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Commercial Kitchen Process and Procedure

Maintenance of commercial kitchen differs from that of a restaurant or a canteen kitchen. As such the maintenance of any kind of kitchen can be outsourced to a service provider or handled by the in house maintenance engineer. Arun Tiwari, Business Manager, Forbes Facility Services Pvt ltd, explains the need and procedure of maintaining commercial kitchens

Often restaurant operators give little thought to regular maintenance of commercial kitchen appliances. They are usually too involved in day-to-day operation – purchasing and receiving food, handling complaints, etc. Service providers are called on breakdown of equipment and through cleaning is done only at night once the kitchen operation stops.

Commercial kitchens come under the purview of the Food Safety and Standards Act. All type of commercial kitchens requires FSSAI, local Municipal license, NOC from fire department and other statutory compliances. Operators/users too require these licences to carry their food business; a food handler’s certificate (from the Indian Health Service (IHS) is generally required to ensure rules and regulations for food standard and safety are being followed while preparing food.

Before using the facility, a checklist and procedures are provided to the user and regular monitoring is done to ensure safety and standards are being followed. Various types of checklists and forms can be devised for kitchen operations on the basis of requirement. A set of rules and regulations concerning cleaning that clearly defines the responsibility of kitchen staff and service provider is essential.

Generally, cleaning all visible particles and debris from the surfaces, floors and equipment, as well as throwing away any generated trash is the responsibility of the user. Besides, the user is also responsible for returning any equipment to storage and to report any problems with equipment. Support staff is provided to help and ensure proper use of equipment and maintain cleaning standards.

Equipment, trash bins and tables are wheel based for ease of cleaning and maximum space utilization. Kitchen equipment are checked on daily basis, and cleaned after every use. Preventative maintenance systems are to be in place to keep all equipment in the best condition at all times. By following proper maintenance practices major problems can be avoided. For example, a dishwashing machine if not cleaned and checked daily can cause problems; griddles operate better if cleaned properly and burners are to be adjusted for gas-air mixtures.

Food wastes management

Waste management is a major part of managing a central kitchen.

Food wastes are reduced, reused and recycled. There is food waste, packaging materials and oil/grease disposal.

Service provider makes effort to reduce the food wastage by grading avoidable and unavoidable waste. Avoidable food wastes for example are remains of bread, excessive peelings and discard of vegetables; unavoidable food wastes include not-edible food like bones, egg shell, etc.

Trolley based bins are used, with separate bins for organic, recyclable oil & grease waste. Wheel based trolleys are placed in pre-preparation area and emptied in a covered container kept outside of kitchen three to four times in a day. These wastes are collected by local garbage disposal agents who supply it to the pig farms.

Filled waste bins are transferred to large storage units and these storage units are then emptied at the garbage dumping area using a truck or through municipal services. Food disposal machine is also installed for residual cooked food wastes. To maintain good hygiene standards, kitchens bins are emptied after every use and storage bins are disposed daily.

Food remains and excess food are disposed through Food Disposable machine installed in dishwashing area, which breaks food particles into very tiny parts and flushs it down the drainage.

Packaging waste is recycled and collected in separate bins, which is taken away by a vendor. Oil/grease waste is collected in a drum and is given away for recycling.

After every use, the facility is closed for an hour for cleaning, deep cleaning done at night.

Forbes Facility has SOPs for garbage disposal based on HSE and HACCP policy which include following major points:

• Regular training to staffs

• Labelling of disposable bins

• Precautions while handling waste

• Timings for emptying kitchen bins and collection by vendors

• Documentation of waste disposal

• Using company vehicles, if vendor does not turn up

Efforts are made to keep the kitchen clean and hygienic and avoid any chance of contamination through food waste. With food safety system in place, all units of Forbes Facility have Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures and Preventive Food Safety Procedures.

The Food Safety Team comprises of team leader and food safety staff, who conduct internal audits every month at each site. The Quality assurance cell is responsible for training all employees in basic hygiene, food safety system and SOPs. External audits are conducted periodically and our sites are certified for ISO 9001:2008, 140001:2004 and OHSAS 18001: 2007.


Cleaning in commercial kitchens

• Cleaning removes dirt, sanitises and prevents bacteria transfer from dirty surfaces and equipment onto food.

• Sanitising involves killing bacteria using food grade chemicals.

• Utilities like colour coded clothes, red for raw food; blue for cooked products etc. can be used.

• Clothes for food surface and equipment cleaning should be kept separated from floor cleaners, and all clothes should be sanitised at the end of the day.

• Having a cleaning schedule for all jobs in food storage, preparation and service areas is a must.

• The jobs can be classified on the basis of requirement and the frequency of the cleaning.

• The list can also include the details of the cleaning products to be used in a particular area. It helps in systematising cleaning.

How to make a cleaning list

• Begin by making a list of all surfaces and equipment that is in the premises

• Involve staff and decide the frequency of cleaning surfaces and equipment

• Discuss the responsibility of cleaning of each item

• Discuss with the staff members the best methods of cleaning the items

• Contact a chemical company dealing in the food industry for advice on the type of products to be used. It is important that the chemicals used are suitable for a food premise and do not impart taste or odour into any food products

• Collect the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets) from the company supplying the chemicals. These will provide with details on correct applications of the same

• Request the company to undertake a training session for your staff in the correct and safe use of the chemicals (These may be available free of charge.)

• Remember that all surfaces that come into contact with food must be sanitised

• Ensure that the cleaning has been completed with requisite standards

• Provide training on correct methods for cleaning

• Display a copy of the cleaning schedule for easy reference

• Review the cleaning schedule regularly so that it remains current and is usable.

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