From Chef Aprons To Hairnets: Keeping Clean In The Kitchen
Keeping clean and maintaining hygiene levels in the kitchen is essential. Here are some of London Linen’s top tips for keeping clean in the kitchen.
Cleanliness in the kitchen is key. Hygiene standards must be maintained both for the safety and health of all of the employees, the front-of-house staff and the customers enjoying food prepared in the kitchen. Over time, many common practices have emerged in the kitchen to help maintain the standards.
Here at London Linen, we supply quality linen products to kitchens and restaurants, so know firsthand how important it is to keep clean in the kitchen. This is why we’ve put together this list of some of the ways you can maintain hygiene standards in the kitchen.
Read on to find out more.
Why Is Cleanliness Key?
There are a fair few reasons why a kitchen should be kept clean. One of the biggest is the risk of foodborne illnesses. This can occur due to spoilage and cross-contamination. Not keeping a kitchen clean and establishing clear routines can make dangerous things such as salmonella and E coli thrive, getting into food and giving people food-related illnesses.
Another reason why cleaning should be prioritised is that it can actually save you money in the long term. Dirt, dust and grime building up in items such as your refrigerator can cause it to use more energy to perform at its best and maybe even malfunction. Losing the use of an item could result in food spoiling and profits plummeting.
Ways To Keep Clean In The Kitchen
This is in no way an exhaustive list of how to keep clean in the kitchen, but here are a few strategies commonly used to maintain hygiene.
Uniform - Chef Whites & Trousers
One of the key ways to keep clean in the kitchen is through the uniform that you wear. Many restaurants, cafes and kitchens will often have a uniform in place, and while this may seem just for aesthetic reasons, it’s actually an ideal way to improve food hygiene.
Most parts of a chef's uniform are designed for both hygiene and safety. Normal clothes are not suitable for the kitchen because they are not designed with hygiene and safety in mind. Normal clothes should be worn to travel to work, and then workers should change into a chef’s uniform upon arrival.
They should do this as on the commute to work many germs could cling to regular clothing, so you want to change into a fresh uniform once you arrive to prevent the risk of contamination. Wearing the uniform on the commute will mean these germs are on your clothes, which could then jump to the food.
A typical chef uniform is made up of a chef’s jacket and trousers. Both of these pieces of uniform are designed to be lightweight and breathable, as well as offer protection against spills and other hazards. They are typically made of a thicker material that will easily protect against warm things that might otherwise go through normal clothing and lead to an injury such as a burn.
After a day of hard work, the chef's uniform should be washed ready for another day. Washing uniform regularly will remove any germs that have stuck to the uniform throughout the day, as well as eliminate any stains.
Accessories - Aprons & Hairnets
As well as the typical uniform, you can keep clean in the kitchen by wearing a few extra accessories. One of these is a hairnet. Hairnets are used in the kitchen as it is physically impossible to remove all of the bacteria in your hair. So what you want to do is prevent this bacteria from contaminating anything in the kitchen.
Hairnets have two ways of doing this. First having the hair in the hairnet keeps it away from food, equipment, utensils and anything else in the kitchen it can contaminate. The second is wearing a hairnet will stop a worker from touching their hair. Touching your hair with your hands will transfer bacteria to them, which could then get into the food.
Aprons function very much on the same level as the rest of the uniform in the kitchen, offering a layer of protection from spills and potential stains. A lot of people who work in kitchens will wear aprons as well as a chef's jacket to keep the jacket as clean as possible. An apron can be easily removed if stained or something scalding lands on it, so is an ideal choice for staying safe and hygienic while working in the kitchen.
Wash Your Hands
It might seem like an obvious thing, but washing your hands regularly is one of the simplest ways of keeping clean in the kitchen. Try to wash your hands as soon as you start working in the kitchen, as well as before and after touching any food. This ensures there is no contamination across foodstuffs and on equipment. You should always wash your hands in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds when you do this.
Labelled Chopping Boards
Keeping clean in the kitchen doesn’t just involve what you’re wearing, but how you prepare food. A great way to promote food hygiene in the kitchen is the very common method of using labelled chopping boards for different ingredients.
To make it easier, a lot of kitchens will use a colour-coded system so they can easily tell which colour is for what food item. While there is not one official colouring system, here is a suggested outline recommended by the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points):
- Yellow – cooked meat
- Red – raw meat
- Blue – fish
- Brown – vegetables
- Green – fruit, herbs and salads
- White – bread and dairy products
Using these colours prevents cross-contamination and ensures only similar food is prepared on these chopping boards. Make sure that after use the boards are washed thoroughly in warm, soapy water to remove as much bacteria as possible.
This colour coding does not need to stop at chopping boards either, it can be adopted across a variety of utensils and crockery. Having different knives, pans, bowls and other resources colour-coded will further reduce the risk of any contamination occurring.
Correct Storage Of Food Items
You should keep the kitchen clean by storing food correctly. All food that requires refrigeration should be immediately stored when arriving in the kitchen, and should at most be left out for 2 hours if it is not possible to store it immediately.
Raw food should be covered and kept separate from any other food, especially ready-to-eat items that might not be cooked before serving. Raw foods should also go on the bottom shelf of a fridge, so if any juices or other bacteria leak out they won’t drop into the food below.
One way that contaminants can spread easily through a kitchen is if things are not left to defrost correctly. You should never simply take something out of the freezer and leave it on the side for it to thaw. Instead, put it in the fridge, the microwave or under cold water. Try to put the item you’re defrosting on a plate, so it does not defrost and melt onto the surface, which could potentially spread contamination around.
Clean As You Go
Probably one of the easiest ways to keep clean in the kitchen is to keep on cleaning as you go. Don’t wait for certain times to clean, or only clean when you think it needs it. Continuously clean the kitchen such as wiping surfaces and sweeping the floor. Keeping hygiene in mind at all times is the best way to ensure the kitchen is clean.
Chef Clothing & Table Linen From London Linen
Now that you’ve found out a bit more about how to keep clean in the kitchen, you should work with a company that puts hygiene at the forefront of what we do. Here at London Linen, we offer our linen services to hotels, restaurants and cafes across London, providing fresh linen in the amount you need.
Our laundry services mean that you can have an ever-rotating stock of fresh chef wear and table linen, meaning you don’t have to worry about repeatedly washing linen and reducing its quality. We are experts in keeping linen in the best condition, so are the ideal choice for maintaining cleanliness.
Our environmentally friendly laundry services are designed to clean linen in the most sustainable way possible, using eco-safe cleaning products and minimising packaging. We use rigorous washing and testing methods to ensure all of the products we supply are of an amazing quality that you will be happy to use at your business.
Great quality linen promotes hygiene, so work with London Linen today to keep clean in the kitchen. Give us a call on 020 8574 5569 if you have any questions, or enquire about a quote today.