At food establishments, hygiene plays a massive role in building brand image and ensuring customer footfall. In the UAE, hygiene is culturally given the utmost importance. To ensure that restaurants follow proper guidelines regarding the hygiene standards, a comprehensive food safety system has been announced. As part of the initiative, customers have access to the full hygiene record of any restaurant they choose to visit on their smartphones. It is, thereby, quite evident that apart from the quality of food, hygiene and cleanliness is one of the most important aspects of running a restaurant in the UAE.
The Ultimate Checklist On How To Maintain Hygiene Standards In Restaurants
Lack of cleanliness not only has a negative impact on the reputation of your restaurant but also harms the health of your patrons and employees. Follow this 5-step checklist to make your restaurant compliant with the defined hygiene processes and norms.
1. Inspect Kitchen Areas, Dining Areas, And Restrooms Regularly
One of the first steps is to ensure that your restaurant has efficient operating procedures in maintaining hygiene in the kitchen, dining area, and restrooms. While working in the kitchen, lack of cleanliness can easily contaminate the food with bacterial infections. It is a considerable risk that drove McDonald’s outlets in the UAE to ensure a strict hygiene regime.
The dining area in a restaurant is probably the first visible space for the customers. If perceived as unclean, it can immediately put them off. Irrespective of the food or services, a grimy restroom experience impacts customer experience negatively. Therefore, ensure that there is a regular hygiene inspection in the kitchen areas, eating areas, and restrooms. Make sure that you have a sufficient stock of cleaning supplies and keep a regular check on meeting the hygiene standards in your restaurant.
- Clean the surfaces that come in direct contact with food thoroughly with disposable towels
- Sterilize equipment such as the Cooking Range, Freezer, Oven, Deep-fryer, Tongs, Baking sheets, etc., at least three times a week. In addition, sterilize the frequently used kitchen items such as countertops, cutting boards, blenders, and grills, daily.
- Clean the surface areas such as tabletops, chairs, and bar tops, thoroughly at least twice a day.
- Keep in mind to clean the floor near the restaurant’s main entrance and exits daily.
- Clean the restrooms and unclog the WC area daily. Also, keep in mind to equip the restroom area properly with sanitary supplies
2. Ask The Restaurant Staff To Maintain Personal Hygiene
It is imperative to train the restaurant staff on following proper personal hygiene protocols. The involvement of restaurant employees in maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the restaurant is vital. Conduct regular training sessions for staff members, encouraging them to maintain personal hygiene. Ask them to sanitize their hands frequently while on duty.
While working in the kitchen provide them with proper headgear, hand gloves, aprons, etc To promote safe handling of raw materials and prepared meals, provide clean clothing, and other reliable, sanitary tools that are necessary for maintaining the overall hygiene.
3. Cleanliness Measures For Kitchen Equipment
Following a strict maintenance schedule for the restaurants’ equipment is vital for ensuring better food quality and reducing the kitchen costs. Routine maintenance of the kitchen equipment will also ensure longevity.
Restaurant Managers should keep a check on the kitchen equipment and surrounding areas regularly. Even during the peak hours when the restaurant kitchen operates in full swing, make sure that the dishes are prepared by following strict hygiene standards. Also, ensure that there are separate areas in the kitchen for disposing off used tableware, dusters, or mops.
4. Ensure Proper Ventilation
Having a proper ventilation system in place is imperative not only for the well being of your restaurant staff and customers, but it also plays an integral role in maintaining appropriate hygiene standards in the restaurant. Proper restaurant ventilation would ensure safe meal preparation, eliminate contamination issues while storing the food, and also enhance the customers’ comfort.
An adequate restaurant ventilation system should typically include features such as hoods, exhaust fans, makeup air systems, fire suppression, etc. The efficiency of a restaurant ventilation system can significantly decrease issues such as excess moisture, hazy atmosphere, high heat, excessive steam, etc. Also, make sure that your restaurant has easy access to fresh air and a separate area for storing the garbage.
5. Keep The Storage Area Clean
There are high chances of inventory contamination if the raw materials and other food items are stored improperly. One way to prevent food contamination is by keeping a constant check on the inventory. Restaurant POS systems maintain a proper database of inventory requirements and also help in increasing the shelf life of raw materials, thus avoiding any spillage.
Inventory checks can also be done manually by conducting regular audits and placing the raw materials correctly. You can implement simple measures such as storing the highly perishable products in containers with an air-tight seal and keeping a thorough check on storage area temperatures.
6. Improve The Hygiene Standards Of Packaging
With a rise in the UAE’s food delivery market, it has to be ensured that your restaurant follows proper food packaging standards in delivering orders in the best possible condition. Choose packaging containers or boxes that can withstand different pressures or temperature differences. Avoid delivering food in leaky vessels, replace plastic cutlery with the wooden ones, and consider forming relationships with vendors that lay down particular emphasis on raising the hygiene standards.
7. Make A Restaurant Hygiene Checklist
To ensure that your restaurant is not thwarting food safety and hygiene laws, create a checklist mentioning the specific cleaning duties and checks that have to be taken care of by the respective staff members. Depending on the size of your restaurant, your cleaning checklist can either have the entire list of duties printed on a single sheet or create a dedicated list that lists out separate responsibilities for different sections. It is recommended to include cleaning duties in a comprehensive list of tasks that must be followed during each restaurant shift.
Consider the above-mentioned points as a ready reckoner consisting of the essential restaurant hygiene guidelines and ensure that the food safety systems in your restaurant are not compromised in any way!