Commercial Kitchens: Health & Hygiene Tips
If you run a retail food outlet, you will already be aware of the very strict health and hygiene regulations we have in place across Australia, and it is vital for your business that the kitchen is always clean and free of pests and germs. Here are a few tips from professionals to help you ensure that your food preparation areas are always clean and germ-free.
- Staff Training – Cleanliness and hygiene should be instilled into all kitchen staff from the very outset, and new employees should be paired up with an experienced person, who would make sure that they routinely clean up when working. You could arrange for short workshops on hygiene in the kitchen, which will keep the important things firmly in mind at all times. Your kitchen staff should know what to do in the event they have an open wound, which needs to be covered when working with food.
- Outsource Pest Control – Rats and mice are always a concern with a commercial kitchen, and by asking a local Brisbane pest control provider to add you to their list of commercial kitchen contracts, they will ensure that your kitchen and surrounding areas are free from pests at all times. When local authority staff come to check your kitchens, you won’t worry, as you have a professional team of pest control officers on the job and they keep records of the visits and applications.
- Cleaning Ducting & Appliances – These have to be cleaned professionally on a regular basis, depending on the equipment you are using – baking requires much less attention than grilling, for example, as the amount of cooking fat is considerable and this sticks to the ducting and needs to be cleaned with caustic soda.
- End of Shift Cleaning – This should be a part of your daily routine, and the head of the kitchen should carry out an inspection at the end of a shift, which basically ensures that the food preparation area is clean and ready for a new set of employees, while the head of the kitchen would have a checklist to run through when inspecting.
- Provide Adequate Hand Washing Stations – It is vital that there are more than ample locations where kitchen staff can wash their hands, with special soap provided that removes all bacteria and germs during the washing process. When a kitchen worker has finished one job, they should always wash their hands before starting another activity, as this reduces the risk of spreading germs, and with the towelling replaced daily, a clean kitchen is much easier to achieve.
It is important never to become complacent with hygiene in the kitchen and posting signage in all the right locations will help kitchen staff to remember to wash their hands and wear the right protective clothing. As you know, the local authorities are very strict regarding health & hygiene, and there could be spot checks at any time, with serious penalties is they find any issues, and by implementing all of the above, your kitchens will always be clean and germ-free.