They can also be listed in the schedule but staff should be aware of when these tasks should be carried out. Any contact with or preparation of raw meats and poultry will require immediate attention, for example, prep surfaces will need to be sanitised. Equipment such as slicing machines may be cleaned after they have been used. A decent commercial dishwashing machine will provide several advantages.
Whether the task is a routine task or a clean as you go task you should decide how the task should be carried out, including:
- What chemicals should be used
- What equipment should be used
- How often it be carried out
- Who is responsible for this task
You can list this information in your cleaning schedule.