Restaurant makeover shows, where a professional chef comes in to help struggling restaurant owner turn their businesses around, have given people outside the industry a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to run a restaurant. Often, the restaurants profiled are in such dire shape that the stove and exhaust are covered in grease, the floors are black with grime, and the refrigerator contains spoiled food.
This is not typical. The majority of restaurants regularly clean and sanitize their spaces. But these bad examples show what can happen if you don’t clean your commercial kitchen properly or forgo regular deep cleanings.
A kitchen that doesn’t meet sanitation requirements increases the chance of customers getting sick from foodborne illnesses. And the more layers of grease that accumulate on your kitchen appliances and exhaust systems, the greater the risk of fire. An added benefit of keeping these appliances as clean as possible is that they will last longer and need fewer repairs.
Your main goal should be to maintain a clean and well-sanitized environment at all times. Imagine a health inspector is going to show up for a surprise visit. Would your kitchen pass inspection?
It may sound daunting, but if you break it down, commercial kitchen deep cleaning is simpler than you think.
Some cleaning tasks need to be done at least once a day, if not more often.
• Countertops and Other High-Touch Surfaces
These should be cleaned after each service. This includes the backsplash and undersides of counters as well as prep areas. Use non-toxic cleaners designed to remove grime and to kill viruses and bacteria.
Clean the basins, as well as the faucets and knobs, using non-toxic cleaners and sponges.
Floors need to be swept and mopped daily or as needed to address spills. For regular cleaning, a mop is still the best tool because it allows you access to hard-to-reach areas. Use a heavy-duty cleaning solution unless there are grease spills, then use a high-grade degreaser. Be sure to take any rubber mats outdoors to be washed. Make sure the floors and mats are completely dry to avoid the possibility of slips and falls.
• Grills, Griddles, and Cooktops
These are the workhorses of your kitchen and, as such, need to be cleaned daily. Brush off any ash after use, and scrub the burners and grates daily. Once a month, you’ll want to soak them in warm, soapy water in order to remove any stuck-on grease and grime. Keeping grease from building up will reduce the risk of kitchen fires.
• The Oven
The interior should be cleaned every day. Check your owner’s manual to see which cleaning solution the manufacturer recommends, or use a mixture of water and mild dish soap. Avoid getting it on the heating element when you wipe down the interior. Remove the racks and soak them in the cleaning solution for 10 minutes. Be sure they are thoroughly dry before you return them to the oven.
Less Frequent Tasks
These jobs don’t need to be performed every day, but it is important to make them part of your commercial kitchen deep cleaning routine.
• The Deep Fryer
If your restaurant serves a lot of fried food, you need to thoroughly clean out the deep fryer once or twice a week. Oil used for longer than that may make whatever is cooked in it taste “dirty.” Besides changing out the oil, the fryer should be “boiled out” with water and a grease removing solution. Your owner’s manual will explain this procedure step by step.
• Exhaust Systems
The National Fire Protection Association standards for Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations (NFPA-96) states that all commercial kitchen hood vent exhaust systems must be fully cleaned on a regular basis. Businesses that don’t comply can be fined, or even shut down.
High-volume cooking operations, including most restaurants and hotels, will need to clean the exhaust system, including the hood and exhaust fans, four times a year. But, if you are burning solid fuels, like wood or charcoal, you need to clean it monthly.
You can often determine if a kitchen exhaust system requires cleaning by simply looking at it. If you notice grease build, it likely needs to be cleaned. The more you keep up with this important task, the less work it’ll require each time to get it cleaned to standards.
• Refrigerators and Freezers
Clean the interior regularly, making sure spills are wiped up, and spoiled food is thrown away. At least twice a year, use a stiff brush to clean the condenser coils to keep the unit operating properly. And every few months, inspect the door frame and hinges to check for mold.
Often Neglected Areas
Certain parts of commercial kitchens are never cleaned enough and tend to be coated with the most germs and bacteria. They include:
• Soda fountain nozzles
• Meat slicers
• Outdoor garbage
• Ice machines
• Fans and lighting
• Under and behind kitchen equipment
The Professionals at Enviro-Master Services Can Help
If you need help to make sure your kitchen is properly cleaned, it may be time to call in the professionals to ensure the job is done. Enviro-Master offers a wide range of cleaning services to make your kitchen as clean as it needs to be. We are familiar with the best commercial kitchen cleaning procedures, and use the safest, most effective products available for foodservice environments.
As restaurant cleaning experts, we do more than make sure your restaurant looks clean. We make sure it’s clean and sanitized in order to protect your staff and customers from the most common germs and bacteria.
Drain Treatment Services
One of the things that sometimes gets overlooked in a commercial kitchen deep cleaning is the sink drains. If you are not careful, grease builds up in there, clogs the pipes, and starts to smell. Enviro-Master uses specially formulated foam drain treatment to keep your drains running smoothly, eliminating both odors and costly plumbing repairs. This is a completely organic way to unclog drains without using harsh chemicals that can damage the pipes.
Electrostatic Spraying Services
We recommend electrostatic spraying for all our commercial kitchen cleaning jobs. The high foot traffic in a commercial kitchen spreads germs everywhere. Our electrostatic sprayer charges a hospital-grade disinfectant with a positive ionic charge so it will adhere to surfaces longer.
Tile and Grout Deep Cleaning
Even if you mop every day, dirt and grime build up on a tile floor in a commercial kitchen and need to be deep-cleaned regularly as part of a commercial kitchen deep cleaning. We use a tile cleaning machine to remove the ground-in dirt and grime, as well as the best cleaning solution for the type of tile you have.
Contact Enviro-Master Today
To find out how Enviro-Master can help you with a commercial kitchen deep cleaning, contact us today. We’ll set up a time to do a walk-through of your restaurant and identify your biggest concerns, then develop a plan that fits your budget.