When buying commercial kitchen cleaning chemicals there are some important considerations to be made. Before we get into it maybe this is a good time to look at your overall business offering and discuss with a hygiene consultant to insure the correct approach and where the potential hygiene hazards and trip points are.
Maybe our article here in relation to understanding the potential hazards and getting a broader understanding surrounding the best practices in chemical application, disinfection control may help with your set up and knowledge regarding bacteria and pathogens and how they are managed within a working environment.
So let’s get into it:
A hygiene audit and consultation with a trusted hygiene company can be worth its weight in gold. From a hygiene standpoint best practices are always the main consideration in terms of temperature control, (HACCP) hazard analysis critical control points, (COSHH) control of substances hazardous to health and so forth.
COSHH, known as the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, are intended to protect people from ill health caused by exposure to hazardous substances.
The Regulations require employers to:
- assess the risks to health and safety to all staff
- decide what precautions are needed to prevent accident or ill health
- prevent or control exposure in the workplace
- make sure that the control measures are used and maintained at all times
- monitor exposure and carry out health surveillance where appropriate
- ensure that all employees are properly trained and informed and supervised
When using chemicals within a flammable and challenging workplace the emphasis is always on safety first. The correct training and PPE workwear should always be used and we shall visit some of these areas within the next few best practice tips we have to offer here.
What is a hazardous substance?
- Chemicals that are classified under 'Chemicals (Hazard Information and Packaging for Supply) Regulations' and are identified by a orange hazard warning symbols usually carried on the rear of the container e.g. very toxic, toxic, harmful, corrosive etc. Be careful with containers that are not marked!
- Any substance or substances that has been assigned to a workplace exposure limit (previously Occupational Exposure Standard - OES's and Maximum Exposure Limit - MEL's).
HACCP is a systematic approach to the accurate identification, evaluation, and control of food safety hazards based on the following seven principles:
Step 1: Conduct a professional and complete hazard analysis.
Step 2: Determine the critical control points relative to your industry(CCPs).
Step 3: Establish a list of critical limits.
Step 4: Establish correct and accurate monitoring procedures.
Step 5: Establish a set of corrective actions.
Step 6: Establish verification procedures.
Step 7: Establish a up to date record-keeping and documentation procedure.
This is an example structure of best practice in terms of evaluating at potential hazard, building a structure around the points and limits of practice. Then how to implement corrective actions alongside the documentation procedure.
Understanding the risks factors is a key part of setting up and buying commercial kitchen cleaning chemicals for any business specially where food is concerned. Risks come in many forms and cross contamination or high risk foods are top of the list in terms of potential risk factors.
Best practices in terms of refrigeration and temperature control alone are simply not enough. A system needs to be employed and diligently trained into the whole team in contact with such produce.
Everything from colour coded chopping boards to prevent cross contamination to temperature control logs and time and date labels are standard practice in a professional kitchen.
The chemicals themselves:
For medium to large commercial kitchens it is important to consider they type of chemicals and how they are dosed within the kitchen. Sometimes space is at a premium and it is not always possible to have a chemical store room separate from the kitchen workspace.
We have found that using our Brightwell dispensing systems in particular the Brightwell eco multi compact 5 mixing station is a perfect solution and can be used from 2 chemical to five chemicals and can also include a bucket fill.
This system works with a 2 liitre concentrate chemical in a pouch or bladder refill method. The end use cost is the big benefit here and we average a €0.42 cent per 500ml spray bottle for both sanitizer and degreaser.
Also important to note that when we install our dosing systems, we give full training and a colour coded wall chart to show additional new staff for example just how to apply and use in a safe manner our full range of concentrated products.
We supply both mains fed water mixing stations and stand alone super c dispensers that simply allow the user to fill the bottle with water and then proceed to place a shot of chemical into the bottle, screw on the spray nozzle and apply.
With tip no.4 we want to focus on the chemicals in terms of efficacy and contact time. Just what is efficacy and what is contact time? Also a common question we are asked is, are all chemicals food safe in terms of raw food and we endeavor to answer all of the above right now.
When looking at efficacy it is crucial that when receiving chemicals from your hygiene supplier that they furnish you with the correct paperwork. Firstly all the chemicals in concentrate form should be labelled correctly and stored in a safe environment at a safe temperature.
From there at a minimum you should have a MSDS safety data sheet. This is law and very important that you show to staff and make them familiar with the contents and potential hazards when applying same.
Next is a laboratory certification in regards to the efficacy of the product or chemical in use. This will normally show a set of tests relevant to the area, surface, bacteria, spore etc that you are ultimately trying to eliminate.
Do not settle for anything less than these two crucial documents. It is very important that the product you are purchasing Is not only safe and economical to use but also efficacious in its delivery of cleaning or sanitizing.
Another important part of the equation is contact time, what is contact time and how do I find out what is recommended for the product I am using.
Your supplier should provide training around this subject. Too often we find that cleaners, staff, and indeed owners are applying a sanitizer to a surface for example and wiping it straight off. Sanitizers and disinfectants need anything from 30 seconds to 4 minutes on average to deal with the harder to kill pathogens and spores, like C.difficile, Norovirus etc.
When using a kitchen degreaser, it need 30 seconds minimum to digest and start to break down the grease and fats on a surface. The products will generally contain surfactants that encourage the product to cling to the surface and not simply run off.
These are just some of the important elements to deciding on who to get supply from, if your current supplier just drops boxes of product at your door and doesn’t invest the time in your business maybe it is time to consider giving it to a reputable company to who will.
How do I know if my hygiene supplier is really looking after me? This is we know a very loaded question.
The signs for bad service are the following:
- Lack of training, no ongoing training provided
- Bad service, bad delivery(box dropping)
- Allowing a free pour set up, overuse of chemical, (glug glug technique)
- Not offering the correct paperwork, MSDS or laboratory certification
- Chemicals not delivering on results, or wrong application of same where damage is being caused.
- Dosing equipment not serviced regularly.
If any or all of the above are familiar to you, it simply doesn’t have to be this way. For a free no obligation consultation call us today on 01-5047022 or email us @ [email protected]