How deep is your clean?
14 October 2014
The pressure is on for food businesses to improve hygiene standards. Ian McKay, managing director of newly formed Network Hygiene, explains the benefits of deep cleaning
Contrary to popular belief, there is no legal requirement for you to have your kitchen deep cleaned. However, the rise in frequency, and popularity, of 'fly on the wall' television programmes as well as a number of high profile restaurant closures due to poor hygiene has highlighted the issue of cleanliness in commercial kitchens and brought it into the public domain. Most businesses do not fully recover from such adverse press and a high proportion eventually close. Access to information such as Scores on the Doors is easily available and an increasing number of potential customers now check this out before visiting. As a result now, more than ever before, food businesses need to do their upmost to improve standards. Some jobs just cannot be done in-house and that’s where the services of a professional deep cleaning company come in.
What’s the difference between your daily clean and a deep clean?
When was the last time you stripped down the equipment in your kitchen and thoroughly cleaned every part of it? After you disconnected it from all services and pulled it away from the wall so you could clean behind and under it of course! And we’re not talking about a quick wipe over with a cloth and a bottle of detergent either. When done properly using specialist cleaning materials and carried out by competent and fully trained operatives a deep clean will not only keep your kitchen clean, but also extend the life of your equipment, thereby protecting your precious capital expenditure budget.
Air quality is a legal obligation for employers from a staff health and safety, and environmental perspective. One key factor which is often overlooked is the insurance requirement to have all ductwork and ventilation cleaned. Recent ventilation fires have also ensured that the insurance industry is looking closely at the risks associated with extraction systems within catering operations. Insurance companies will refuse to cover any premises that are unable to provide written confirmation that the ductwork has been cleaned to the correct standard and frequency, and have even declined to pay out after a fire incident if dirty ducting has been a mitigating factor.
The proof is in the pudding
Network Hygiene – a group of member companies that have been independently audited to the same high standard – has been recently formed to improve service quality in kitchen cleaning. Deep cleans carried out by the companies within the group comply with all current health and safety, and food hygiene legislation. The cleans cover cooking and ancillary equipment, building structure and high level areas. All work is certified and audited to confirm ‘due diligence' requirements have been met.
Deep cleans often take place after hours when staff aren't around, so how do you know that a deep clean has been done properly? Network Hygiene TV shows the customer in real-time exactly what their cleaners are up to. We have also developed online quotes and self-survey, plus a grease filter cleaning service that operates nationwide. We believe these ideas will help to raise standards in the sector at a time when the hygiene of food businesses is under the microscope more than ever.
Deep clean Q & A
Q. Why should I have a deep clean?
A. Aside from keeping the kitchen hygienic it will extend the life of your equipment.
Q. Can’t I do it myself?
A. We wouldn’t advise it. A proper deep clean involves specialist knowledge and training, and the use of potentially hazardous chemicals. However, you should have a regular and frequent cleaning programme. A deep clean is designed to complement that programme not eradicate it, by getting to those bits that you can’t.
Q. How long does it take?
A. About 8 hours which can be conducted after hours.
Q. Sounds expensive!
A. You’d be surprised. The price for a small kitchen can be less than £10 per week.
Q. How often does it need to be done?
A. Deep cleaning of the kitchen equipment is down to lots of factors such as what the daily cleaning and maintenance programme is like, number of covers, menu and method of cooking. Ventilation cleaning frequency will depend upon your own risk assessment recommendations and insurance requirements in addition to the overall operation. HVCA Guidelines state every 3, 6 or 12 months according to usage.