Offering a food service requires a great responsibility, keeping all kitchen instruments, utensils, machinery and facilities disinfected is essential to avoid disasters such as cross contamination of food. Having mentioned this, we must pay the utmost attention to two elementary factors, cleaning and disinfection. A surface that only appears to be clean can be a cocktail of bacteria. This is something that cannot be overlooked, being a reason why the best restaurants have sinned. Simply having a dirty countertop can end up being a public health problem, it’s not just a matter of removing a little dirt. To find out more about it click here.
Having a good housekeeping for restaurants is not something that should be taken lightly, it is not only about cleaning utensils or those things that seem to us when it provokes us. A system must be established as part of a PPR plan (prerequisite) that guarantees compliance with the corresponding processes.
Depending on the category or business, the disinfection and cleaning plan may vary, this will depend on the needs and characteristics of each business, but beyond this and for all cases, details are required on issues such as:
When the cleaning plan is to be executed, the facility, equipment and surface to be cleaned and disinfected must be specified. In addition, the location and use of the instrument (whether it is an oven, cutting board, food containers, floors, sausage slicer, etc.) should be indicated.
A record should be kept of those utensils that were cleaned and should be disinfected, this allows for control in cases where the procedure was carried out properly and a correction should be made, this also allows the contamination not to spread to other surfaces, equipment that is already clean.
Once we know what the cleaning plan will be, it should include the various phases, stages, the cleaning procedure to be carried out in detail and chronologically. If the case arises, some information may also be necessary:
- The product to be used, the doses that have been used, the total amount or density amount of the product. It should be known if the product contains a high level of toxicity for food, this is generally present in the products, in the same way it should be verified that it is registered in the Register of Pesticides of the General Directorate of Public Health of the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs, this applies to disinfectants. As a method for better control, technical data sheets or labels can be applied to the products to be used on different surfaces.
- What methods have been carried out to apply the product used. Manual or automatic cleaning, drying with single-use paper, hot water disinfection, low or high pressure spraying, etc.
- Equipment or materials used. Buckets, machines, dispensers, brushes, mops, etc.
- Temperatures and application times. Drying time, water temperature, immersion time, etc.
It is of vital importance that when applying all these cleaning products, they are used in the best possible way, with the correct application rate, following the instructions indicated by the manufacturer. This allows the work to be carried out in a more efficient and cost-effective way, avoiding a bad dosage of the products.
When a plan is drawn up for cleaning a restaurant, it must obviously include the exact moment at which the action will be executed, in this case the disinfection and cleaning of the area. This could be, for example, after each working day, this can apply to utensils such as ovens, for example. After use, for cases such as utensils or countertops. Before use, for instruments such as pots and pans, which are not used very often. Once a week, for items such as refrigerators. To know better how often to disinfect each item, you should base it on the microbiological history of the equipment and surfaces.
Once you have worked on this PPR plan, you can proceed to carry out all those cleaning and disinfection practices correctly. These can be consulted in their entirety in the Guide to Good Hygiene Practices in Restaurants.
- In the case of the kitchen and the restaurant room, a cleaning and disinfection process should be carried out after each service.
- With the objectives such as equipment, utensils, surfaces, etc.. There must be a constant frequency to prevent any type of risk or cross-contamination. This will go hand in hand with the cleaning plan that has been developed.
- Priority should always be given to those kitchen utensils that have had contact with food at the time of service. This is the case of utensils, ovens, etc. that have been exposed or salted.
- In the case of grease or dirt, first soak the target with hot water and detergent. Then scrub until the residues are completely removed.
- Equipment consisting of several pieces of equipment, microwaves with plates, fryers, ovens with trays, etc., should be assembled to ensure cleanliness. They should be assembled to ensure effective cleaning and proper disinfection down to the smallest corner.
- Dry sweeping is not recommended. This is because dust particles are lifted and become airborne. This causes contamination of food, equipment, or utensils that could be used to prepare the food.
- When cleaning should be carried out to prevent water from splashing on equipment, utensils or surfaces that have been cleaned.
- After cleaning, disinfect using chemicals or disinfectants that help reduce or eliminate microorganisms on cleaned surfaces and utensils.
- After cleaning and disinfection, the equipment, surfaces or utensils should be rinsed. This is done with hot, clean and abundant water. This procedure eliminates detergent residues that could become the beginning of cross-contamination.
- Once the rinsing is done, all the elements should be air dried and avoid humidity, as this only favors the growth of bacteria. A single-use paper can also be used if much faster drying is required.
- The correct way to store the equipment is in suspension, it is not recommended to store it in dirty cabinets or drawers. Avoid any contact with dirty items.
- Once the disinfection procedure is started, food should be covered or removed to prevent contamination of the products.
If you have used utensils that are not going to be used again, these should be removed to the cleaning areas while food preparation is being finished.
- It is recommended to use automatic machines to wash cutlery, glassware, crockery, etc. Always complying with the manufacturer’s instructions in order to achieve a more efficient and better disinfection.
- Handles and handles of containers should not be overlooked when cleaning, as well as door and faucet handles and interiors, which are sensitive to the touch of the hands.
- Finally, the cleaning and disinfection of walls, ceilings, windows, bottom surfaces, mosquito nets, etc. should also be taken into consideration. This will depend on the frequency with which they get dirty, it can be daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc.