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Navigating the Challenges of Industrial Kitchen Cleaning

The backbone of large-scale culinary operations of the food service industry includes serving multiple people daily at multiple locations like schools, hospitals, and large-scale cafeterias in manufacturing facilities. Food service providers manage high volumes of food preparation, while ensuring the dishes served are not just delicious but are also consistent in quality.

“However, there is a crucial aspect that keeps the food service running smoothly – the kitchen cleaning,” says Rishikesh Dhodapkar, Business Head – Food Service, Forbes Facility Services

Maintaining Standards

Industrial kitchens are subject to stringent health codes and regulations. Ensuring prevention of foodborne illnesses through rigorous cleaning routines are indispensable in thwarting cross-contamination, bacteria, and pathogens. At the same time, adhering to regulatory compliance is mandatory, as failure to meet these standards would not only carry the risk of fines or penalties, but also lead to legal consequences. Clean kitchens foster operational efficiency by enabling efficient food preparation, reducing downtime for cleaning during peak hours, and extending the lifespan of kitchen equipment. This curbs costly replacements and instills customer confidence.

Challenges in Surface Cleaning

Industrial kitchens consist of various surfaces, each requiring unique cleaning and maintenance methods. The common types of surfaces include Stainless Steel, Tile, Concrete and Granite. Some of the challenges —

  • The substantial scale and volume of food production, in conjunction with high foot traffic, give rise to extensive debris, spills, and splatters, necessitating the implementation of efficient cleaning solutions to meet these incessant demands.
  • The persistent accumulation of grease and oil on surfaces and equipment remains an ongoing challenge, requiring the application of specialized cleaning agents and techniques.
  • The high-temperature environment, introducing obstacles related to the swift evaporation of cleaning agents and the imperative use of heat-resistant materials.
  • The diverse array of surfaces, spanning stainless steel appliances, tiled floors, mandates a nuanced approach, with each material demanding specific cleaning methods and products.
  • The time constraints confronting kitchen staff, often constrained by demanding schedules and rapid meal turnovers, can result in expedited or incomplete cleaning efforts.
  • The management of water and drainage is indispensable to avert slip and fall hazards, with particular concern surrounding standing water near sinks and dishwashing areas.
  • Dedication to sustainability is essential; however, the meticulous disposal of cleaning chemicals and wastewater presents a challenging task within the confines of an industrial kitchen setting.

Strategies for Overcoming Challenges

Effectively addressing the challenges of cleaning industrial kitchen surfaces necessitates a methodical approach that incorporates several key strategies. To begin,

  • Providing staff with comprehensive training in proper cleaning techniques, with a focus on selecting suitable cleaning agents for various surfaces.
  • Establishing a well-structured cleaning schedule, encompassing daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, is crucial to prevent the accumulation of grease and grime.
  • Investing in top-tier cleaning equipment, such as steam cleaners, scrubbers, and pressure washers, is vital for effectively combating stubborn stains and grime.
  • Implementing rigorous safety measures, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and prominently displayed safety signage, is another imperative aspect.
  • Emphasis on sustainability involves exploring eco-friendly cleaning solutions and adopting responsible waste disposal methods to align with broader environmental goals.

Here are some frequent cleaning mistakes in kitchens and tips on how to avoid them:

Maintaining a clean kitchen surface is essential for safety and functionality, and avoiding common cleaning mistakes is key to achieving this.

  • Waiting too long between cleanings can result in the accumulation of grease, grime, and food debris. To prevent this, establish a regular cleaning schedule that includes daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to maintain consistency and prevent buildup.
  • Using the wrong cleaning products can harm surfaces or prove ineffective against specific stains and following the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) practices. To address this issue, carefully read labels and adhere to manufacturer instructions, ensuring the use of suitable products for each surface, such as stainless steel cleaner for stainless steel.
  • Neglecting hidden or hard-to-reach areas like those behind appliances or beneath counters can compromise overall cleanliness. Include these areas in your cleaning routine and periodically move appliances to clean underneath and behind them.
  • Using dirty sponges or dishcloths can spread harmful bacteria, making it imperative to regularly clean and sanitize these items by methods like microwaving them for a few seconds or running them through the dishwasher.
  • Hasty cleaning can lead to missed spots and inadequate sanitation, particularly in high-touch areas and food preparation surfaces, so take your time and ensure thorough cleaning and rinsing to remove all residues.
  • Inadequate cleaning of kitchen appliances like ovens, microwaves, and toasters can result in odors and food buildup, emphasizing the importance of following the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for each appliance and using appropriate cleaners and degreasers for thorough cleaning.

Our standard cleaning practices

Our kitchen maintenance routine at FFS involves daily cleaning of the entire kitchen floor using an auto scrubber machine and disposing of food particles promptly. Regular sanitizing of surfaces daily and deep cleaning every week to ensure a clean environment. Additionally, we follow wash down process post every cooking session with emphasis on regular drain cleaning with a specialized formula. Weekly tasks include cleaning the gas burners and grill burners with a special formula dilution, as well as cleaning the tiles and hood. We also maintain the highest hygiene standards by daily sanitizing of chopping boards and knives and addressing the drainage system daily.

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