A clean kitchen is essential to any restaurant kitchen, industrial-type kitchen or catering business. By creating a comprehensive cleaning checklist, you can ensure that everyone in your kitchen knows exactly what their duties are. This will make sure that cleaning is carried out consistently during every shift.
To maximise effectiveness, your schedule should be as specific as possible, leaving no room for error or misunderstandings. Remember to state which surfaces and appliances need to be cleaned, which chemicals or equipment to use and how frequently cleaning should take place.
While some cleaning tasks will need to be carried out more frequently, others will only need to be completed once a month, or even just once a year. It’s therefore a sensible idea to create checklists that reflect this. Below, HSEDocs will talk you through what a typical commercial kitchen cleaning schedule might look like:
Daily Cleaning Checklist
This daily cleaning checklist is for your day-to-day cleaning duties. These tasks focus on high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas where dirt, grime and bacteria quickly build up if not cleaned thoroughly.
- Wipe down food preparation areas between tasks with anti-bacterial cleaner
- Empty bins once they are full
- Disinfect waste areas
- Wash and sanitise all chopping and cutting boards and surfaces
- Brush and clean the grill and griddle
- Clean the flattop
- Clean out fryers
- Wash the meat and cheese slicers after each use
- Sweep and mop the kitchen flooring
- Mop up any spillages immediately to prevent hazards
- Wash any floor mats Wash all aprons and chef hats
- Wash can openers
- Clean hood filters
- Clean knives and cutlery
- Clean plates
- Wipe walls that have been splashed
- Change grill linings
- Wash the heads of the beverage dispenser
- Wipe down equipment, including microwave, toaster and kettle
- Sweep storage areas and walk-in refrigerator
- Refill soap dispensers and paper towels
- Wash all utensils and glassware
- Wash cookware
- Clean out the sinks
- Wipe down dishwasher
- Disinfect door handles and light switches
To learn more about food hygiene, take a look at our article, ‘What Are The Basic Food Hygiene Rules?’
Weekly Cleaning Checklist
At the end of every week, you should take the time to deep clean appliances and equipment, and to go over any hard-to-reach or easily forgotten spots. If your restaurant is closed for a day or two, then this is a great time to see to the following tasks:
- Thorough cleaning of sink areas
- Clean ovens, including racks
- Sanitise walk-in areas
- Clean drains with drain cleaners
- Sanitise and clean out all refrigerators
- Clean out the deep fryer
- Clean coffee machines
- Clean any grease traps
- Dust and clean lights
- Wipe down doors
Top tip - It’s also a good idea to review your stock of cleaning products and equipment every week so that you can replace or reorder any essential items, like sponges or clothes.
Monthly Cleaning Checklist
Completing these tasks each month alongside your daily and monthly tasks will help you to maintain an excellent standard of hygiene. Monthly cleaning tasks include:
- Wash behind your ovens and fryers to eliminate grease
- Clean underneath any appliances and other surfaces
- Clean the freezers
- Sharpen the cheese and meat slicer
- Sanitise and clean out ice machines
- Wipe down dry storage areas
- Wash walls and ceilings
- Clean out coffee and drinks machines with professional cleaning products
- Wash vent hoods
- Clean fridge coils
- Check cleaning stock
- Change pest traps
- Clean inside dishwasher
- Clean inside your microwave
- Refill first aid box
On top of these, you should check fire extinguishers, gas pilot lights and clean out vents every 3 months to maintain safety standards.
To read more about fridge storage and maintenance, take a look at our article here.
Certain cleaning procedures must be carried out before, during and after a shift. Here is everything you need to know:
Before a Shift Begins
Before any shift begins, kitchen staff should take a moment to prepare the kitchen and ensure that everything is sanitary before they start cooking. They’ll need to:
- Wipe down all surfaces with food-safe antibacterial cleaner and a clean cloth or sponge.
- Clean sinks, taps, and hand washing stations.
- Check ingredients and dispose of anything that has gone off.
- Ensure you have a supply of clean cloths and sponges on hand for quick wipe-downs between tasks.
During a Shift
While most kitchen staff and cooks will do these things as part of their routine, it’s still good practice to write a formal list. Staying on top of these tasks will reduce the amount of cleaning required once the shift has ended:
- Brush grills to remove any build-up of grease and food debris between cooking.
- Switch and clean cutting boards between tasks. Knives should also be cleaned between cutting tasks.
- Ensure rubbish is emptied as needed, rather than waiting until the end of the shift. Overflowing bins can easily lead to contamination.
- Spillages should be cleaned up as soon as possible, rather than leaving them until the end of the shift.
After a Shift
After a shift has finished, a more intensive cleaning is in order. Your staff will need to ensure that all of the following tasks are completed before finishing for the day:
- Change cleaning cloths and sponges.
- Throw away any that are no longer clean enough to use.
- Deep fryers should be emptied and cleaned.
- Hobs should be cleaned thoroughly using a specialist hob cleaning product.
- Remove dirty chef whites and aprons and place them in a separate area, ready for laundering.
- Ensure all ingredients are covered and sealed properly before replacing them in the fridge overnight.
- Sweep the floor of walk-in fridges and storage areas.
- Sweep and mop the kitchen floor using a disinfectant or floor cleaner.