How To Clean Neglected Restaurant Areas

Restaurant cleaning is not anyone’s favorite task, but it is necessary to keep in good standing with the Health Department. Keeping your restaurant clean also helps you to make the right first impression on customers. A clean restaurant is also a healthy one, especially in the colder months, by helping to curb the spread of various viruses and bacteria. The last thing you want is to be the restaurant that is making customers sick.

General Restaurant Cleaning Tips

When preparing to keep your restaurant clean, you first need to have a cleaning plan in place to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Having a plan will help you manage the cleaning process and will help to ensure that the cleaning is being completed properly. To keep things simple, we recommend that you create a schedule of all the areas in your restaurant that require cleaning and then assign these areas to specific employees to complete the cleaning.

In some cases, it may take more than just asking an employee to clean an area. There are certain pieces of equipment or areas that require special techniques to clean correctly. Therefore having accurate cleaning documentation and training for your employees will help ensure that things are being cleaned when and how they are supposed to be.

We also recommend that you have a stock of the proper janitorial supplies and equipment needed to clean your restaurant. With the right products and chemicals on hand, employees will be equipped to get the job done right.

What Areas are Most Commonly Neglected in a Restaurant?

At Fugh Refrigeration, we’ve put together a list of the most neglected restaurant areas and how to clean them. These areas include:

How to Clean Ice Machines

Upon each visit, the health inspector will check for microbial contamination in your ice bin. This is because there are so many harmful things that can grow in your bin if unsafe or unclean procedures are used. When an ice machine is not used or cleaned properly, your ice can be contaminated with bacteria, mold, and blood, all of which are dangerous to the health of your customers.

Read Our Full Article on Avoiding Contaminated Ice in ice machines.

According to a viral science project by 12-year-old Jasmine Roberts, 70% of ice from fast food restaurants is dirtier than water from a toilet. To help keep your ice machine clean and safe, be sure to:

Wash Your Hands

Having employee wash their hands before using the ice machine is the number one way to help prevent the spread of bacteria to your ice.

Use the Ice Scoop

By using an ice scoop to take the ice out of the machine, employees prevent themselves from spreading bacteria to the ice or cutting themselves on the ice.

Throw Away Unused Ice

While it may be tempting to return unused ice to the bin, it is not recommended. Returning unused ice to the bin can spread bacteria.

Have Your Machine Professionally Cleaned

Having your ice machine professionally cleaned is one of the best ways to keep your ice contamination-free and safe for your customers. At Fugh Refrigeration, our professional technicians can clean your restaurant ice machine thoroughly to ensure the health and safety of your customers.

How To Clean Your Walk-in Cooler

Mold is a common issue for many restaurants and other industries. Mold growth inside of your walk-in cooler can not only damage your inventory but also poses a risk to the health of employees and customers and may also lead to health code violations.

To help prevent mold growth in your walk-in cooler, follow these tips:

Keep the Doors Closed

Leaving the doors open on your walk-in cooler allows the outside air to come into the cooler. This can cause a change in temperature and humidity in your cooler. This can also allow mold spores from outside of the cooler to enter the unit and spread throughout your inventory.

Reduce Condensation

Condensation means the moisture levels in the air are higher, causing humidity to rise. You also want to make sure that you have no standing water in your cooler that is causing condensation buildup.

Check Your Condensation Coil, Evaporator, and Fans

The condensation coil, evaporator, and fans are used to regulate the airflow within your walk-in cooler. You will want to make sure these elements are working properly. With proper airflow, you can dry up the excess moisture that could cause mold to grow and spread throughout the cooler.

Immediately and Thoroughly Clean Up Spills

Any spilled food or liquids on the shelves or flooring of your cooler can grow mold and bacteria. Therefore it is important to immediately and thoroughly clean up any spills. This helps take away the sources that mold and bacteria need to thrive.

Want to know more about keeping mold from your walk in cooler? Read our full article 4 Ways to Stop Mold From Growing in Your Walk-in Cooler. Need a walk-in cooler installed?  Give us a call or fill out our form!

