Guide Food safety tips for businesses

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1. Cleaning

Effective cleaning is essential to get rid of harmful bacteria in your kitchen and to stop them spreading.

All food contact surfaces (for example, preparation surfaces, cutting boards, pots, pans, utensils) and all hand contact surfaces (for example, door and cupboard handles, bin lids, taps) should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at regular intervals to prevent the build up of contamination around food areas.

You must use the correct chemicals for effective cleaning, and they should be marked with the British Standard BS EN 1276:1997 or BS EN 13697:2001. You must ensure you follow the manufacturers instructions. There is a period of time that the chemicals must be in contact with the surface to make sure all the bacteria are killed, called the contact time, and you must make sure the chemical remains on the surface for this time.

How you can keep track of cleaning

A cleaning schedule is a good way to make sure that surfaces and equipment are cleaned when they need to be. Work out what needs cleaning every day, or more than once a day, and what needs cleaning less frequently. Your schedule should show:

  • what needs to be cleaned
  • who is responsible for doing the cleaning
  • how often it needs to be done
  • how the cleaning should be done
  • what to do if the person checking the cleaning finds something wrong

You should also prepare cleaning instructions for your staff showing:

  • what cleaning chemicals should be used
  • how the chemicals should be used, including how much they should be diluted and how long they should be left on the surface, as recommended by the manufacturer
  • how the chemicals should be stored (in a special place away from food)
  • what equipment should be used
  • how the equipment should be cleaned after use

A member of staff should be made responsible for checking that cleaning is being done properly. Cleaning record sheets can help them record what they observe.

When they make the check they should write down whether the cleaning has been done properly. If there are any problems they should make a note of what they did to put them right.

The Food Standards Agency also provide cleaning schedules in the Safer Food Better Business pack with a blank form for you to complete.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 9 January 2020