It’s safe to say that no restaurant operator wants their business to be implicated in a foodborne illness outbreak. Yet, each year 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With more than 250 foodborne diseases in existence, it’s crucial that restaurants take every step possible to ensure kitchens are clean and the food being served is both safe and delicious.
Maintaining Cleanliness and Hygiene Standards
First and foremost, it’s important to bring in a complete hygiene partner to support your restaurant business. Your hygiene partner should offer everything from chemicals to machines to tools to technology to consulting to raise the bar on food safety.
It’s also necessary to incorporate the following best practices:
- Be mindful when selecting cleaning products. Effective cleaning and sanitization will remove soil, bacteria and other microorganisms, thereby reducing the risk of cross-contamination. Restaurants should use products and tools that will deliver superior cleaning results, including chlorine and quat based sanitizers, degreasers and other surface cleaners. It’s also important to be mindful of the temperature that chemical sanitizers work best at and the contact time that is required to kill harmful microorganisms. A lower contact time can help improve productivity and compliance with cleaning and sanitization.
- Create a schedule for cleaning food contact surfaces. Cross-contamination is a very common issue in restaurants. Food contact surfaces include any equipment surface or utensil which food may touch during the food production process or via potential “incidental” channels such as food draining, dripping or splashing onto the food preparation areas. Implementing an easy-to-follow process that details cleaning and sanitization responsibilities makes it easy for employees to know what and how frequently to address food contact surfaces.
- Reinforce practices with training. Often, foodborne illness cases are the result of employees failing to follow the proper procedures. Thus, it’s critical that every employee understands how to properly handle food, clean and sanitize surfaces and maintain hand hygiene. Restaurants should use an online learning management system that can train workers on a range of topics and in different languages. The system should allow managers to keep track of employees’ test results and identify areas for improvement on an individual basis.
- Harness the power of technology. Dishes, utensils and glassware must be clean to reduce the risk of contamination. Today, there are smart dishwashing solutions that allow restaurant managers to closely oversee this process and ensure compliance parameters are being met. With actionable, real-time insights and proactive maintenance advice, restaurant managers can keep dishwashers working properly and reduce the costs associated with water, energy, cleaning product and labor.
Five-star Food Safety
Keeping foodservice kitchens clean is key for reducing the risk of foodborne illness and maintaining guest satisfaction. A trusted total solutions provider will not only enhance food safety, but improve operational efficiency, sustainability and the overall customer experience. Additionally, by following tried-and-true best practices, restaurants can ensure that the right processes are in place and being followed by staff.
To learn more about smart solutions, Service Excellence and the Internet of Clean™ for foodservice, visit www.diversey.com/industry-sectors/food-service or contact your Diversey representative to learn more.