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Sep 17, 2014

It’s A Dirty Job, But Someone’s Got To Do It: A Guide To Foodservice Cleaning & Janitorial Supplies

Posted: Aug 12, 2013

It’s A Dirty Job, But Someone’s Got To Do It: A Guide To Foodservice Cleaning & Janitorial Supplies

Regardless of location or style of operation, every commercial kitchen or bar must adhere to strict health codes and ordinances set forth by their county health inspectors.  To ensure your business is aptly prepared for the health inspectors, and operating as clean as it should be, make sure that the following supplies are readily available for employees to utilize.

Kitchen Cleaning Supplies: The kitchen, as one would expect, must adhere to the strictest health ordinances.  Commercial kitchens also require many pieces of specific cleaning supplies to keep equipment operating clean as well.  Here is a brief list of some of the most important cleaning supplies needed in the BOH.

  • Cleaning Dishes – The dish area is the epicenter of BOH cleaning.  A functional (and sanitary) dishwasher is an absolute must, as well as a dish sink (with or without a pre-rinse faucet), soiled and clean dishtables, and smaller supplies like detergents, sanitizer, dish / glass racks, squeegees, steel wool, and scrubbers are needed to keep tableware sanitary.  There are a number of optional pieces that can make the lives of business owners easier, including time savers like pot / pan washers or magnetic flatware retrievers (to keep flatware out of the trash).  Additionally, depending on what businesses will be putting down their dish sink, a commercial grease trap or waste disposal unit may be necessary.
  • Cleaning Fryers – Commercial deep fryers get dirty fast, and require constant upkeep to operate diligently.  Fryers must be screened frequently with either a portable or built-in fryer filter, and the fryer’s oil / fat must be changed regularly.  An outdoor grease trap will be necessary to collect and store waste oil, and cleaning accessories like fryer brushes, fryer cleaning solution, and a hot water hose (for filling and rinsing) are necessary to keep your fryers at maximum efficiency.
  • Cleaning Griddles – The metal surface of a griddle comes in direct contact with food product, and must be thoroughly cleaned at the end of every shift.  A griddle cleaning kit, complete with food-safe cleaning solution, scrubbing pads, and a griddle scraper is the best way to keep the cooking surface clean and safe for cooking.
  • Cleaning Charbroilers – Charbroilers are used for cooking a number of various products, many of which are marinated or sauced heavily.  This heavy saucing often leads to a heavy build up or broiler grates, making a heavy duty grill brush a necessity to ensure food product receives the proper grills marks and isn’t covered in soot.
  • Cleaning Floors – The floors of a commercial kitchen can get incredibly dirty during any given shift.  At least one mop (with replacement mop heads), a mop bucket, degreasers / detergents, brooms, dust pans and butlers are needed to keep floors properly maintained.  A mop sink should also be present, to limit the contact dirty mop water will make with surfaces that touch food, as well as a hot water hose and brush for cleaning off anti-fatigue floor mats.  Additionally, business owners will need “wet floor” signs to advise employees when to be alert of a possibly dangerous situation.
  • Everything Else – Sanitizer buckets should present on every work station so employees can clean surfaces and equipment when they are soiled, along with trash cans.  Kitchens should also have a steady supply of heavy duty cleaning detergents / sanitizers for cleaning surfaces or hoods, hand washing stations and paper towels for employees, and a perpetual supply of towels and scrubbers.

Bar & Dining Room Cleaning Supplies:  The bar and dining areas of foodservice operations may not get as dirty as the commercial BOH, however they still require some specific cleaning supplies.

  • Cleaning Glassware – Commercial bars and restaurants have a wealth of glassware to be cleaned on a regular basis, and it is not always convenient / sanitary to use the BOH dishwasher.  A commercial undercounter glasswasher or manual in-sink glasswashers should be on hand to keep glasses looking their best.  Sanitizers, detergents, and even rinse aid will be needed to keep the spots off of drying glasses.
  • Everything Else – The primary concern when cleaning the FOH is clearing plates.  An adequate number of bus boxes will be needed to clear tables, as well a bus cart should the number of boxes be more than a bus boy / bar back can handle during a rush.  Table sanitizers / cleaners and towels will be needed to clean surfaces after customers eat or drink, hand washing stations are needed for sanitation purposes, and the dining / bar area should also have its own mop, mop bucket, and broom.  Floor cleaning supplies used in the BOH tend to get dirty very quickly, and using them in the dining area may make more of a mess than a day’s worth of customers.

Bathroom Cleaning Supplies:  It is important that bathrooms be both labeled properly and maintained throughout shifts.  Here are some of the standard items necessary for properly caring for your operation’s restrooms.

  • Hand Washing Accessories – Hand wash sinks, hand soap dispensers, and either a paper towel dispenser or automatic hand dryer will be needed in every restroom (including employee restrooms).  Many states / counties also require an “Employees must wash hands” sign near all restroom sinks as a reminder to employees.
  • Paper Products – On top of a steady supply of paper towels for drying hands, dispensers for toilet tissue, seat covers, and sanitary napkins should be present in restrooms.  A steady supply of restroom paper products, as well as proper waste receptacles should be on hand for restrooms at all times.
  • Bathroom Cleaning Supplies – There are various cleaning accessories needed to keep restrooms sanitary for use.  Things like toilet brushes, urinal screens / deodorizers, as well as restroom specific mops / mop buckets / brooms, and specialty restroom disinfectants should be in steady supply for cleaning restrooms.


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