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4 Tips on How to Keep Your Restaurant Clean and Safe

Food safety and sanitation are paramount when it comes to running a restaurant. Both things can help you prevent customers from getting sick, which helps your business maintain its reputation and bring in more customers and revenue. Here are some tips on keeping your restaurant clean and safe, plus some other resources on restaurant food safety and sanitation.

Why Food Safety Matters

As a restaurant owner, one of your primary concerns is making sure that your customers enjoy their meals—and keep coming back for more. A lack of food safety might cause some diners to think twice about returning.

Food safety protects your community, guests, staff, and business. And now, the impact of COVID-19 has many on high alert when it comes to all things health safety and cleanliness. It is always critical to stay on top of your restaurant's food safety and sanitation procedures, but with an added layer, the pressure is heightened.

4 Tips & Precautions for Practicing Food Safety & Sanitation

First and foremost, it is always imperative to follow local, state, and federal guidelines regarding food safety and sanitation practices. If you're a restaurateur, you know how seriously your business can be impacted by failing an inspection. While every city and state's regulations differ slightly, there are a few tips to consider when making efforts to ensure all aspects of your business are clean and safe.

Here are four ways to ensure your establishment stays safe for employees and guests alike.

1. Wash Your Hands

The most important thing you can do for restaurant food safety is washing your hands. Hands are exposed to everything—they're dirty, full of bacteria and germs, viruses, etc. They will contaminate anything that comes in contact with them. You should be washing your hands immediately after touching raw meat or fish and before handling any other food product (eggs, veggies). This is also an excellent opportunity to wipe down all surfaces that might have touched those foods (sinks, utensils). So grab some soap! Be sure you are using a sanitizer too.

2. Wear Gloves

If you work in a food service establishment, don't touch anything—including food, hair, or yourself—without first wearing gloves. Make sure your gloves are made of vinyl or nitrile, as natural latex tends to break down when exposed to non-food surfaces like floors and counters. Also, wash your hands before and after wearing gloves.

3. Implement Systems

All employees must know what to do to keep guests safe and the restaurant clean. Create a restaurant cleaning checklist for both back of house and front of house staff. Use these checklists to train each member and hold them accountable during their assigned shifts. The Kitchen Spot's sanitation and food safety lists are excellent resources for cleaning lists and supply recommendations. Check it out!

4. Train Your Staff

Invest in restaurant cleaning supplies that help reduce cross-contamination between foods (ensure they're always properly stored). Train the wait staff to identify foods with allergens, so they know what foods are off-limits and which precautions must be taken during meals, like washing hands before serving food or using different plates or cutlery altogether. And again, be sure to train every staff member on how to properly execute cleaning systems and procedures.

While some cleanliness and safety precautions may seem obvious, that does not always reflect reality. Ensure staff is trained across the board and in the same way to ensure everyone involved is doing their part and staying up to your business's defined standards.

Maintain Cleaning Inventory

Adding more products to your inventory sheet may seem like a pain, but you need to make it a priority to maintain a comprehensive cleaning inventory. Not only will it ensure that you're keeping your restaurant clean, but it'll also help prevent yourself from reusing supplies that are past their prime. Use disinfectant wipes for countertops, utensils, food prep surfaces, and appliances when cleaning your restaurant. You should use disinfecting spray for cleaning toilets, door handles, and floors. Mop water should contain a sanitizing agent as well.

There's always a risk of foodborne illness when food is not handled correctly or cooked correctly, so it's up to restaurants to keep everything clean and safe. It is imperative to take precautions to keep guests and staff safe, perhaps now more than ever before.

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