Working with food brings in a lot of germs and bacteria, so it's a restaurant manager's job to make sure that constant cleaning takes place throughout the day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of all food-borne illnesses in the U.S. are caused by restaurants and other food service facilities. You can have the cleanest restaurant in the world, but if you don't keep up with the cleaning chores, the dirt and germs will take over in a short amount of time. Restaurant kitchen cleaning may seem straightforward, but some of the dirtiest places in the kitchen are the last places you'd think to look.
The Kitchen Telephone
Takeout restaurants often have a phone in the kitchen to help facilitate easy ordering during rushes. It's rare for kitchen workers to think of washing their hands before using the phone, and even less common for them to wash their hands after talking on it and before going back to work. Any germs on their hands are transferred to the phone as they talk, and vice versa.
The best way to clean a kitchen telephone is with a cleaning chemical and a cleaning cloth, using the 8-fold method. Fold a square cleaning cloth in half, then in half again. Use one surface of the square to clean an area, then turn it over to use the next surface. Unfold and refold the squares until all eight surfaces have been used. Kaivac's SmartTowel is made specifically for this chore. The soft microfiber fabric cleans surfaces easily, and the numbers printed on both sides indicate which folded surface to use next when cleaning.
The Sneeze Guard
If your restaurant offers a salad bar or other buffet, it's got a sneeze guard on top that gets coated in germs all day long. Clean this guard every hour or two, even if it looks spotless. A quick swipe with a SmartTowel moistened with cleaning solution will help prevent germs and bacteria that might otherwise migrate to your food or your customers. This should be a regular part of your restaurant kitchen cleaning chore list.
The Faucet Handles
Most restaurants now have step-on levers that turn hand-washing water on and off, so kitchen workers don't have to touch faucets when they wash their hands. This is a great innovation, but it's rarely carried over into the dishwashing area of a kitchen. The same worker who steps on the faucet to wash his hands will turn right around and grab a faucet handle that's been used by dozens of people all day. Requiring kitchen staff to wipe down faucets with a SmartTowel and cleaning solution every time they change the water in the sinks goes a long way toward preventing the spread of bacteria.
For more information on keeping restaurant kitchens clean, click here.