Three areas that are critical to a properly cleaned operation
Guidelines, limits, regulations: That food service operations should be sanitary is a given for most restaurateurs. Thorough basic hygiene helps you comply with health standards for food processing and helps you prepare for a hygiene inspection. But what should you look for to minimize risks to food and guests in your company kitchen? Find out what you need to pay special attention to and what precautions you should implement.
The ideal kitchen equipment
The kitchen is the heart of your catering business, but it also poses the most hygiene risks. Make sure the kitchen space is properly ventilated. Windows must be protected from uninvited guests with fly screens. Provide separate sinks and hand-washing sinks in both areas.
- Separate kitchen areas for washing, cleaning and cooking
In general, it is advisable to carry out the "unclean" work such as receiving goods, washing, cutting or even storing food in a separate room. In the "clean" area, you prepare the food, cook it and refrigerate already finished food. You do not have space for such sharp separation? Provide intermediate cleaning of the work areas and disinfect the surfaces before further processing of food.
Create separate cutting boards for both areas to prevent cross-contamination!
- The right kitchen appliances
According to the food hygiene regulations, the equipment in your kitchen must include cooking appliances and refrigerators that make it possible to check the temperature precisely. Heating processes must also account for a certain duration at an appropriate core temperature: Generally, a food is considered heated when the core temperature is 70°C for at least ten minutes. Your kitchen must also have a dishwasher that cleans dishes at 80°C in the rinse cycle. This prevents microorganisms from remaining on the washed dishes.
- Waste container
Working in company kitchens naturally produces waste and other trash. Take care to empty the trash cans daily, disinfect them, and be sure to store trash bags away from the kitchen.
The ideal material for cleaning
There is a lot of cleaning and tidying before, during and after the kitchen is in operation. Kitchen professionals know exactly which material is easy to keep clean and with which material the most hygienic result is achieved.
- Cleaning and disinfecting agents
Effective cleaning and disinfecting agents are an important factor for hygiene in the kitchen of a catering establishment. The use of germ-free agents is prescribed by law. Which institute confirms the effectiveness is up to you. Most manufacturers of cleaning agents trust the internationally recognized test procedure according to EN standards. The European standard for use in food processing plants is DIN 14885 and is met by all cleaning agents and disinfectants accessible in the European area.
To be on the safe side, disinfect critical surfaces thoroughly before contact with meat, fish and poultry and rinse the surface with plenty of clean water. All other surfaces are best disinfected after hours.
- Rags and tea towels
Hospitality professionals swear by fleece for use as wiping cloths and rags. The fabric is considered especially hygienic and can be protected from germ buildup by weaving in silver threads. Wash out rags several times a day before replacing them with a new set and washing them at the end of the kitchen shift. Daily fresh tea towels made of a boil-proof white fabric are also part of the basic equipment of a catering kitchen.