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  • M. Villarreal

A Leader’s Guide to Food Hygiene Rules in Commercial Kitchens

Delicious food, good value for money, and impeccable customer service are all signs that your restaurant is heading towards great success.

However, none of these matter without enforcing proper food hygiene rules in commercial kitchens. That is the most important part, and an essential ingredient, for running a professional kitchen. Not only for aesthetic reasons, but more importantly, for the health and safety of your customers and staff.

As a restaurant owner, chef or leader, you must be mindful of food hygiene rules and prioritize them to ensure the kitchen’s success. We've prepared a simple guide to help you along the way.

Be Mindful of Personal Hygiene

If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it is that the viruses and bacteria spread quickly if we are not careful. Therefore, enforcing regular and thorough hand washing in your commercial kitchen is one of the first rules you should set. Proper hand washing reduces the risk of spreading harmful and dangerous bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella, and similar.

Before and after handling food, washing hands is a must. Especially if you are handling raw meat, eggs, or fresh fish. Additionally, keep in mind that your staff should not wear rings, bracelets, or watches while working in the kitchen. They enable bacteria to breed and further spread on the food they're preparing or serving.

Keeping the Kitchen Clean

Another one of the food hygiene rules in commercial kitchens is to always keep your kitchen spotlessly clean. If you've ever considered skipping cleaning after a busy day, have in mind that the average toilet seat has fewer bacteria than the average chopping board. This alone should be enough to convince you to clean your commercial kitchen daily.

Your staff should clean the work area with the clean-as-you-go method. However, your kitchen should get thorough cleaning on a daily basis. We recommend hiring a commercial kitchen deep cleaning company to ensure your kitchen is spotless and, more importantly, germ-free at all times.

Freezer and fridge maintenance

Although there are many benefits of commercial kitchen deep cleaning, some things you and your staff should be doing on your own. This is especially important when it comes to freezer and fridge maintenance. These areas often get overlooked as the staff is mainly focused on keeping the preparation area clean.

Focus on keeping the cold rooms clean at all times as they get thoroughly checked by health inspection. Cold rooms are a suitable environment for germs and bacteria. Both the freezer and fridge should be cleaned every day, while you should do a de

Waste management

Another essential kitchen hygiene rule is to properly dispose of food waste. Unfortunately, this rule tends to get overlooked, even though it is imperative as garbage is a source of bacteria and a safety hazard. Whether you are moving into a new location, maintaining one you have been in for years, or changing locations, this is an area few restaurant leaders think about until it's too late.

As an example, if you plan on moving your restaurant, you need to follow specific health and safety guidelines, too. The best thing to do is hire professional restaurant movers as they have relevant experience and knowledge to handle this process. Make sure to explore this type of service as it will save you time and ensure that everything is done according to the highest standards.

Avoiding cross-contamination

Staying safe is important now more than ever before and avoiding cross-contamination is a great way to achieve this. It will help prevent food poisoning and the spread of harmful bacteria.

If you think that avoiding cross-contamination is difficult, you are wrong. By regularly washing hands, cleaning as you go, and keeping your kitchen organized, you'll easily reduce the risks.

Hygienic Ways to Handle Food in a Commercial Kitchen

The way food is handled is one of the essential things in the kitchen. If not handled properly, it can lead to serious health issues. Below, you will learn what you need to pay attention to the most.

Food storage

Properly storing food is as important as preparation and serving. To safely store food, make sure to:

  • Thoroughly cook it before storing it in a fridge or cold room.

  • Food should never be stored in cold storage longer than seven days.

  • Make sure to cover or wrap any raw foods as they are more prone to bacteria growth.

  • Implement the first-in-first-out rule and make sure to organize the foods according to the use-by date.

Food preparation

You need to store your food in a hygienic way, but you also need to be mindful of the different preparation methods. If you take preventive measures while preparing the food, you'll ensure that it is safe to eat and thus prevent food poisoning.

Here are the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to safe food preparation:

  • Use different chopping boards for meat, vegetables, fish, eggs, and poultry. A good idea is to use a different color board for each food group.

  • Thoroughly wash vegetables and fruits before cooking or serving.

  • Order meat from reliable suppliers that don't use antibiotics. Buy organic food whenever possible.

  • Check if the food is fully cooked and store it in a cold room within two hours of buying or preparation.

In conclusion

Setting and enforcing food hygiene rules in commercial kitchens is of the utmost importance if you want to create a safe environment for both your employees and your customers. If you are not thorough when it comes to the cleanliness of your kitchen, not only will you get fined, but you can also seriously harm someone's health. Therefore, invest in commercial kitchen deep cleaning and make sure your staff follows the guidelines and rules.

If you need assistance with commercial kitchen deep cleaning, or vent hood cleaning, give us a call for a free onsite review and estimate. Cornerstone Commercial Services 1-800-274-3905 or email us at

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