When you are a restaurant owner, your top priorities are to prepare the most delicious menu selection, put up amazing décor, and provide exceptional service. However, all of these will be useless if your kitchen and dining areas are messy and untidy.
Poor and low-quality cleaning practices may result in the spread of common bacteria such as E. coli and listeria that may cause your customers to get sick, or worse.
Ever since the pandemic started, some people are having second thoughts about dining out in public because of the potential health risks. Now more than ever, patrons expect restaurants to be sanitized and disinfected to stay safe from the dreaded virus.
Sanitizing vs. Cleaning – What’s the Difference?
The moment food comes into close contact with germ-contaminated surfaces, these germs may get transferred to people who consume the food. Common surfaces that may be contaminated with germs include knives, cutting boards, pots, pans, and counters. To stop the germs from spreading, it is important to clean and sanitize all these surfaces.
Cleaning refers to the act of getting rid of grime, debris, and dirt from surfaces. Sanitizing, on the other hand, helps reduce the number of germs to a safe level according to public health standards. This can be done either by disinfecting or the use of chemicals to kill germs or by cleaning or removing the germs. Cleaning the surface is a must before sanitizing it to ensure that the chemicals will adhere better to the surface and work their wonders.
Are There Food-Safe Sanitizers?
Since the pandemic started, people have also become more conscious of the cleaning products and tools they use to be sure that these will be strong enough for killing off viruses and germs. However, when cleaning around and near food, harsher and stronger chemicals may not be the best options and may even pose danger.
Chemicals that are labeled as disinfectants are considered the most effective when it comes to killing germs. However, these are not approved nor recommended to be used in areas with food contact. This is why it is necessary to use sanitizers in commercial kitchens. Unfortunately, not all sanitizers are considered food-safe sanitizers.
Your customers may get sick if you use non-food grade sanitizer in food service areas. Once the food comes into contact with these chemicals, these chemicals can cause vomiting or nausea. And when the chemicals are applied the wrong way, your employees may end up suffering from skin and eye irritation or even breathing issues.
The food code of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifies several chemical sanitizers approved for surfaces with food contact such as quaternary ammonium, iodine, and chlorine. Quaternary ammonium compounds, also known as QACS or quats are substances that combine virus and bacteria-killing agents with detergents.
By definition, disinfectants and sanitizers are pesticides, and this is the reason why the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency regulate them. Always make sure you use products that are safe to be used in foodservice areas.
Contact Courtesy Building Services Inc for the best commercial cleaning services to ensure the utmost cleanliness and safety in your restaurant!