Audrey Deane from Safer Food Scores has been working within the food industry for over 25 years, advising food businesses on how to produce food in a clean and hygienic way. She has provided an insight into how bacteria and viruses can easily spread in your kitchen and the simple steps to take to prevent this.
A kitchen can be vulnerable to all sorts of harmful bacteria that can be brought into the kitchen environment in a variety of ways. This could be from raw or unwashed food, on contaminated packaging or an employee. Once in your kitchen, germs can survive on a surface for several days, particularly if they are not destroyed by effective cleaning and sanitizing. When working in a busy kitchen, you touch hundreds of surfaces in just one service, with this in mind it is clear to see why the hygiene of your kitchen is so important.
Keeping your workstations and equipment clean is vital to reduce the risk of spreading viruses. It is a legal requirement that food rooms have smooth, non-absorbent surfaces that are easy to clean. Cardboard cutter boxes that are used for foodservice film or foil are serious offenders and can harbor germs, easily causing cross-contamination in your kitchen. Audrey recommends using Wrapmaster dispensers as the plastic casing protects your kitchen wrap and they can be easily sanitized with sanitizer and 100% disinfected in a commercial dishwasher with a rinse temperature of above 80˚C.
Using the wrong equipment puts your team at risk which is why choosing the right equipment is so important. Wrapmaster has a concealed blade which eliminates the risk of cuts and abrasions while the hard-plastic body enables germs to be swiftly killed and wiped away.
When it comes to preparing food, good hygiene practice is key. As a minimum, hands should be washed for 20 seconds when entering a food room, before and after prepping food or handling rubbish. Opt for single-use paper towels to wipe surfaces and avoid wiping your hands with chef’s cloths. Wash all fruit, veg and herbs before prepping and store them in a clean, lidded container as this will reduce the risk of cross-contamination. By also using a high quality, strong plastic wrap like Wrapmaster’s foodservice film, you will protect your food from contamination and prevent it from absorbing other flavors and odors.
By following these simple pointers, you can keep your kitchen safe for yourself, your team and your diners.