It is not something that people would choose to do. It is important for many reasons. First, if your restaurant isn’t cleaned up regularly, you could be charged with violating the Health Department. This is something that no one wants. Since Yelp is adding online reviews, services like Yelp offer health inspection scores. Yikes!
Perhaps even more important is the impression a clean restaurant gives your customers. Customers will remember how clean or filthy your restaurant is.
You don’t want your restaurant to make people sick. Proper restaurant cleaning is crucial to stop the spread of diseases, especially in the winter months.
Let’s first talk about restaurant cleaning. First, you must have a plan. It is less likely that your restaurant’s cleaning and maintenance will be done properly if you don’t have a plan. Create a list of areas that need to be cleaned. Then designate specific people to clean. It doesn’t have any more difficulty than this.
It may not suffice to ask an employee to clean something. Some areas or pieces of equipment might need special instructions to be cleaned properly. It is important to have clear cleaning instructions and regular training for your employees.
You will also need the appropriate janitorial supplies. The right chemicals for different jobs will ensure your cleaning is done correctly and make it easier for your employees. Let’s get into the areas you need to clean now.
Can openers be an essential part of food preparation? The contents of those huge cans end up on the handle. Most often, the contents of these cans are food products. Food products can risk your health if left uncleaned for long periods.
You can also use can openers frequently. This can lead to cross-contamination. This is all very bad stuff.
It is very simple to clean and maintain your can open. The blade is the most important thing to pay attention to. The blade is what cuts through the can. The blade can puncture the can and come in contact with the contents. You can still keep your can opener in tip-top condition with some care.
Many can openers, such as the Edlund model shown below, are easy to disassemble and most of them are dishwasher-safe. It’s important to pay attention to details when cleaning your can opener.
Soda Fountain Dispenser Nozzles
Whether your soda fountain serves customers or your employees, it doesn’t matter. It is easy to get messy at the dispenser nozzles, where the drink is poured into the cup. The syrup is essentially a sugar solution. This syrup is a great medium for unwanted organisms to grow.
Coca-Cola is one of the largest suppliers of soda fountains for the restaurant industry . They provide detailed guidelines on how to maintain and clean your soda fountain. While some tasks can be done weekly or monthly, the dispenser is recommended to be cleaned daily following their instructions.
Theron Folley, director of Foodservice Quality Group, Coca-Cola North America, says that guests will be impressed by the cleanliness of your facility. A solid routine will ensure that your dispenser always pours high-quality beverages.
This cleaning guide begins with great advice: Wash your hand.
This is a simple task that is often overlooked. Cross-contamination can be avoided by washing your hands.
Cleaning the dispenser is easy. First, take out the diffusers and nozzles. To remove any dried material, scrub them with a brush. To scrub the pieces, use a chlorine-based sanitizer and then soak them for
Rinse, dry them and then replace the parts on your unit. Simple, right?
Coca-Cola recommends that the dispenser’s exterior be cleaned daily, including the drip pan and the chute. The company recommends cleaning out the ice bin, paying particular attention to the sides. Ice bins and machines are known for creating “slime”. We’ll get to that in a moment.
It is good to use color-coded buckets when cleaning and sanitizing, such as this red Sanitizer bucket from San Jamar. This prevents accidental mixing of toxic chemicals and contaminating clean rinse water.
The restaurant menu is an integral part of the dining experience. Restaurants often go to great lengths to create the best menu to showcase their delicious meals.
Menus could be the most dangerous vector of disease in a restaurant. They are handled by a lot of people and rarely get replaced.
Research has shown that germs that cause cases of flu and colds can survive for up to 18 hours on hard surfaces. You may not only be handling germs from the last person who touched your menu. You may be handling the germs from everyone who has touched your menu in the past day.
Good Morning America found that restaurant menus could contain 100x more bacteria than their restaurant’s restroom seats. They found an average of 185,000 bacteria in the menus.
What can you do then?
Replace plain paper menus often if they are not printed. It is difficult to disinfect paper without causing damage to the appearance of your menu.
There are other options. You could also laminate your menu. However, this can be costly and cumbersome if your menu changes frequently. A menu with a cover is an alternative.
