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March 17, 2020 Preventative Maintenance

How to Clean a Restaurant Kitchen

One thing that we have learned over the years is that the line of sight from your knees to your shoulders is usually the cleanest part of the kitchen. Why? Because people do not want to bend down or get a ladder to check the cleanliness in the lowest and highest places. Don’t let this be you putting your customers or your employees at risk with a dirty kitchen.

Why Should I Clean My Kitchen Regularly?

It is important check all areas of your kitchen for cleanliness and if you keep up with it, it will stay clean and not feel like such an overwhelming task to tackle all at once. We all know the common tasks we do every day like wash the dishes; clean and sanitize tables, work areas and cutting boards; wipe off the ovens and appliances; take out the trash and clean the floors. But there are other areas in your kitchen that need some attention as well.

Steps to Clean Key Areas of Your Kitchen
  • High dusting is key. AC units blow dust against walls and that dust can fall into food if not cleaned on a regular basis.
  • You must have a flashlight to check cleanliness. You find so much more when you shine a light on surfaces.
  • Pull out drawers on refrigeration units and look in the back corners. People tend to clean only the front areas. This can leave rotting product in the back of the unit and the air is being circulated over that rotten product and will contaminate the rest of the product.
  • When you remove the drawers, flip them over. The bottom of the gasket and drawer is usually the worst off.
  • Look underneath all shelving in the kitchen (expo line, prep tables, metal or plastic shelving). Product drips and can sit under the shelf and attract pests. Sometimes you have to look completely upside down to see where the issue really is.
  • It is best to remove all product from line refrigeration every night and stored in a large walk in or large reach in unit. This way, line refrigeration can be cleaned very thoroughly every night without the possibility of getting chemicals into the food.
  • Get on your hands and knees and look under equipment with a flashlight. It is easy to push product out of sight. This becomes an open dinner bell for pests and rodents. The less product you have for them to get to, the less likely they are to make a home in your food prep space.
  • Some brands of refrigeration have their condenser coils near the floor. If you have rotten product on the floor, when sweeping or mopping that dirt gets pushed right into the refrigeration coils. Dirty coils prevent airflow and the compressor has to work extra hard to get air through the coils. This wears out the compressor and when that goes it is an expensive job rather than just keeping the area around the equipment clean.
  • Spend extra to have the restrooms professional cleaned. Customers associate restroom cleanliness with overall restaurant cleanliness. If they see a dirty restroom, they assume you have a dirty kitchen.
  • Graffiti is a problem in restaurant restrooms. You could consider installing chalk boards for people to draw on rather than drawing on the walls. It is easier to erase chalk than permanent marker or pen.
  • Bar area drains need to be cleaned nightly. You have been in bars that have the old beer smell. This is what attracts fruit flies and other pests. One of the biggest issues behind the bar are the bar mats that bartenders stand on and the drink mats they serve drinks on. Both are very difficult to clean properly. If at all possible, clean the floor mats outside and leave them outside when not in use. Drink mats should be soaked overnight completely submerged in a sanitizing solution. This helps keep fruit flies away.

Good people want to work in good, clean environments. If you are not holding people accountable for cleaning, then why should they care about food safety or your business? Take the time and these tips to keep your restaurant clean and running smoothly and safely.

Discover you need to replace a gasket on your walk-in refrigerator during cleaning?  Find the gaskets you need from every major OEM here!


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