Commercial Kitchen Floor Cleaning: Are You Doing It Right?
While it's true that your floor should never be considered a food contact surface, its cleanliness should still be considered a kitchen sanitation priority. Commercial kitchen floor cleaning is often the last thing a crew does at the end of the day, but leaving the entire job for the closing crew can endanger your employees throughout the day as well as make the cleanup job more difficult when it finally happens. Here are some of the consequences that improper commercial floor cleaning can lead to.
- Loss of customers: Customers won't eat at a restaurant they perceive as being dirty, and one of the biggest clues to lack of cleanliness is a dirty floor. Not only will people leave and not come back, many of them will review your restaurant online, discouraging others from trying your food and badly affecting your bottom line.
- Food sanitation: Dirty floors can contain untold numbers of organisms that can cause foodborne illness. When items are dropped on these floors or puddles form, these germs can fly into the air as small droplets and affect the quality of your food. Shoes can track filth into walk-in refrigerators and freezers as well as food-prep areas, putting your kitchen in danger of committing cross-contamination.
- Floor safety: Most restaurant kitchen floors are made of slick tile material because this material is simple to clean. That same property causes the floor to be extra slippery when it's wet, posing a slipping danger to employees. In addition, dirty floors in food-prep areas can contain actual pieces of food that can cause people to slip, which increases the risk of their falling and injuring themselves.
Commercial Kitchen Floor Cleaning Methods
Food service managers know that restaurant floors need to be cleaned multiple times a day. Sweeping is the first priority, and a thorough sweeping means pulling tables out from the walls as well as sweeping well underneath and behind heavy equipment to remove large debris. Poor or rushed sweeping can leave food residue underneath equipment where it can develop mold and other unsafe organisms.
Once the floor is thoroughly swept, you should make a cleaning solution using the appropriate commercial cleaning products. Do not use soap on your kitchen floor; it's not strong enough to remove most heavy-duty kitchen soil, and it can leave a sticky residue on many floor surfaces. Only use chemicals designed to clean commercial flooring, and follow the directions on the package when mixing the solution. More is not better: always use the recommended amount of product to mix with the water.
While some people may think mopping is the traditional next step in cleaning a floor, the OmniFlex™ Dispense-and-Vac for Food Service is a much better tool to take care of a restaurant floor. While mops use cleaning product to soften and remove soil, after a few strokes with the mop, the water becomes dirty. After that point, you're simply spreading dirty mop water all over the tiles and leaving a film of dirt and germs to dry on the floor. With the OmniFlex system, cleaning product is applied to the floor and the floor is scrubbed with a heavy-duty brush. After the soil has been loosened, the wet/dry vacuum sucks all of the dirty liquid into a holding tank. Your employees never touch dirty, contaminated surfaces, and your floors are free of dirt and germs.
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