Have you ever wondered about how the kitchen looks inside your favorite restaurant? Would you be upset if you saw someone come in from a smoke break outside, only to go straight to the kitchen without washing their hands? Have you ever had a strand of hair in your food? All of these gross scenarios can happen if commercial kitchens aren’t properly cleaned. It is also very important to ensure their employees follow safety regulations. Having an unsanitary kitchen can lead to infections or even worse, death. If you’re interested in learning more about food poisoning you should check out the CDC
site that tells stories and shows videos about people who got sick with infections that came from food or animal contact. It even discusses ways to help when encountering situations such as those.
What Makes A Commercial Kitchen
A commercial kitchen must be properly designed. They must meet a list of requirements:
- All kitchens must be licensed and inspected. Your local health department will provide you with an inspector who will make sure that your kitchen meets suitable standards for dishwashing and with refrigerator equipment. According to kitchen cottage laws, you can turn your kitchen at home into a licensed kitchen as well. Remember you’ll have to pay fees and always have inspections. A rule of thumb is to remember that different health inspection agencies work with different types of food businesses. For example, a retail food company will be licensed and inspected by a municipal or county health department, while wholesale is licensed and inspected by a state or federal department of agriculture.
- Always use professional equipment. It’s usually stainless steel. Professional refrigeration equipment chills food quickly. Industrial stoves have intense heat more than residential ranges. Dishwashing equipment must reach temperatures hot enough to sanitize, or there must be multiple sink compartments to wash, rinse and sanitize by hand.
- The layout of the kitchen is one of the biggest concerns for food safety. Meaning not installing a mop sink too close to a prep sink is what makes a successful commercial kitchen. There should be enough space in between counters for employees to move around creating a good workflow. Not having the proper layout can complicate the workflow of things.
A lot of restaurants choose to outsource their cleaning tasks. The type of cleaning depends on the preference of the owner, staff size, and other things. Cleaning services provided by companies include:
- The dining room and lobbying. Sweeping, mopping, dusting, sanitizing tables and other surfaces, washing walls and ceilings, and washing windows.
- Kitchen: Sanitizing all equipment, tables, and counters. Washing walls ceilings and windows; degreasing exhaust fans; scrubbing ovens, broilers and stoves; and cleaning and degreasing filters and ducts.
- Bathrooms: Scrubbing and sanitizing all surfaces, including toilets, sweeping and mopping floors; removing the trash; and refilling soaps and paper products.
Choosing Cleaning Service
- Consider the needs of your commercial kitchen.
- Check credentials.
- Do background research
- Search for companies that specialize in commercial kitchen cleaning
- Meet with the people you’re hiring prior to them cleaning your kitchen.
- Ask for their checklist.
Regulations and Safety
You must know the local, state, and federal regulations for food safety. The Food and Drug Administration publishes the Food Code
every four years. Review your state rules and regulations to educate you and your staff about concerns that apply to your particular cooking operation. The National Fire Protection Association also releases regular updates on current fire codes and expectations for local fire marshals. The NFPA Fire Code 96
tells you how often you should have your kitchen exhaust system cleaned to pass fire safety inspections. Make sure your ventilation systems and ductwork cleaned on a regular basis.