How to create a Cleaning Schedule for Your Restaurant Kitchen
A cleaning schedule will help you maintain a routine, to make sure cleaning occurs as frequently as necessary
Such a schedule is also a great management tool, allowing staff to be accountable for their actions or inactions.
Food Quality is something that is the foundation of any food business be it in the Manufacturing/ Production or in the Service sector.
Health inspections can be stressful, however they shouldn’t be, if you have instilled a culture of food safety in your business. Keeping such records will also contribute to supporting a due diligence defense
Your staff must be trained effectively to allow efficient desinfection of work surface, hand contact and food contact surface areas.
If you want to keep or reach a 5 star rating, this is definitely something that you should put in place.
What is a cleaning schedule?
Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 talks about hygiene and The Food Hygiene Regulations 2006 have become a prominent requirement by law for many years till date.
Well let’s not talk too much about the technical stuff. Just trying to get the point across that restaurant cleaning is something to be taken pretty seriously !
A simple list of Do’s and Don’ts aim to prevent cross contamination and other health hazards.
The basics teach us that cleaning saves us from bacteria on hands, surfaces like table tops and counter tops and kitchenware which reduces the chances of pathogens spreading all around the kitchen.
If we take a glance at what the FSA recommends, then here it is :
- Train your staff! Nothing too challenging. Your staff should simply know about all the critical points and hazards that can be caused if safety standards are neglected.
- Clear and clear along each step! Sanitize storage places that include your fridges, cold storage, glass shelves and more. Kitchenware should be disinfected especially after contact with raw meat.
- Use cleaning and disinfection products.
It is recommended that you study the instructions of the products and use them according to the job and safety material data sheets.
All disinfection products should meet the standard. Check labels for either BS EN 1276 or BS EN 13697 codes.
- Do not let waste accumulate
- Do not ignore pest infestation. Spilt food or stains should not be neglected as well.
- Do not leave dirty water in buckets. These attract insects which might transfer disease causing pathogens.
- Do not use water that is not sanitized.
- Do not use the same cloth for multiple tasks. Each cloth should be color coded and used for one specific task only. This prevents cross contamination.
- Do not mop the floor
Mopping the floor will cause pathogens to spread. It is better to clean the floor with a cleaner that might effectively get rid of MRSA, E.coli and Listeria and other potential hazardous pathogens.
Hence, it is recommended that floors are cleaned with a good degreaser and is EN1276 and EN1650 conformant.
The debris should be picked up and evacuated. The floor beneath the debris should be carefully cleansed with hot soapy water.
Easy, right? Oh and make sure that there is rotation between the work shifts. It is better that one crew member doesn’t do one job for long. When a task seems too monotonous, it starts feeling boring and dull. Chances of carelessness increase. And that’s not good at all !
Schedules should include:
- Item to be cleaned – Make a list of all the areas and pieces of equipment that need to be cleaned. This basically means everything inside and outside your premises. Whilst that sounds daunting some things can obviously be grouped together to make the list shorter.
- Product name – Next to each item listed to be cleaned, identify the exact cleaning product to be used. For some items several products may be required e.g. cleaners and sanitizes. All products must be listed & it helps to keep them in the order they will be used.
- Cleaning method – Describe how the product is to be used e.g. straight or diluted, and how the person carrying out the task must use it e.g. wipe with cloth, spray & leave, scrub then sanitize. It also needs to include health and safety concerns, especially Personal Protective Equipment.
- Cleaning frequency – State how often cleaning must be carried out e.g. daily, after each use, between raw & cooked foods, monthly or as required.
- Person responsible – State the name of the crew member assigned to carry out this task. In some cases the title of the job holder can be used instead.
- Completed – Leave a field free for the responsible person to sign off as & when they complete the actual task. This is not required on master copies but is essential for working documents.
4 things you need to remember
There is a bunch of things we need to keep in mind while attempting to make our kitchens spotless. It might seem as too much of a hassle if we don’t get our daily cleaning routines straight.
The cleaning schedule will consist of the most important tasks first.
Degreasing should be on top of the list. Instead of mopping (as explained above) it is vital to remove any build-up of grease which can be both a fire hazard and a health hazard.
Oven and Grill Cleaning
If the appliance is dirty, the food cooked in it will follow suit. Don’t be stingy when it comes to buying good oven and grill cleaners and don’t be lazy when using them. Cleaning your Oven should be a monthly task, but you should wipe down the oven door at least once a week on the other hand Grills should preferably be cleaned after each use.
Always have a different cloth for different taks. Remember, avoiding cross contact is key. Read our other article to learn more about that. This is where color coding comes in handy. By wiping, we mean that one cloth should be used for one task only. A milk spill should not be cleaned with the same cloth you clean raw meat blood stains. This can cause cross contamination. Use clean cloths as frequently as possible.
Fridges and glass surfaces should be sparkly clean as well.
Cleaning your Cleaners
Sounds redundant but don’t let how a set of words sound fool you. The cleaning cloths to be used should be washed properly with hot soapy water and detergent mix. The degreasers and surface cleaners used should be checked for their expiry dates.
Digressing a bit, your hands should be properly washed before carrying out any task of your cleaning schedule. The dishwasher, dryer, any cleaning machinery should be germ-free. A few minutes saved over looking these slightly tedius tasks can cost you severely. Your time, money and reputation can be ruined from something seemingly so small so take is seriously!
Advantages of a cleaning schedule
- Everything is cleaned regularly
- If someone is away, you know exactly what has to be done by someone else
- If something goes wrong you know who is responsible
- It means cleaning is organized
How should a Cleaning Schedule be used?
Well this will be part of your daily routine so it won’t be hard to follow after you have listed priority cleaning tasks till the least important typed as a proper document hung on the fridge or something.
Small scale food operators might be a bit too relaxed to follow it out of fear of expenses. This is where Health departments should provide financial assistance and proper guidance on how to follow these schedules.
Assigning duties to your staff
A restaurant cleaning schedule is meaningless if your staff doesn’t stick to it. Tasks can be divided into three main categories. Daily, weekly and monthly. These tasks include things like always wiping down the grill between cooking red meat, poultry, and fish to avoid cross contamination. Wiping down prep areas between tasks, switching cutting boards in between tasks, hanging sanitizing water and rags frequently and emptying trash bins when they’re full.
Here are some other restaurant kitchen cleaning chores to add to your daily, weekly, and monthly checklists. This is general list as an example. Your personal cleaning schedule will always be slightly different based on your needs.
- Change foil linings of grill, range, and flattop
- Disinfect preperation surfaces
- Clean the grill, range, flattop, and fryer.
- Clean the can opener
- Wash meat slicers
- Clean the walls
- Clean the floors
- Wash beverage dispenser heads in soda fountains
- Clean the machinery such as soda dispenser
- Disinfect waste disposal area to prevent pests and the spread of bacteria.
- Run hood filters through the dishwasher
- Wash and sanitize walk-ins
- Delime sinks and faucets
- Clean the ovens
- Clean the floor drains
- Thoroughly clean the coffee machine
- Empty grease taps
- Clean the ice machine (can be done every several months)
- Clean refrigeration coils to remove dust
- Wash walls and ceiling to remove grease buildup
- Wash behind hot line to prevent clogs
- Clean and sanitize freezers
- Change pest traps
- Wash vent hoods (can be done every several months)
What does the law say about this?
The WHO, FDA and HACCP provide authentic safety guidelines and the consequences that might happen if these are neglected. The health departments in UK, US, China and other developed countries have been given permission by law to close down any restaurant or café that provides unhealthy food. They can also be closed down if they do not reach the hygiene standards of the regional health department.