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Cleaning, Hygiene and Food Safety

Having stringent cleaning, hygiene and food safety standards is highly important in any catering establishment, as this can prevent the risk of food poisoning and ensures that your operation meets the required health and safety standards.

There are specific areas to think about when it comes to cleaning, hygiene and food safety and these areas go by the four C’s - cross-contamination, cleaning, chilling and cooking.

Cross-contamination is one of the most common types of food poisoning and occurs when bacteria from food, particularly food that is raw, is spread between cooked or ready-to-eat food as well as equipment and work surfaces.

To prevent this from happening, staff should carry out thorough cleaning and disinfecting of all work surfaces, equipment and anything else food has touched using the correct commercial cleaning products that meet COSHH standards, such as Sylvester Keal’s own branded cleaning products.

It is also crucial that all staff regularly wash their hands, both before and after, handling food using a good anti-bacterial hand wash and using paper towels or a hand dryer to dry hands with.

Catering staff must also ensure that chilled food is refrigerated at all times at the right temperature, especially raw meat and if possible, keep all raw foods and cooked foods in separate fridges.

When cooking food, it is important that chefs are aware of how long the food must be cooked for. To help with this, staff should use equipment such as temperature monitors and food timers to ensure that meat is cooked all the way through and soups and sauces are simmering.

Any catering establishment should have strict hygiene standards and this can have a huge impact on customers’ perceptions when visiting a restaurant and whether or not they will choose to visit again.

Customers tend to particularly pay attention to the toilets, seating areas, behind the bar and the kitchens if it is an open kitchen or in view. Visiting a place that looks dirty or untidy from both the inside or the outside can be very off-putting for the customer, especially if the establishment serves food.

Not only is it important for staff to keep their outlets clean and tidy to give a good impression to the customer, but it is important that restaurants are adhering to the range of laws and policies that are put in place by the Food Standards Agency.

Failure to meet these laws and policies can result in serious consequences for businesses in which government agencies may conduct audits, charge fines or even close down the business.

All members of staff working within the kitchen environment should receive basic hygiene and food safety training, and those who use cleaning products should receive basic COSHH awareness training, something which we at Sylvester Keal offer.

To find out more about Sylvester Keal’s range of cleaning products visit our online store at or to find out about our staff training, contact us on 01472 352033.

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