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Follow Standard Cleaning Protocols With A Kitchen Sanitation Checklist

Using a kitchen sanitation checklist in your commercial kitchen will protect your facility from contamination. Ensure proper hygiene and sanitation in your commercial kitchen by incorporating checklists into your work and never miss an item again.

What Is a Kitchen Sanitation Checklist?

To help maintain proper hygiene in your commercial kitchen, you need to develop a kitchen sanitation checklist. Some cleaning activities must be done several times in one day. Others can be done once a week or once a month. What’s important is that you don’t miss any spots. And that is what a kitchen sanitation checklist is for.

A restaurant kitchen sanitation checklist is the most important part of running a restaurant. When your Front of House (FOH) and Back of House (BOH) are both unsanitary, you are risking your business for fines and possible closure. Additionally, a dirty restaurant will turn both existing and potential customers away.

In this article, the following points are explained:

1. Why it is necessary to keep a kitchen sanitation checklist

2. What important cleaning tasks for the kitchen sanitation are

3. How to improve restaurant kitchen sanitation

Women preparing food in restaurant

Why Is it Necessary to Keep a Kitchen Sanitation Checklist?

One important sign of a well-maintained restaurant is a clean kitchen. This is why regular cleaning of your commercial kitchen is a vital part of food safety and can help reduce food waste and overall operational costs. Ants, rats, dirt, and grime have no place in any restaurant kitchen. They all can wreak havoc and cause damage to your business.

To help maintain a pristine commercial kitchen, a handy restaurant kitchen sanitation checklist is necessary. A kitchen sanitation checklist in restaurants must provide guidelines for daily, weekly, and monthly kitchen cleaning procedures.

What Are Important Cleaning Tasks Required for the Kitchen Sanitation?

Taking shortcuts when it comes to sanitizing your restaurant kitchen can cause problems in the long run. For this reason, chefs, managers, and restaurant owners who want to ensure the safety of their customers need a kitchen sanitation checklist. A checklist also guarantees that you are prepared for unexpected visits from health inspectors.

Breaking up your checklist into six sections can help make cleaning more convenient. This method ensures that your sanitation activities are thorough and on schedule.

1. Items to Clean Each Cooking Shift

These cleaning activities can be done by your kitchen staff. Many kitchen professionals already know these by heart, but including them in your kitchen sanitation checklist ensures thorough disinfection.

  • Brush grill between cooking different types of meat such as chicken, pork, and fish
  • Clean the prep area
  • Have designated cutting boards for different types of meat
  • Change cleaning rags as often as needed
  • Empty all trash bins

2. After Each Shift

Make sure that your kitchen is clean all day long. Have a kitchen sanitation checklist for breakfast, lunch, and dinner shifts. These items must be taken care of:

  • Brush the grill
  • Clean the fryers
  • Put all cleaning rags in dirty laundry
  • Put all aprons and chefs’ coats in the laundry separate from the cleaning rags
  • Sanitize all surfaces including prep tables and cutting boards
  • Mop the kitchen floor
  • Sweep walk-in refrigerator
  • Wash floor mats

3. Daily Kitchen Sanitation Checklist

Some kitchen sanitation tasks occur daily during restaurant operations and after restaurant closing. With a daily kitchen hygiene checklist, make sure all employees perform the tasks always and correctly.

  • Clean pots, pans, dishes, and utensils – These are the items that must be cleaned right away after every use.
  • Clean sinks – It is important to avoid the accumulation of grease and food scraps in the kitchen sink.
  • Disinfect work counters – Bacteria can breed in counters where food preparation is done. Disinfect counters regularly throughout the day with a disinfectant spray. Knives and cutting boards must be cleaned at least every four hours.
  • Wipe tray return area – Keep the wipe tray return area clean throughout each shift.
  • Wash linens – Ensure your kitchen has fresh dish towels daily and don’t let dirty ones pile up.
  • Mop the floor – Spills can make the floor slippery and cause bad accidents. Mop the kitchen floor and spot-clean all spills.
  • Clean ice machine exterior – Clean the ice machine exterior once at the end of each day and whenever sticky spills occur.
  • Clean beverage dispensers – Keep customers’ drinks safe by cleaning all nozzles once a day or as often as needed.
  • Vacuum floor mats – Vacuum all kitchen floor mats at the end of the day.
  • Wipe splatters from walls – Wipe splatters from kitchen walls as soon as they occur. But if not possible, at least spray with disinfectant at the end of each shift.
  • Disinfect stovetops and griddles – Remove food chunks and disinfect griddles and other flat cooking surfaces at the end of each day.
  • Clean deep fryers – Dirty deep fryers can affect the taste of your food. Clean deep fryers at the end of each shift.

4. Weekly Kitchen Sanitation Checklist

Some kitchen hygiene tasks, even though important, but do not need to be performed on a daily basis in order for restaurant kitchen hygiene regulations to be met, these include:

  • Polish stainless-steel appliances – Polish work tables, oven hoods, fridge doors, and other stainless-steel surfaces once per week.
  • Clean pantries – Make sure your cupboards and pantries are free from pests. Empty and sanitize all pantries. Make sure they are sealed properly.
  • Clean inside freezers and refrigerators – Clean freezers and refrigerators from spills once a week.
  • Remove lime from dishwasher – Once a week, check your dishwasher for lime build-up in your dishwasher.
  • Remove lime from hard-to-reach areas – Check the floor under the ice machine, sinks, and coffee machine. Make sure there is no lime buildup.

5. Monthly Kitchen Sanitation Checklist

Hard-to-reach places must undergo deep cleaning once per month. Your monthly restaurant kitchen sanitation checklist will take up more time to complete than your weekly and daily checklist. But with careful planning and assigning tasks to employees, your team can accomplish the task properly.

  • Dust, sweep, wipe, and mop behind all kitchen equipment especially those placed against the wall
  • Scrub walls and dry using a cloth
  • Remove grease buildup by applying a degreaser
  • Dust the ceilings or use a degreaser if needed
  • Empty freezers and refrigerators. Clean and sanitize the interior and exterior
  • Sweep, mop, and polish floors
  • Clean and sanitize ice machines
  • Inspect the place for rodent and pest droppings. Clean the area and schedule pest control.

6. Annual Kitchen Sanitation Checklist

Every year there are sanitation activities you need to perform. These activities often need the expertise of a professional. A kitchen sanitation checklist in restaurants must be accomplished before the busiest season of the year or during slow seasons. This ensures that you won’t lose business during peak season.

  • Inspect and clean freezer drain lines
  • Get an electrician to inspect all electrical connections
  • Checking the thermostat’s calibration
  • Check fire suppression system
  • Hire a certified technician to inspect your dishwashing machine
  • Inspect your fire extinguishers
Pasta Cooking

Improve Restaurant Kitchen Sanitation with Digital Checklists

Paper checklists have their pitfalls: lost documents, unshared information, and work instructions can have disastrous consequences for kitchen sanitation. Switching to a digital application simplifies communication and information sharing for you and your team. With Lumiform, a powerful mobile app and desktop software for audits and inspections, you can create checklists for different cleaning tasks so you can verify that kitchen sanitation rules are being followed.

Keep track of kitchen sanitation by using digital checklists for different inspection intervals. Conduct kitchen sanitation inspections paperless only and benefit from simplified workflows together with your team:

Try Lumiform for free

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