Friday, 1 August 2014

Duct Work Cleaning – Commercial Kitchen Cleaning in Peak Summer

Don't Neglect Kitchen and Duct Work Cleaning During Peak Summer Season

Duct work cleaning and hygiene in commercial kitchens is important for customer safety – and the reputation of your business – all year round. But for many food businesses, summer is the busiest time of the year, as well as being the hottest, making maintaining hygiene levels a bigger challenge than normal. 

Many restaurants and food outlets experience a summer surge in business for a number of reasons, and summer 2014 is no exception:
  •  Restaurants, cafes and takeaways located in popular tourist locations will usually have a summer season and some will even close over the winter.
  • As well as serving the local population, there is usually an influx of tourists to many UK cities and attractions.
  • The school holidays – combined with an increase in families taking holidays at home in the UK – means that there are more people out and about during the day, looking for places to eat.
  • The World Cup and Commonwealth Games, both taking place this summer, mean more people opting for takeaways or combining watching football on a big screen with a pub meal.
  • The economic upturn is encouraging people to eat out more often, even if it's only a high street takeaway.
  • Finally, this summer is already delivering far better weather than last year, and many people are keen to make the most of it, encouraging them to take advantage of longer summer evenings to socialise with friends and eat out more often.

But while food businesses relish the prospect of a summer boom, maintaining hygiene at this time of year is more challenging for a number of reasons:

  • Higher use of kitchens means waste, dirt and grease build up more quickly – perhaps faster than daily cleaning can cope with.
  • Kitchen staff are under extra pressure to deliver more meals to more customers, leaving them less time than usual to carry out vital daily cleaning.
  • Summer is a time when staff are more likely to take their holidays, and when it is most likely that the business takes on temporary staff – which means that cleaning standards can easily slip.
  • Higher ambient temperatures means food can go off more quickly and any bacteria present on surfaces can multiply to dangerous levels in a very short time.
  • Higher temperatures also means that food smells are stronger and can attract unwanted pests from much further afield.
  • Higher temperatures, even at night, within duct work means that any bacteria or mould present will breed faster; and, contaminated air is more likely to get back into the main kitchen (especially when the ventilation is turned off overnight), causing invisible but potentially serious hygiene problems.
  • Insects and bugs of all kinds are in peak breeding season and looking for easy food sources for their eggs and larvae. This means there is an increased chance of infestations which simply adds to the hygiene problem as well as attracting unwanted attention from customers and hygiene inspectors.

Our advice:
These extra summer hygiene challenges can be easily minimised and managed with a strong daily cleaning regime, combined with extra help from a professional cleaning company. We recommend:

  • Carrying out thorough duct work and kitchen extract cleaning at the start and end of the summer season. This is especially important for restaurants and takeaways with a high output of fried goods.
  • Minimising the build up of hygiene problems in the rest of the kitchen with regular commercial kitchen cleaning – at least pre-season and end of season. This should include areas inaccessible to daily cleaning such as behind and under cooking and preparation units – even small amounts of food left in these spaces can attract insects, mice and so on.
  • Minimising the impact on your business by choosing contractors willing to carry out cleaning at times to suit your opening hours. Ingot Services can arrange to clean overnight or at other times to minimise disruption to your business. If in doubt about the state of your duct work or other inaccessible places within the kitchen, get an inspection from a professional kitchen and ductwork cleaning contractor.

Call Ingot Services to arrange a visit on 0800 731 7892.

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