More than 8,000 restaurants have failed food hygiene inspections, according to data released last year by the Food Standards Agency.
Reasons for failing the inspections include filthy kitchens, cross-contamination of cooked and raw ingredients and storing food at unsafe temperatures.
The inspections led to many restaurants receiving a low Food Hygiene Rating and in very extreme cases, some establishments were closed down.
If you manage your own restaurant, it’s crucial that you follow government guidelines to maintain a high standard of hygiene within your business and protect both staff and customers.
Here are a few tips to help you keep your kitchen clean, keep people safe and achieve a good Food Hygiene Rating in the process.
Cross-contamination is a serious cause for concern. If you fail to follow food hygiene guidelines, you could cause food poisoning or expose allergy sufferers to foods that can make them ill.
To eliminate cross-contamination:
- Ensure all kitchen staff wash their hands before and after preparing food
- Keep raw and ready-to-eat foods separate
- Adopt a colour-coded system to ensure equipment such as knives and chopping boards that are used for raw meat are not also used for ready-to-eat foods
- Make sure employees are trained to minimise cross-contamination risks
Keep surfaces clean
Not only are dirty surfaces a health risk, they’re one of the first quality issues that a health inspector is likely to notice. And since surfaces are so easy to clean, the last thing you want is to receive a poor Food Hygiene Rating as a result of laziness. To keep them clean:
- Clean and disinfect work surfaces, chopping boards and equipment before and after use
- Encourage employees to clean and disinfect surfaces as they go along throughout the day
- Use the appropriate tools for each cleaning task. Be sure to follow any instructions on cleaning product packaging
Chill foods correctly and cook meals effectively
Many food businesses fail food hygiene inspections due to an inability to chill and cook food sufficiently.
- Ensure food is cold upon delivery and has been stored effectively during transit
- Put chilled or frozen foods away immediately after delivery
- Regularly inspect your fridge and freezers to ensure they’re cold enough
- Cook foods thoroughly before serving and follow any cooking guidelines for the food in question
- Burgers, sausages and minced meat must not be served pink or rare unless you have followed Food Standards Agency guidelines
Use professional cleaning equipment to keep floors clean
Since meals are obviously made on food preparation surfaces rather than the floor, many business owners overlook the importance of floor cleanliness in their restaurants and kitchens. However, with dirty floors increasing the likelihood of pests, it’s vital that you go the extra mile to keep the floor of your premises glistening and impress food hygiene inspectors.
- Encourage workers to clean up and spillages immediately
- Ensure floors are swept regularly and crumbs or scraps of food are disposed of appropriately
- Thoroughly clean and disinfect floors at least once a day
If the thought of keeping on top of a strict cleaning programme sounds like a challenge, it may be worth embracing professional cleaning tools such as sweepers, scrubber dryers and pressure washers. Industrial cleaning equipment like the machines mentioned above are perfect for saving your employees time and energy while also improving standards and keeping your floors sparkling.
To learn more about professional cleaning equipment and to find out how hiring these tools can transform your business, please get in touch with the team at Clean Sweep.