For pubs, bars and restaurants, the past months will have brought a rush of customers looking to make the most of the UK sunshine. Although as the clocks go back and the winter nights draw in, it’s essential that your kitchen is in a fit state for the upcoming festive period.
Some say it's bad luck to prepare for Christmas before December, but getting your Kitchen ready for the big rush after summer is something you'll need to have in mind after a busy summer.
Everyone is guilty of letting things slip their mind when they’re busy and rushed off their feet. Those in the hospitality industry know that something that must always remain a priority, even with a growing number of customers, is maintaining high levels of hygiene throughout the premises, but especially in the kitchen.
Failing to maintain a high standard of hygiene in the kitchen can directly affect customers and in turn the business – if customers receive a poor service, it can create a negative reputation for a certain establishment or a business on a wider scale. A failure to adhere to the Food Safety Act 1990 (the framework for all food legislation in Britain) and other relevant legislation could lead to worse – the closure of your food establishment.
The Food Standards Agency help to enforce the rules and regulations surrounding businesses that serve and prepare food, with the aim of protecting the public from health risks in connection to the consumption of food, or the way that it is produced or supplied. Environmental Health Officers can carry out an inspection of a premise at any time without warning between every six to twenty-four months, so it’s vital that kitchen hygiene is continually high.
The same set of criteria is used for all businesses and includes hygiene when handling food and the condition of the establishment. The scoring system works in a way that if just one aspect of the criteria is scored low it can critically affect the overall score, so an excellent standard of hygiene in all aspects is essential.
Although by law businesses do not have to display their rating in England, the scheme is becoming widely known to the public and all scores are easily accessed online. If a restaurant has chosen not to display their rating, could potential customers realise why?
Today, reputation is everything; one negative review or a singular customer experience can have damaging effects to any business. Could you risk a negative review or a low hygiene score?
Daily manual cleaning can help maintain the standard of hygiene in a kitchen, but a manual deep clean is recommended at least once a year. This is because dirt and grime accumulates over long periods of time, especially in hard to reach places that could be missed whilst completing a daily cleaning routine. Grease and dust can build up on less accessible surfaces such as walls, ceilings, lights and kitchen fittings, making them a breeding ground for bacteria.
So without knowing, a kitchen could be an environment of poor hygiene and at risk of pest infestations, cross contamination, reduced equipment life and lead to the build-up of dangerous pathogens – all of which do not make for a five star hygiene rating or happy customers.