How often should I clean my food equipment & what products do I need?

Whether you run a cafe, own a restaurant, or have your own burger van – cleanliness and food hygiene should be high on your priority list. It is essential for all food businesses to maintain hygienic conditions throughout their premises. The risk of contamination from bacteria and food-borne viruses is high and poor cleaning can quickly become problematic for the health of the consumer and, of course, the reputation of the business. In this article, you will find advice on how often to clean appliances, equipment, floors, and worktops within a food industry environment, what products to use, and the benefits of having a food hygiene certificate.

Essential cleaning products for food premises

Hand wash & hand towels:
First of all, staff hygiene is crucial – make sure to stock up on plenty of antibacterial hand wash. Everyone who prepares, cooks, serves or handles food needs to ensure that they adhere to correct hand-washing and sanitising procedures. It’s worth noting that disposable hand towels are more hygienic than reusable, fabric towels.

For premises within the food business industrial strength antibacterial surface cleaners will only suffice. Sanitisers kill 99.9% of bacteria on surfaces, storage, and more – making the item entirely sanitary.

Bleach & Drain Cleaners:
Bleach, bleach, and more bleach – for those tricky-to-clean areas and to kill bacteria. Drains in particular can be prone to nasty build-up, and funky smells. It’s recommended to purchase a high-strength cleaning product to unclog, clean, and sanitise.

Floor cleaner:
Don’t forget that floor. Busy areas, with plenty of foot traffic, will quickly become filthy, and unsanitary if not tackled daily. A high-quality or professional-grade antibacterial cleaner is recommended.

Essential cleaning equipment & supplies for food premises

Cloths & sponges:
Cloths and sponges are essential – both are versatile and between them, they can be used to wipe, scrub, disinfect, polish, scour, and even dry surfaces and equipment. All food premises should have plenty in reserve. Just like kitchen towels, disposable cloths are recommended for peak hygiene, and to reduce the risk of any cross-contamination. If reusable cloths are preferred they need to be sanitised and boil-washed after every shift. When it comes to sponges they also need to be sanitised, washed, or preferably, changed as they are a breeding ground for bacteria. 

Vacuum cleaner:
It is worth investing in a high-power vacuum to use daily – especially before sweeping and mopping.

Brooms & mops:
All floors should be thoroughly swept, disinfected, and mopped after each shift and during the shift when possible. Also, don’t forget to sanitise the mop, and mop bucket after every use.

Appliances and equipment – how often should I clean them?

Cutlery & utensils:
This is a no-brainer but all cutlery and utensils must be washed after every use, dried, and stored correctly.

Coffee machines & kettles:
Coffee machines, kettles, and water boilers should be cleaned and flushed with hot water and a specialist cleaning fluid once a week – especially if the business serves a lot of hot drinks. Limescale can build up quickly and prevention is key.

Microwaves can quickly become nasty. The inside of a microwave should be cleaned at least once a week, and any spills should be cleaned as soon as they happen to prevent larger, and harder-to-clean problems.

Ovens & hobs:
Spills and leakage should be wiped up daily to prevent any nasty build-up of grease, grime, and general grossness. The interior of the oven should be cleaned using a regulated cleaning product every week. It is also recommended that commercial catering ovens should be cleaned using a professional service 2 or 3 times a year.

Fridges & Freezers:
The interiors of fridges and freezers should be wiped and sanitised every other day, and given a deep clean once a week. Fridge hygiene can have a big impact on the quality and safety of your food – it is extremely important to keep on top of the cleaning in there.

Floors and work surfaces – how often should I clean them?

Any major spillages must be cleaned up as soon as possible during a shift, as not only do they present a hygiene hazard, but they also put your staff at risk of slips and falls. The floor should also be swept or hoovered and then mopped and cleaned using a disinfectant antibacterial floor cleaner after every shift.

Countertops & work surfaces:
Work surfaces and countertops that are used for food preparations need to be wiped between tasks, and lastly, cleaned thoroughly and disinfected at the end of service.

Benefits of having a food hygiene certificate

It is recommended to train your staff to a high level when it comes to food hygiene. That said, although food hygiene training is expected – it is not a legal requirement to have a food hygiene certificate here in the UK. However, there are many advantages to getting one. Having a food hygiene certificate promotes you as having a conscientious work ethic and gives you the knowledge to back up your experience and level of training – which would look great to prospective clients, customers, potential employers, and fellow staff. Instill confidence in yourself and others whilst learning and developing new and existing skills to help further your career.

It is quick, easy, and cost-effective to obtain a food hygiene certificate online. The Level Two Food Hygiene and Safety (Catering) course builds upon the foundational knowledge of the Level One Food Hygiene and Safety course, but goes into further detail regarding the safe handling and preparation of food in the catering industry. It isn’t essential to do the level 1 course, but it is recommended. Learners will find the course easy to navigate, informative, and readily accessible due to its online nature. The Level Two Food Hygiene and Safety (Catering) is tailored towards those who have direct and frequent contact with food, and a central role in food preparation and handling.

The course takes roughly 1 – 2 hours to complete and the examination consists of 25 multiple-choice questions which cover each of the three core sections (responsibilities, hazards, and hygiene). Once the exam has been passed, the student will receive their CPD Group accredited digital certificate instantly.

All UK regulations, guidelines, and best practices have been followed to create the course content which works directly to educate learners, allowing them to fulfill their job roles safely and legally. When put into practice, the material in this course can help businesses achieve and sustain a high food hygiene rating for your business.

This course is fully accredited by The CPD Group. Give yourself or your catering staff the essential knowledge in food hygiene and safety required by law, by booking this course today. Our high-quality courses are available at extremely competitive prices, and we offer discounts for bulk orders.