Best Practices In Food Safety & Sanitation

For restaurant operations, sanitation is one major facet that should be on your checklist. Sometimes the fast pace can keep restaurant and business owners from maintaining the best methods in proper sanitation practices. In this article, you can learn which products and precautions will help you keep your restaurant clean and keep your customers and employees healthy with easier methods to stay consistent.

Restaurant after hours cleaning check list
Waiter cleaning restaurant table

Precautions In Reducing Contamination

The best offense is a good defense — so planning ahead and keeping the supplies you need to reduce contamination from spreading to different places in the restaurant is key. This will help reduce the risk of the spread of foodborne illnesses or other illnesses.

  • Handwashing – It may seem obvious, but this can’t be stressed enough, especially during these times and when the flu season is at its peak. With as much as we do with our hands, hygiene is a large aspect that contributes to spreading germs. Washing for at least twenty seconds is best and rinsing well after.
  • Hand Sanitizer – Keep hand sanitizer stations around your foodservice establishment for employees and customers to help eliminate the spread of germs.
  • Wearing Gloves – This is an industry-standard for those handling food, it is also important that your front of house employees wear gloves when sanitizing and working the expo line.
  • Online Orders – If possible, enhance your operations by offering online ordering capabilities for your customers to lower transmission of germs.
  • Protective Gear – Aside from gloves and a face mask, consider wearing protective eyeglasses or something similar like a clear face shield.
  • Cell Phone Use – Minimize phone usage during shifts to reduce cross-contamination, as phones are common carriers of germs and bacteria.
  • Laundry – Don’t let items sit for long that need to be washed. Towels, aprons, and hats for example.
  • Pro Tip – Consider utilizing a high-powered sanitizer spray system like the Victory Cordless Electrostatic Backpack Sprayer when opening and closing your restaurant.

Restaurant Cleaning Checklist

Methods to keep a fluid running cleaning operation that all employees can be a part of is a must. If you need to hire additional staff to help cover these tasks, do so and it will be to everyone’s benefit. Create a cleaning schedule for each shift and ensure that you designate which employees do specific tasks, and times are specified.

Maintain a checklist each day for ensuring tasks are completed and for accountability for all working each shift. Depending on where you are located, you may have the front and back of the restaurant to keep sanitized. For those restaurants that are still open for dine in operations, it may be best to have one checklist in the kitchen and one in the back.

Daily Front Of House Cleaning Checklist:

  1. Wipe down the walls if necessary
  2. Sanitize the tables
  3. Inspect and wipe down the condiments and salt and pepper shakers
  4. Wipe down all the counters
  5. Clean the seats and benches
  6. Run cloth napkins, tablecloths, and staff aprons through the washing machine
  7. Vacuum the carpets
  8. Take out the trash and recycling
  9. Clean the interior and exterior of all trash cans
  10. Sweep and mop the floors
  11. Disinfect the toilets
  12. Disinfect all high-touch surface areas
  13. Wipe down sinks
  14. Empty feminine hygiene product bags

Daily Back Of House Cleaning Checklist:

  1. Wipe down the walls wherever there are splashes
  2. Clean the grill, griddle, range, flattop, and fryer
  3. Change the foil lining on top of the ranges and grills
  4. Wipe down coffee makers, microwaves, toasters, and meat slicers
  5. Disinfect prep area surfaces
  6. Clean beverage dispenser heads in the soda fountains
  7. Wash utensils, smallwares, flatware, and glassware
  8. Refill soap dispensers and check paper towel supply
  9. Take out the trash
  10. Disinfect the waste disposal area and clean the trash cans
  11. Sweep and mop the floors

Back Of House

Everything starts with the back of the house and this is where spending time with your employees is beneficial so you can align everyone on best practices and consistency.

  • Train and focus on the importance of proper handling of food with your employees.
  • Have all food contact surfaces during preparation sanitized before, during and after use.
  • Keep products for cleaning in easy access and highly visible in the kitchen.
  • Make sure that the dishwasher is operating at optimal heat levels for proper cleaning.
  • Quickly clean up spills and mop the floor every day or between shifts.
  • Wipe down handles to equipment and door handles several times a day.
  • Replace porous items such as sponges and scrubbers each day or at the end of each shift.

Front Of House

To align the front of the house with the back of the house, take time to discuss with your employees the importance of cleanliness in the dining room area. Training on these necessary steps is essential and should be held every one to two months.

Remove food, used utensils, and dinnerware soon after customers leave their table or any other place in the dining room. Increase efforts — sanitize and wipe down the table and the seats more often. Be mindful and clean away food residue and grease that often builds up on surfaces making it a nest for germs.

Besides the dining area, don’t forget to clean restrooms and scrub toilets multiple times per day and double-check that door stall handles are wiped down and the soap dispensers are full and operable every hour.

Your Supply List

As mentioned above it is beneficial to keep stock and reduce contamination. Keep in mind that some areas of the country are running low on supply or may have several back-orders. Here is a list of the must-haves in keeping your restaurant clean and everyone safe.

  • Antibacterial soap in the back of the house and restrooms
  • Disposable gloves for all employees
  • Antibacterial dispensers near the doors, kitchen area, and the checkout
  • Paper towels
  • Face Masks
  • Bleach
  • Spray bottles
  • Extra trash bags
  • Hand sanitizer with dispensers in the dining area, kitchen, and next to all points of entry.
  • Extra dish rags/towels
  • Wipes
  • Thermometers
  • Lysol or other similar disinfectants and chemical sanitizers

Pro Tip – Partner with a local expert to order in bulk to reduce contact and ensure you have enough product available.

Products For Your Business

Here are some sanitation-forward commercial products to consider for your restaurant:

  • Edlund UV Light Sanitizing – Helios UV-C Sterilizer Cabinet has superior sterilization for knives and other kitchen utensils. The Knife Sanitizing Systems provide liquid sanitizing, air drying, and storage of knives.
  • Commercial Dish Machines – Consider a high temperature commercial dishmachine with built-in sanitation by Jackson or CMA.
  • Victory Backpack Sprayers – Cordless Electrostatic Backpack Sprayer covers up to 23,000 square feet on a single tank for the deepest sanitation measures.
  • Janico Cleaning & Sanitation Tools – With their primary focus covering sanitation and food safety, Janico has the tools you need to keep your restaurant safe.
  • Sanitizing Chemicals – General items such as bleach and other cleaners are essential. You can also purchase quaternary test papers to ensure optimal chemical levels for sanitation.

Staying Safe Now & Always

It is always important to keep your customers and employees safe. Safety can include anything from avoiding accidents, keeping food safe, and measures taken during stressful times when an illness is a concern. These steps may sound simple and obvious, but can be easily overlooked or pushed back to do at a later time if the importance is not stressed enough. It is important to remain consistent and develop good habits that result in good hygiene that come as second nature to each employee in your foodservice establishment. Get connected with a local restaurant dealer to help you equip your restaurant with the tools you need for the best sanitation and safety practices.