Hygiene of kitchen equipment: What you should know

Kitchen Cleaning Routine!

Kitchen equipment should be so designed that it can be:

  • Cleaned easily

  • Readily inspected to see that it is clean.

Failure to maintain equipment and utensils hygienically and in good repair may cause food poisoning. Manufacturers’ instructions must always be followed. The material used in the construction of equipment must be:

  • Hard, so that it does not absorb food particles.

  • Smooth, so as to be cleaned easily.

  • Resistant to rust.

  • Resistant to chipping.

Containers, pipes, and equipment made from toxic materials, such as lead and zinc, should not be in direct contact with food or drink, or be allowed to wear excessively; copper pans that need re-tinning on the inside will expose harmful copper to food. Food must be protected from lubricants.

Easily cleaned equipment is free from unnecessary ridges, screws, ornamentation, dents, crevices or inside square corners, and has large smooth areas. Articles of equipment that are difficult to clean (e.g. mincers, sieves, and strainers) are items where particles of food can lodge so allowing germs to multiply and contaminate food when the utensil is next used.

Health routine cleaning of materials

Metals: as a rule, all-metal equipment should be cleaned immediately after use.

Portable items: remove food particles and grease. Wash by immersion in hot detergent water. ➧Thoroughly clean with a hard bristle brush or soak until this is possible. Rinse in the water at 77 degrees Celsius by immersing in the water in wire racks.

Fixed items: remove all food and grease with a stiff brush or soak with a wet cloth, using hot detergent water. Thoroughly clean with hot detergent water. Rinse with clean water, disinfect and dry with clean cloth.

Abrasives: should be used only in moderation as their constant scratching of the surface makes it more difficult to clean the article next time.

Marble: scrub with a bristle brush and hot water and detergent, then sanitize and leave to dry.

Wood: scrub with a bristle brush and hot detergent water, rinse and dry.

Plastic: wash in reasonable hot water.

China/earthenware: avoid extremes of heat and do not clean with an abrasive. Wash in hot water, disinfect or sanitize, rinse and leave to dry.

Stainless steel: Stainless steel is easy to clean. Soak in hot detergent water. Clean with a brush, sanitize, rinse and leave to dry.

Tin: tin that is used to line pots and pans should be soaked, washed in detergent water then immersed in very hot water (82 Degrees Celsius) and dried. Tinned utensils, where thin sheet steel has a thin coating of tin, must be thoroughly dried, otherwise, they are likely to rust.

Zinc: This is used to coat storage bins of galvanized iron and should not be cleaned with a hard abrasive.

Vitreous enamel: clean with a damp cloth and dry. Avoid using abrasives.

➧Equipment’s requiring particular care in cleaning (e.g. sieves, conical strainers, mincers, and graters): extra attention must be paid to these items because food particles clog the holes. The holes can be cleaned by using the force of the water from the tap, by using a bristle brush and by moving the article, particularly a sieve, up and down in the sink, so causing water to pass through the mesh. ➧Whisks must be thoroughly cleaned where the wires cross at the end opposite the handle as food can lodge between the wires. The handle of the whisk must also be kept clean. The use of detergent/sanitizers is recommended.

Saws and choppers/mandolins: these items should be cleaned in hot detergent water, dried and greased slightly.

Tammy cloths, muslins, and piping bags: after use, they should be emptied and food particles scraped out, scrubbed carefully and boiled. They should then be rinsed and allowed to dry. Certain piping bags made of plastic should be washed in very hot water and dried. Nylon piping bags should not be boiled.

Geoffrey Nevine — IT Services and IT Consulting

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