The importance of cleaning in your food establishment

Published: 2 Oct 2019

In the age of social media and public awareness of food hygiene ratings, the importance of cleaning procedures has never been more important. Consumers expect and rightfully deserve wholesome foods prepared in a clean environment.

As a significant part of the assessment criteria for FHR is dedicated to the levels of cleaning and cleaning procedures, we look at the hazards associated with cleaning, and procedures which need to be in place to ensure that legal compliance is met.

Poor levels of cleaning can lead to the accumulation of food waste and dirt which may attract pests. Bacteria could multiply to high levels on dirty surfaces. Dirty equipment surfaces can cause accidents. Chemical contamination of food is also a hazard that is associated with inadequate cleaning systems.

To ensure that your business is kept safe, free from prosecution and in the best possible position to get a hygiene rating of 5, we look at requirements which will need to be put in place:

Ensure that a cleaning schedule for the kitchen and associated areas is available and prominently displayed. The method of cleaning, type of chemical, contact time, frequency of cleaning and PPE required needs to be clearly documented.

A ‘clean as you go’ policy must be adopted. Ensure that food and hand contact surfaces are sanitised.

Daily and weekly tasks must be clearly identified and signed off. The head chef needs to sign off the cleaning schedule at the end of every week.

Only approved chemicals are to be used at the correct dilutions. Chemicals used for disinfection or sanitising must comply with BS EN 1276:1997, BS EN 13697:2001 or BS EN 1276:2009.

The importance of chemical safety cannot be understated. Only approved chemicals must be used. Bleach must not be used. All COSHH requirements must be made available to staff and adhered to.

Chemicals and cleaning equipment should be stored in a separate facility and away from food areas. All cleaning equipment is kept clean and in a good condition.

Ensure any dishwashers are operating to correct temperatures (as per the manufacturer’s instructions) and daily checks that there is adequate supply of detergent and rinse aid in the machine. Dishwashers must be well maintained and reaching a final rinse temperature of at least 82°C for 15 seconds.

To ensure that your organisation does not face prosecution, ensure that you maintain high standards and good levels of staff training. If you need advice, help, training or just clarification please feel free to contact us.