Why is good kitchen hygiene so important? Hygiene plays a pivotal role in the kitchens of hotels, restaurants, healthcare institutions, and company canteens. Reports frequently surface about individuals falling ill after handling or consuming various foods. There are numerous hazards involved if you don’t maintain hygienic standards in your kitchen. These infections can arise, for instance, when foodstuffs become contaminated with the Listeria bacterium. Poor kitchen hygiene heightens the risk of cross-contamination, as harmful bacteria can easily transfer from one product to another. For example, the Legionella bacterium can cause severe (sometimes even fatal) lung diseases when tap points are not regularly flushed and checked.
How can I best clean my kitchen? To prevent – or at least limit – the presence of pathogens, it’s crucial to keep both yourself and your kitchen clean and thus hygienic. There’s a specific hygiene protocol for cleaning your kitchen, detailing the hygiene rules for your kitchen. Below, we mention the most important tips to keep your kitchen (and yourself) hygienic and clean.
Personal hygiene in the kitchen Your hands are the primary culprits in spreading infections. Poor hand hygiene can result in transmitting diseases or contaminating foodstuffs. Prevent this by regularly – and correctly – washing your hands. Establish a dedicated spot in your kitchen where your staff can wash their hands. This station must also be cleaned regularly, be stocked with sufficient hand sanitisation products, and have towels or possibly air dryers.
Regularly clean your kitchen You can’t clean your kitchen often enough. While there are no hard-and-fast rules about how frequently you should clean, the RIVM does provide several tips to reduce the likelihood of illness:
Ensure you clean the kitchen worktop and the items you use to prepare food daily. Clean more often when the risk of viruses is high, such as during the winter season. During this period, there’s a higher risk of illnesses like colds and (stomach) flu. Areas where pathogens are often present and quickly spread, like toilets, door handles, light switches, banisters, and taps, should therefore be cleaned frequently. It’s best to clean these areas daily. Work from top to bottom. Start with cleaning the tops of cabinets, then clean the worktops, and finally, thoroughly clean the kitchen floor. Also, clean your cleaning tools after you’ve finished cleaning. Hang up your brooms and brushes using a hanging system, throw cloths in the washing machine and let them dry well afterward. Dispose of rubbish straight away in the bin. Separate your waste and regularly clean your rubbish bins. More tips can be found in the HACCP Cleaning Plan. We’ve specially compiled this for businesses in the food industry. Besides systematic cleaning and disinfecting your kitchen being part of HACCP obligations, this also ensures:
an extension of the shelf life of ingredients; a reduction in the amount of spoiled products; an enhancement in the relationships with your customers. Use the right cleaning products Hygienesupply is a Vikan specialist, and we understand the importance of food safety within the food industry like no other. To make and keep your kitchen hygienic, use our Vikan cleaning products. These are colour-coded, thereby meeting HACCP requirements and ensuring hygiene within your commercial kitchen. Vikan hygiene products provide protection against cross-contamination and minimise the build-up of chemical residues. Additionally, all Vikan products are durably designed to meet the daily rigorous demands of various users.
Clinically, it’s proven that Vikan microfibre cloths and mops remove 99.9% of bacteria. Also, with the use of microfibre, the build-up of sticky chemical residue is a thing of the past. With colour-coded hanging systems, the right Vikan cleaning tools are always at hand. Properly implementing the colour-coding system in your HACCP objectives encourages hygienic behaviour among your staff. Consider taking the Hygiene Code catering course, ensuring every employee learns the basics about personal hygiene and preventing cross-contamination, among other things.
Make the kitchen a safe working environment Besides hygiene, safety in the kitchen is also important. Prevent slips on the work floor by using overshoes or special safety shoes. Furthermore, these slip-ons are hygienic and easy to clean.