Your kitchen might well see a lot more use in the summer. With warmer weather coming too, you need to pay even more attention to hygiene.
Summer is a peak time for neighbourhood events and gatherings. Warmer weather and longer evenings mean more chances to bring people together and share a day (and food and drink) with the community.
That means more people potentially using your kitchen at your facility, to do more, and for longer. Preparing and serving food and drink for large groups can create a lot more hygiene risks. Because it also takes a lot of time and effort, staying on top of hygiene takes that bit of added care, and it’s easy to let things slip.
A simple checklist can really help stay on top of hygiene through the summer months, and it will make a world of difference to those who use the kitchen.
Drinks, dressings, condiments, and any liquids will naturally find their way into nooks and crannies. Insects love a sweet spillage in warm weather, and they won’t waste any time making it their breeding ground.
Tip: Wipe up any spilled liquid as soon as possible. It’s tempting to leave it for a moment, but when there’s a busy event, you get sidetracked, and before you know it, you’ve forgotten. Make sure your surfaces are free from cracks and damage that can absorb liquids – stainless steel countertops and polyester powder-coated cabinets should form part of your design principle.
Your sink will need more regular attention too. You and your team will be emptying more dregs of drinks, rinsing crockery, and washing up trays, and the sink will accumulate more waste and bacteria than it normally would. The same goes for your surfaces.
Tip: Spray and scrub the sink (especially the plug hole) thoroughly. After a long day, a short rinse will seem tempting, but it won’t be hygienic. A stainless-steel worktop with a folded rear upstand and UPVC splashback will mean that no germs can develop as they would in grout on a tiled wall.
Emptying the bins is never a popular job. It’s even less inviting when it’s hot and humid, but that’s when you need to do it most regularly. Don’t let the rubbish build up and sit there. Just like spilled liquid, insects will find it an irresistible invitation to go forth and multiply.
Tip: Taking out the bins sooner rather than later will mean you have to do it more, but the job will be a lot less unpleasant.
If you’re preparing delicious summer salads or finger-licking barbeque, you might already be ahead of germs by cleaning your work surfaces and spills immediately after – but they aren’t the only unwanted guests tat might cause havoc in your kitchen units.
Tip: when it comes to mites, prevention is better than a cure, so check for them regularly if you have wood elements in your kitchen. If you’re thinking about installing a new kitchen for your community centre, village hall or church, bear in mind that MDF and chipboard are perfect food for mites. While they won’t cause the damage a termite will, they’re a health and safety risk, especially if they get into a food cupboard. You won’t have to worry about them with steel units.
A communal fridge will often have items, containers, and leftovers left by various people at various times. Nobody necessarily knows what belongs to whom or how long it’s been there, and nobody wants to overstep the mark and throw away someone’s food or drink.
Before you know it there are several items all past their sell-by date. The more rotting food you have in a fridge, the more it contaminates other items. The whole point of the fridge is to help things keep for longer, but it won’t do that if it’s unsanitary.
Tip: Introduce a policy that all items will be cleared from the fridge at the end of the week, so that you can clean it thoroughly.
Bonus Tip: the right kitchen will keep germs at bay
Eliminating bacteria might take a lot of time in your current kitchen setup – especially if your work surfaces absorb liquids, grime and dirt like a sponge – but did you know you can make it a far less difficult task going forward with the right design?
A kitchen built with hygienic working conditions in mind doesn’t just give you peace of mind or keep you on the right side of FSA guidelines, it will also help make your kitchen longer lasting – and you’ll save a lot of time cleaning, too.
Steelplan kitchens are designed to limit dirt, crumbs, greases and grime, which makes keeping them spotlessly clean an effortless task.
The most hygienic kitchen you can have in your church, school, or community centre is a semi-commercial zinc coated steel kitchen with a powder-coated finish. Not only are they easy to clean, but they are durable and will last you many years.
To find out more about the best kitchen for your space, get in touch today with our friendly team by calling 0844 809 9186 or emailing [email protected].