As well as being the engine room of any food-led venue, the kitchen is also a potential breeding ground for bacteria and even vermin if the operator is not strict in their cleaning.
Janne Johansson, managing director of the Mussel Inn restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh, described a daily cleaning schedule as “a fundamental aspect of running a restaurant”.
“The first point caterers should bear in mind with regard to keeping their kitchen clean and safe is staff training,” Johansson said.
“Restaurateurs need to ensure that their kitchen staff are fully equipped with the proper cleaning products and materials. Regular hand-washing and personal hygiene is a must for all restaurant staff and all food-handlers should hold a certificate in food hygiene.”
Due to the risk of food contamination, keeping different foods separate is also crucial, Johansson explained.
The kitchen is the engine room of any food-led venue – and a potential breeding ground for bacteria.
“Because failure to keep a kitchen clean means that caterers run the risk of a build up of bacteria in their kitchen, which can lead to cross contamination and, ultimately, food poisoning, all restaurant staff should be fully aware of the issue of cross contamination and make sure that they keep all foodstuffs separated,” he said.
While food poisoning and vermin may be among the very worst consequences of a poor cleaning regime, a venue’s reputation can still be damaged even if the kitchen passes inspection.
Greg Cunningham, of deep cleaning specialist SC Deepcleaning & Hygiene Solutions, pointed out that the ratings given to establishments by the Food Standards Agency are all available for consumers to check online.
By logging onto the Food Standards Agency website, consumers can check which venues in their area received a ‘Pass’ or ‘Improvement Required’ certificate for their standard of food hygiene.
Cunningham also said the frequency of a deep clean will depend on the size of the kitchen.
“At SC Deepcleaning & Hygiene Solutions we would advise how often any commercial kitchen should be cleaned based on size, how the kitchen is staffed, what schedules are in place, and what equipment it has,” Cunningham said.
“We would work with the operators and the budgets they have.
“We also provide cleaning schedules based on a rota basis. This allows the operator to budget better and ensure regular deep cleaning of all expensive equipment.”
And while a venue’s regular staff may be able to take care of the day-to-day cleaning schedule in-house, Cunningham recommended bringing in a specialist for the all-important deep clean.