Don’t let a dirty kitchen hold you back
Keeping a kitchen running smoothly requires all users to follow necessary food safety standards, and keep the kitchen and appliances clean. Barry Osborn from TWO Services explains how.
An outbreak of food poisoning can cause irreparable damage to a company’s reputation. In some cases, the caterer or FM company may face legal costs, be asked to pay compensation and risk losing customers. Having rigorous food safety standards across the industry is vital. Failure to follow them is like playing roulette with peoples’ safety and your business.
Get the basics right
Things such as well organised and clean fridges, properly regulated storage, separate chopping boards for the preparation of meat, fish and vegetables, are all simple but important aspects to get right. And with the rise in allergies to things such as dairy and nuts, policies for avoiding cross contamination of ingredients are more stringent than ever.
Cleanliness is next to godliness
Kitchen appliances are a big investment. Regular and thorough deep cleaning of equipment by trained professionals will help to keep them performing at their best, reduce breakdowns and maximise their lifespan. It’s all too easy to underestimate the speed with which grease, oil and limescale can build up to detrimental levels.
When cleaning, remember not to use steel wool, bleach or caustic chemicals which can damage the finish and increase the risk of corrosion. If in doubt, consult the manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Budget cuts and economic constraints mean that greater demands are being made of equipment as appliances are replaced less often. This makes a planned preventative maintenance regime from a reputable company like TWO Services, even more crucial.
What’s more, disruptions to your catering service will see potential customers go elsewhere and it may be difficult to win those customers back in the future. Minimising problems is key to maintaining a consistent, high-quality food service.
Ductwork and ventilation
Just because you can’t see it, don’t assume that ductwork, extraction and ventilation systems are clean. If you haven’t had a regular ductwork clean by an accredited organisation to TR/19 standards, any insurance policies will potentially be invalidated.
Accumulated grease and oil within an extract system build up fast, forming an unseen combustion load. Flash flame or very high temperature within the duct can ignite the grease, causing fire to spread rapidly, igniting flammable materials at various points along the ductwork path.
In fact, a spokesman for the Fire Authority said: “uncleaned grease in extract ventilation systems present probably the greatest potential fire risk in buildings with catering facilities.”
What’s more, regular duct cleans will:
- help keep your energy bills down by as much as 35%
- reduce airborne carcinogens and carbon monoxide
- keep your staff healthier and more comfortable at work, and
- ensure you’re not at risk of prosecution under fire legislation.
It depends on the kitchen and the intensity of equipment use – how many people are being catered for, how many days per week and the hours a kitchen is in operation. We advise that deep cleans and ductwork checks are carried out quarterly, but at a minimum, every 6 months.
A maintenance plan usually applies to the entire kitchen and wil linclude all appliances and auxiliary equipment such as blenders. Every visit from a professional team should include wear and tear inspections, necessary machine adjustments, checks to the gas ranges and carbon monoxide emissions, replacement of worn components and lubrication of moving parts.
Why TWO Services?
Our staff are trained to work with access equipment and clean at high levels, and can move and dismantle heavy equipment to clean hard to reach areas not dealt with on a daily basis. We’ll clean and degrease every inch of your ovens, refrigeration, storage, racking, equipment, counter tops, ceilings, walls and floors, giving you a hygienic baseline to maintain with good daily cleaning.
We offer flexible preventative maintenance plans that include an ‘out of hours’ option, at no extra cost, to avoid disruption to your kitchen service.
We work to the highest standards using an integrated management system. We’re accredited to BS EN ISO 9001: 2015, BS EN ISO 14001: 2015 (environmental) and OHSAS 18001: 2007 (health and safety). All our work is carried out in accordance with the European, Food Safety & Hygiene (England) Regulations (in all cases, the latest issue applies) and COSHH. We provide certificates of hygiene after each clean.
Ifyou would like more advice or information, call us on 0800 22 44 33 or visit www.two-services.com.