Vinyl or plastic menu covers may be the best option to protect your menu and keep your customers healthy.
It is easy to clean and disinfect the menu covers. Menu covers can be easily cleaned because they tend to retain bacteria and germs. They should be thoroughly cleaned each day.
High Chairs and Booster Seats
We love children and babies. Let’s face it, children are mobile disease vectors that can infect anything they touch.
High chairs and boosters can be the most filthy items in a restaurant. Many restaurants don’t have a plan for cleaning or disinfecting high chairs and booster seats.
High chairs can be difficult to clean. You can choose from various materials for these chairs, including metal, plastic, or wood. Some high chairs may also have a fabric cover. Each material may require different cleaning methods.
Cleaning should not be limited to the tray. They are usually made of plastic to be easily cleaned and disinfected. After each use, these trays should be thoroughly cleaned.
It is important to clean wooden chairs regularly. You can use a diluted solution of bleach and vinegar. For cleaning recommendations, check with the manufacturer.
However, if you have fabric on your high chair, you can skip the bleach.
The restraint device is one of the most difficult parts to clean. It is made of nylon straps and metal clasps, so it can be difficult to clean all the crevices. Even if the debris is simple food, this can be a problem. Unfortunately, it becomes even more difficult when the mess is bodily fluids, which is not uncommon.
It would be best to take extra care when cleaning booster seats and high chairs. Customers who are sick can make your reputation worse than a bad reputation.
2019 high chair standards will be updated. You can find all the information you need and ensure that your code is up-to-date by reading our article about the new High Chair Standards. It is better to be prepared than to suffer a safety incident with a child.
Ice machines are notorious for being difficult to clean and dirty. Modern ice machines are much more efficient at keeping restaurants clean and safe. However, any not properly maintained piece can lead to a mess. Ice machines are no exception.
Many resources will tell you to empty and clean the icemaker’s bin every day. If your restaurant is open more than 12 hours per day, it may be difficult to empty the ice bin each morning. You may not be able to produce enough rice to meet demand depending on the machine.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t clean out the bin. It is a must. This is one of the areas that health inspectors will review and can lead to a poor grade.
Follow the instructions of your machine manufacturer to clean the bin. Make sure you do this as often as possible. For most businesses, a weekly schedule will be sufficient.
The ice scoop is an important aspect of the humble ice maker that is often overlooked.
Ice scoops, regardless of whether they are made from metal or plastic, can contact workers’ hands. Once inserted into the ice, they can cause problems. Ice scoops can easily become cross-contaminated due to their proximity to soda fountains and other food items.
This is a simple problem that can be solved. Ice cream should be washed daily. Many are dishwasher-safe. It is also a good idea to change the scoop once per shift.
This applies to all accessories you use to make, move, or serve ice to customers. Many restaurants use a large commercial ice maker in the back to move ice from there into individual containers or serving stations. This is usually done using a bucket. To avoid any problems, these containers should be cleaned every day.
Everything on the Tabletop
The worst/best was saved for last. Unfortunately, almost everything on a restaurant tabletop can be contaminated with germs, bacteria, and other grossness.
Let’s begin with the salt-and-pepper shakers. These things are often overlooked, but many people come in contact with them. They can easily get contaminated by foodstuffs due to their proximity.
The same GMA study mentioned earlier showed that the pepper shaker was second in germinate.
Salt and pepper shakers can be difficult to clean. The only way to be certain that these items are clean and well cleaned is to use two sets of shakers. If the product isn’t visible, you can take it out of the old shakers and put it in the clean shakers. To disinfect, run the dirty shakers in the dishwasher. Rinse, lather, and repeat ….hopefully at least once a week.
This is a tedious, manual task, and restaurants rarely employ this level of care. It’s likely that the shakers are not being cleaned.
Crusty condiment containers
Condiments dispensers are another culprit at the table. A simple ketchup bottle is a notorious germy mess. These bottles are difficult to clean. You can clean the outside of the bottle, but the hard part is underneath the lid. A squeeze container is a good option. However, it is important to empty the container and run the dishwasher every other day. Ketchup is particularly bad due to the high sugar/fructose levels in many ketchup recipes. We’ve already mentioned that germy bugs and other unpleasant things love sugary substrates for growth.