Friday, 1 August 2014

Commercial Kitchen Cleaners – Restaurants Fined for Poor Hygiene

Restaurants Fined Thousands for Poor Hygiene – Commercial Kitchen Cleaners Would Have Been Cheaper

Arranging regular, scheduled cleaning by commercial kitchen cleaners can be a sound investment in your food business, in more ways than one – as some restaurants have recently discovered to their cost.

Courts are taking hygiene in restaurants seriously and are not afraid to impose significant fines on offenders. Here are just a few examples from the first half of 2014:

  • A French "fine-dining" restaurant in Hove was fined a whopping £10,000 in May this year after inspectors found a number of serious hygiene problems, including a fruit fly infestation, a dangerous build up of grease in duct work, and food waste left on floors.
  • In April, an Indian restaurant in Gillingham was fined £800, plus £2000 in costs, after cockroaches were discovered in a kitchen described as "filthy".
  • Meanwhile, a Brighton restaurant was fined nearly £9000 in January, after inspectors found extensive evidence of mouse droppings within the kitchen. In addition the restaurant was forced to close down while the premises were cleaned and treated.

In the case of the Hove restaurant, inspectors gave the restaurant notice of the problems which needed to be addressed and only proceeded to prosecute when it was clear on a further inspection, a few weeks later, that many of the hygiene issues had still not been dealt with. A single call to commercial cleaning contractor could have resolved the entire issue for them in a weekend – and saved them several thousand pounds.

The Real Cost of Prosecution
The fines that are possible following a successful prosecution for poor hygiene can be high enough to make a severe impact on the cashflow of a business. Not many small businesses can easily find £10,000, for instance, and in some cases this type of fine could even threaten the viability of your business.

But financial cost aside, a more serious – and long-lasting – problem is probably the negative publicity surrounding a hygiene prosecution. All such cases are a matter of public record and a court case inevitably means press attention.

Local papers are always on the lookout for items relating to the local area and won't hesitate to publish the details of the case and a picture of the premises in question. And it's not hard to predict the likely effect on customers of this type of publicity.

Even if the hygiene problem itself is sorted out quickly and thoroughly, a bad reputation can take years to recover from. In many cases the only solution may be to sell up or to completely rename and relaunch the business – with obvious costs involved.

Commercial Kitchen Cleaners – Business Insurance for Restaurants
Using professional kitchen cleaners on a regular basis effectively acts as a form of business insurance for restaurants, takeaways and other food outlets:

Regular, scheduled, professional cleans can help to prevent prosecutions, fines and negative publicity by preventing hygiene problems building up to serious levels. Kitchen deep cleaning also makes it far easier for kitchen staff to maintain good daily hygiene practices afterwards.

Even when staff are vigilant about cleaning in the areas they can reasonably access (worktops, floors etc), they can't get everywhere. It is often the invisible places (under and behind appliances) where dirt can build up to a point that it can attract pests, leading to infestations.

In addition, being able to demonstrate that your premises are cleaned regularly by professionals (in addition to a good daily cleaning regime, of course) is invaluable in the event of a hygiene inspection.

Protect your business and make a professional kitchen cleaning service part of your hygiene solution by calling Ingot Services today or visiting our site at