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Maintaining a squeaky-clean commercial kitchen is paramount for food safety and operational efficiency. In this article, we highlight five important, yet often overlooked, areas in your commercial kitchen that deserve regular cleaning attention.

Cleaning Zones That Require Your Special Attention

Examining an appliance and cleaning it.

While thorough sanitizing and cleaning routines are standard practice, certain areas can unintentionally fall through the cracks, leading to potential hygiene and performance issues down the line.

1. Exhaust Hood and Ducts

Towering above the hot stoves and grills, the exhaust hood and its connected ductwork play a vital role in removing smoke, grease, and heat from the kitchen. While their function is readily acknowledged, their cleaning often gets neglected. Over time, grease accumulates within the hood and ducts, posing a major fire hazard. Additionally, a build-up of grease can impede the efficiency of the exhaust system, compromising air quality and ventilation.

To mitigate these risks, schedule regular cleanings of the exhaust hood and ducts by qualified professionals who can safely remove grease deposits and ensure optimal airflow.

2. Refrigerator Coils

Hidden behind or beneath your refrigerators, the condenser coils silently toil away to keep your ingredients chilled. However, these crucial components are prone to gathering dust, lint, and other debris, which can significantly impact their cooling capacity. Clogged coils force the refrigeration system to work harder, leading to increased energy consumption and potential breakdowns.

Avoid these pitfalls by regularly cleaning the coils and making it a standard practice. This can be done by simply vacuuming off any accumulated dust and debris, ensuring efficient operation and optimal energy usage.

3. Ice Machines

The seemingly innocuous ice machine, dispensing its frosty cubes for refreshing beverages, can harbor hidden threats if proper cleaning is neglected. Regular use can lead to a build-up of limescale and mineral deposits, impacting ice production and potentially altering its taste. Worse still, moisture and stagnant water within the machine can create an ideal breeding ground for mold and bacteria, posing a serious health risk if consumed.

To ensure safe and hygienically produced ice, implement a routine of sanitizing and descaling the ice machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Storage Shelves and Racks

From dry goods stocked on pantry shelves to equipment hanging on metal racks, storage areas are often bustling hubs of activity in a commercial kitchen. However, the constant movement and occasional spills can lead to accumulated dust, crumbs, and sticky residue on these surfaces. Over time, this build-up creates an unsanitary environment that attracts rodents, bugs, and other critters.

Maintain a hygienic storage space by regularly emptying and cleaning your shelves and racks, paying particular attention to hard-to-reach corners and crevices. Implement a system for labeling and rotating stored items to ensure freshness and prevent forgotten items from becoming expired breeding grounds for bacteria.

5. Floor Drains

Often disregarded during the cleaning frenzy, floor drains silently collect the inevitable spills and drips that occur during a busy kitchen service. Unfortunately, this overlooked area can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria and unpleasant odors. Food scraps, grease, and debris can clog the drain, leading to overflows and potential sanitary hazards.

To prevent these issues, establish a routine of regularly flushing and cleaning floor drains with hot water and disinfectant. Additionally, installing removable drain traps can make it easier to remove and clean any accumulated debris.

Safety & Sanitation in Professional Kitchens

Racks of pots and pans that could use a good cleaning.

Maintaining a clean and well-maintained professional kitchen is not only vital for food safety but also for upholding your establishment’s reputation and protecting the health of your customers and employees. So, don’t let those hidden corners and forgotten equipment slip through the cracks — give them the cleaning attention they deserve, and savor the peace of mind that comes with a sparkling clean commercial kitchen.

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