After being cooped up in their homes for a long time, people are understandably excited to go out and meet up with their friends and family. Now that the lockdown restrictions have eased, they are eager to play catch up at pubs, restaurants and cafes. These venues, which have seen limited foot traffic because of the pandemic, will now have to implement stricter and more comprehensive sanitation procedures to make sure the virus doesn’t spread. Guidelines for high-touch areas will have to be enforced as well to protect both their customers and staff.
If you own a food establishment that has been closed due to COVID-19 and are now thinking of re-opening, there are several safety and hygiene issues you will need to address. Required hygiene and sanitation standards have been reviewed and food safety requirements and practices are more stringent than ever.
Here’s a handy checklist to help you out if you’re looking to restart your business and want to ensure the location is safe for staff and patrons.
- Signs promoting protective measures are put up and displayed in easily seen places
- Utilities and equipment like the lights and air conditioning are fully operational
- All areas including waiting areas and restrooms are cleaned and disinfected
- Pest control measures are in place, if necessary
- High-touch items are thoroughly disinfected and sanitised after each customer is served
- Hand sanitisers are placed on each table or on designated stations
- Employees and staff perform regular hygiene practices, such as washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Water and plumbing
- Drinkable water is available in the establishment
- The water and sewage lines are in good working condition
- Water lines are flushed accordingly
- Ice machines or ice bins, if present, are cleaned and sanitised
Food temperature control
- Coolers and freezers are clean and functional
- Coolers and freezers are protected from contamination
- There are calibrated thermometers to check equipment and product temperatures, and it is important to check these devices are working properly
Food contact and non-food contact surfaces
- Food contact surfaces and counters are properly disinfected
- Food contact surfaces, prep tables and counters are cleaned and sanitised after use
- Single-use articles such as tableware and carryout utensils are sufficiently stocked
- Reusable food service items are handled with gloves and washed with hot water and dish soap
- All food products are examined for spoilage or damage
- Damaged goods are disposed of appropriately
- Food items are labeled and organised
- Food items and chemicals are stored properly and protected from contamination
The food industry, especially pubs, restaurants and cafes, has been facing an uphill battle since the pandemic started. But things are starting to look up as owners are becoming proactive in ensuring that their shops are safe and clean. Food industries hire professional cleaning services to disinfect and sanitise their venues. Visiting their shops is a good way to not only reignite social lives and catch up with your mates but also to support local business in adapting to a post-lockdown environment.
Keep your shop clean with commercial cleaning services in Melbourne.
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