Guest Post written by Karoline Gore
Around 48 million illnesses and 3,000 deaths are caused every year by food contamination in the United States alone. This is quite alarming as today’s technological advancements and exposure to safe cleaning methods should drop these figures down to the bare minimum. Although sourcing meat and produce from reputable establishments is a start, one of the best places to stop the spreading of harmful bacteria is in a commercial kitchen.
Dirt Traps In Commercial Kitchens
With 50% of foodborne diseases linked to restaurants, it’s important that restaurateurs know which areas are known for causing trouble. Countertops, cutting boards and prep surfaces all need a good clean and it’s important to have designated prep areas for the different types of food. But these are obvious areas that deserve special attention. An area that doesn’t really garner that much attention is the knife block, which is said to carry as much as nine times the bacteria of a bathroom floor. Other areas worth mentioning include floor joints and grouting, loose seals on countertops, and the vegetable storage rack.
Restaurant Patrons Unknowingly Exposed
Although patrons are aware that menus are high carriers for a number of bacteria and germs, another item that reaches the table less than sanitized is a glass, particularly the rim of the glass. While crockery often gets a thorough clean with industrial equipment that uses high heat and steam to sanitize, germs get right back on the glass when staff handle the glasses for serving. Glasses are the sixth most popular place for germs to lurk and if it happens to have a slice of lemon, this figure goes up substantially. Pathogens simply move from one spot to another.
Cold Rooms And Fridges Deserve A Thorough Clean
While rotting produce and meat that’s gone beyond its use-by date are obvious targets when it comes to a good cold room cleanout, these areas require more than just a quick clean. According to The National Sanitation Foundation, there are a number of germs that lurk in these depths, making a deep clean imperative. In the vegetable department, restaurateurs can expect to find salmonella, yeast, listeria, and mold. The meat compartment may contain salmonella, E.coli, yeast, and mold.
Keeping a commercial kitchen clean is imperative for the safety of the staff and patrons. Regular hand wash and disinfectant stations, as well as a good housekeeping regime, should keep bacteria at bay.