Keeping surfaces clean is critical for industrial kitchens and food preparation areas. You can ensure safe practices by understanding 3 potential areas where allergens or contaminants can spread, with ways in which you can prevent these risks. They are:
- the use of correct coloured chopping boards
- the proper use of gluten-free equipment and preparation areas
- the correct use of surface cleaners such as D10
Understanding how contamination can spread from surface to food items, and taking preventative measures to reduce the risk, can show due diligence in preventing this contamination. Taking the steps to ensure that the correct chopping boards are being used and cleaned between uses can show diligence against these risks.
Follow this link for a D10 Risk Assessment. This assessment allows you to assess the risks involved with the use of D10 and its associated risks in the workplace, and it would add towards your due diligence when working with the substance.
Chopping Boards and Knives
Ensuring the correct chopping boards are used is a way in which an employee can be diligent against cross-contamination. The colours used are:
||Colour Chopping Board
|Raw Meat & Poultry
|Cooked Meat & Fish
|Washed Fruit & Vegetables
|Dairy & Bakery Items
Staying consistent with chopping board use is considered due diligence for food allergens and cross-contamination. If it is found that cross-contamination has occurred in your kitchen, the blame may be placed on incorrect usage of the chopping board system.
Knives also use a similar colour code system. Adhering to the colour codes with knives allows kitchen staff to communicate the risks associated with each foodstuff to each utensil, reducing possible contamination events.
For more information on due diligence with chopping boards, follow this link on Chopping Board Colours: Your Complete Guide from us here at HSE Docs.
Due Diligence for Gluten-Free Customers
Some kitchens, especially those working with flour for bread or pasta making, ought to take extra measures to ensure gluten-rich flour doesn’t contaminate surfaces and utensils.
For best practice with gluten-free customers, good communication is required between the front and back of house which should be overseen by the manager of the restaurant and/or kitchen. The best way to stay diligent with gluten allergies should require:
- alternate gluten-free options available and clearly marked on the menu;
- alternate options are known to the front-of-house staff (with clearly displayed gluten-free options in a preparation area or in a staff handout);
- a structured and understandable way in which staff can communicate a gluten-free order to the kitchen staff through their POS system;
- suitable questioning as to whether the guests have any allergies when booking and on arrival;
- a set of knives and a chopping board for gluten-free products are stored in a closed container (this may extend to rolling pins or any instrument used for gluten-bearing and non-gluten-bearing food);
- clear communication during the passage of food between the kitchen and customer as to which plate is the gluten-free option.
Ensuring that gluten-free environments aren’t contaminated is essential to the food industry in 2023 and it is only through due diligence between the front and back of house that it can be maintained.
Ensuring that surfaces in your kitchen are clear is key to reducing cross-contamination from allergens or bacteria and viruses. This can be ensured with the correct use of surface cleaners.
For best practices, only use industrial cleaning chemicals for their intended use at the correct dilution. D10 is an industry-standard, however, it is often over-mixed, which then presents further risk due to chemical contamination.
Finding out how to mix and use chemicals correctly should be displayed on the bottle or pump. Failing that, contact your supplier to find out how to correctly use industrial chemicals and reduce the risks they present. This also applies to the contact time the surface cleaner has with the surface. Each cleaning product will come with a suggested surface contact time that should be met to allow the product to be fully utilised.
To find out more about the effectiveness, hazards and protocols involved when using surface cleaners, consider our Risk Assessment for D10. The correct use of surface cleaners can show due diligence in fighting bacterial growth in your workplace.