How To Clean Your Air Filter

The air filter is a major part of your HVAC system. It is easy to maintain if you remember to change it on a regular basis. Air filtration is crucial to help eliminate dust mites, dead skin, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and a variety of other allergens. They can also help clean chemical fumes, smoke, and auto emissions from the air.

Additionally, your air filter helps to reduce the spread of viruses, bacteria, and other harmful organisms. Air filters also help with mold and mildew mitigation by allowing for proper airflow and preventing moisture buildup in your building.

Creating a Checklist

Put all your restaurant maintenance tasks together in a list and assign dates for each of them. Be sure to include cleaning or changing your air filter on the list. By associating your air filter maintenance with other important tasks, you will be more likely to remember to take care of it.

Set Maintenance to a Memorable Date

It is important to choose dates that are easy to remember for air filter maintenance. For example, if your filter needs to be changed every three months, you could choose to change them at the start of daylight savings time, summer solstice, and the at the end of daylight savings time.

Post Reminders

Make a list of dates for when you need to clean or replace your air filter. Post this list in key places such as your office, maintenance closet, or wherever you keep your replacement filters or cleaning equipment. You can also post the list near the filtration system.

Cleaning your air filter is important. For more information on cleaning air filters read our full article on How to Remember to Change Your Air Filter.

How To Clean Your Can Opener

Can openers are a common tool in food preparation, and generally, what is inside the cans of food often ends up covering the blade and the handle of the can opener. These food substances can become a health hazard if they are left to sit on the surface for even a short time.

Since can openers are also used frequently, this can lead to cross-contamination when they are not cleaned properly. The main part of the can opener you want to make sure gets cleaned is the blade. This is the part that cuts into the can and comes into contact with the food products.

To clean your can opener:

You will need to first raise the handle and remove the grenade pin. Then you will remove the knife holder and use the thumbscrew to disengage the knife. Clean the blade, place it back in the knife holder, and secure it with the thumbscrew. Then place the knife holder back in place and replace the grenade pin.

Cleaning Your Restaurant Menus

Menus play a major role in the dining experience and are handled often by tons of people. Research has shown that the germs that cause colds and flu can survive on hard surfaces, such as menus, for over 18 hours. This is why it is crucial to disinfect your menus regularly.

If you provide a paper menu to guests, be sure to replace them often since there is no way to disinfect paper without ruining the menu. Alternately, you could consider laminating your menus or placing them in a menu cover made of plastic or vinyl.

With menu covers, you can easily clean and sanitize your menus. This should be done several times per shift or at least cleaned every day to keep customers safe and healthy.

How to Clean Your Soda Dispenser Nozzles

Whether your machine is self-serve or you use the machine to fill drinks for customers, the soda dispenser nozzle can get gross quickly. The syrup is essentially a sugar solution that can attract a variety of unwanted organisms.

It is recommended that the dispenser on your soda machine be cleaned daily. To clean your dispenser, you will start by washing your hands then remove the nozzles and diffusers from the machine. Clean these items thoroughly using a brush to remove any buildup. A chlorine-based sanitizer is recommended for scrubbing the pieces and then soaking them for a minimum of three minutes. The parts should then be rinsed, allowed to dry, and then put back on the machine.

Cleaning Your Salt and Pepper Shakers

Just like menus, the salt and pepper shakers are handled by many people throughout the day. These are not the easiest items to clean, so it is recommended that you have two sets for every table so you can switch them out for cleaning.

To clean your shakers, poor the old product out of the dirty shakers and into the new shakers if the product is not visibly contaminated. Place the dirty shakers in the dishwasher to disinfect them. While this is a laborious process, if you aren’t cleaning your shakers in some way, they are likely gross and could be contaminated.

Cleaning your salt and pepper shakers should be done on a weekly basis to ensure they are safe and healthy to use.

Professional Cleaning for Your Ice Machine and Walk-in Cooler

At Fugh Refrigeration, we provide professional cleaning services for your ice machine as well as maintenance and repair for your walk-in cooler to help keep your units free of mold and working efficiently to serve your customers. Contact us today to learn more.

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