Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Deep Kitchen Cleaning – Maintaining a Healthy Commercial Environment

Keep Mice at Bay: How to Avoid Kitchen Nightmares with Deep Cleaning

If you are running a cafe, hotel or bar, the last thing you want is to find mice running about in the kitchen. One Brighton restaurant was landed a £10,000 bill after failing to tackle a mouse infestation. Yet the problem could easily have been avoided by imposing adequate hygiene measures including deep kitchen cleaning.

The restaurant was prosecuted twice by Brighton and Hove City Council and admitted five food hygiene offences. This incident underlines how important it is to maintain a clean kitchen environment in any catering establishment. Neglecting this basic duty of care can put staff and customers at risk, and damage your business reputation.  

Dealing with an Infestation
After someone reported a mouse problem at the restaurant in question, the Brighton and Hove Council food safety team paid a visit. Their discoveries included mouse droppings on shelves and floors and even on food. There was also poorly-wrapped food lying around, which attracted the mice, and unclean surfaces, with a build-up of grease on walls.

This type of incident is a particular worry because mice can spread illnesses, such as food poisoning. They taint not only the foods they actually nibble, but also other foodstuffs in the vicinity – as well as damaging equipment and cables. 

All this makes it vital to tackle an infestation quickly. At the first sign of mice, any restaurant should contact a pest control organisation. Expert pest controllers can quickly get rid of the rodents and also take preventative action to keep them out of the building.

Deep Kitchen Cleaning
Tackling the vermin themselves is only part of the answer to this type of incident, which also underlines the importance of basic kitchen hygiene. Aside from adequate pest control measures, to ensure complete cleanliness the only way to go forward after an infestation is to undertake deep kitchen cleaning. 

Deep cleaning gets to all the places you can't reach during daily kitchen cleaning, including hidden parts of cooking equipment and areas under and behind machinery. As a specialist kitchen deep cleaning company, Ingot can undertake a comprehensive service to ensure all these potential trouble spots are thoroughly cleaned. 

Working from the ceiling right down to the floor, we clean all preparation surfaces and strip down all equipment, reassembling it after the work. Deep cleans can be carried out as a one-off, for instance, at the end or start of a season or after a change of ownership. However, our advice would be to schedule regular deep cleaning, which underpins the daily cleaning by staff. Every catering business should have a deep clean at least annually, but Ingot can advise you on the optimum frequency for your business.

Deep kitchen cleaning reduces the risk of infestation by mice and other pests, but that is just one of its advantages. It will also lead to better hygiene all round, helping to protect customers and staff alike. Yet another plus is that it will demonstrate your commitment to cleanliness, potentially helping you to achieve a higher “score on the door” from environmental health officers. After every deep clean, Ingot provides a certificate to show  you have reached the highest standards of hygiene. 

Our service is available throughout the UK, in areas including Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, London, Manchester and Liverpool. 

Ingot Services  – Click here to find out more about our deep kitchen cleaning.

Air Duct Cleaning – Air Conditioning Duct Cleaning – All about Sick Building Syndrome

What is Sick Building Syndrome and What Causes it?

One of the many reasons for regular air duct cleaning in the workplace is that it helps to keep your staff and customers healthy. In particular, taking this precaution is a way to combat sick building syndrome.
This is a genuine condition, recognised by doctors, where people can become ill if they spend a lot of time in a building, usually a place of work. The syndrome usually occurs in buildings with many people working in close proximity and little access to outside air, because of windows being kept closed. It can occur everywhere from office blocks to hospitals. 

Recent studies estimate absenteeism and loss of production cost UK industry around £500 million a year. Public concern over this has risen during the last decade, and there has been increasing education over how to avoid workplace illness. Managers are responsible for healthy indoor air and other factors affecting the health of their employees at work, as stated in Health and Safety at work regulations and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations.

Symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome

The most common symptom among people suffering from sick building syndrome is fatigue, which can make it hard to concentrate. Other symptoms include eye problems and nose and throat irritation. Sufferers might also suffer from aches and pains, nausea, dizziness and headaches, as well as dry skin.  

These symptoms could also be caused by other factors, such as viruses. However, if a number of colleagues notice the same problems, then sick building syndrome might be the cause. Official NHS advice is to raise the issue with a health and safety representative, and the employer then has a duty to look into the problem.

The Causes of Sick Building Syndrome

There are believed to be various causes of sick building syndrome, but among them is inadequate ventilation, with not enough outside air coming in. Dirty air conditioning units, contaminated duct work and filters which need replacing are also implicated. The Health and Safety Executive advises employers to carry out a survey of staff and examine the cleanliness of the whole building, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. 

If you discover that there is a build-up of grease and dirt in air conditioning systems, or that filters need replacing, contact an air duct cleaning specialist and arrange for your system to be cleaned. Also check the schedule you have for ventilation duct cleaning is suitable, as you might need to up its frequency. 

How to Prevent Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome obviously affects individuals in the workplace, but it also affects businesses, with staff taking days off sick and resulting loss of production. It could even lead to people leaving their jobs because of the bad conditions, and make it harder to recruit replacements.

For all these reasons, businesses must work to prevent sick building syndrome, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to schedule regular air duct cleaning. Ingot can help to draw up a schedule that is right for your organisation. Effective ductwork cleaning will help both the workforce and the employer, improving health and helping productivity. Our nationwide service is available in areas including Ipswich and Suffolk, Norwich and Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bristol and London.  

Ingot Services  – Follow the link for more information or call 0800 731 7892.