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Opinion: How to keep a clean counter

Serah Ngunya, head of soft services at the Dubai Municipality-approved Hitches & Glitches, outlines the best ways to clean kitchen surfaces and avoid cross-contamination.

As Dubai’s hotels and restaurants start to reopen their doors once more to visitors from around the world, the maintenance and cleaning company reveals some measures that can be implemented to ensure that diners feel safe, comfortable and confident when eating out, or even dining in with deliveries.

  • Avoiding cross-contamination in the kitchen

Contamination occurs when contaminated food comes in contact with other food, either by direct contact, a contaminated work surface, cooking utensil, or via your hands. To avoid this, wash and clean everything regularly, including your hands.

  • Deep cleaning your floor

All food prep areas and floors should be cleaned daily; those often hard-to-reach areas such as under or behind the fridge should be regularly deep cleaned by being pulled away from the wall. This should ideally be done every month. However, a busy kitchen should consider doing this every week. The key is to keep pests away and customers returning!

  • Clean food preparation surfaces effectively

For commercial kitchens and food preparation areas in other facilities, it’s essential to use a recommended detergent to remove all visible stains and dirt before rinsing down with hot water and a cloth. Much like in the house, use a disinfectant, and follow product guidelines to clean all surfaces. A steam cleaner could also be used to achieve temperatures that are too hot for hands.  

  • Cleaning commercial appliances and equipment

We all know that looking after your tools is the most important thing in allowing you to do a job correctly, which is why ensuring all appliances and equipment are cleaned and maintained to the highest standards is crucial. Everything from ovens, fridges, and knives to toasters and coffee makers should be cleaned routinely, at least weekly, to maintain their condition. 

  • Dishcloths – bacteria hotspots!

Dirty dishcloths are terrible for spreading bacteria: every dish you ‘clean’ with one has the potential to be contaminated. They should be washed regularly, and every couple of days should be enough, either in your washing machine or boiling water. If it becomes discoloured or smelly, replace it with a new one.

  • Keeping your fridge clean and bacteria-free

It can be easy to focus on cleaning and maintaining the inside of your fridge; however, it’s crucial to clean the outside thoroughly, especially the handles. Use warm, soapy water to wash all shelves and compartments and dry them with a clean dishtowel. Have a good clear-out of expired food every week, too.

  • Don’t let your sinks sink

Due to the fact that everything goes through sinks when cleaned, it’s crucial to keep this area flawless. The area should be cleaned at the end of every day using a disinfectant, and don’t forget the taps, sprayers and any other instruments situated around the area.

  • Don’t forget about storage

It’s not just the visible areas and equipment that need to be cleaned. Consider cleaning all shelves in the pantry and other storage areas, taking everything off, deep cleaning the shelves, and replacing them.


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