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Cleaning and Food Safety

6 October 2023

Cleaning and food safety are inseparable terms. A clean kitchen is one that has been thoroughly cleaned to prevent the contamination of food by living and non-living contaminants. Cleaning safely does not mean cleaning areas and surfaces you can see only. Cleaning safely means cleaning in places you cannot see.


Priority Cleaning and Food Safety

High priority cleaning should be given to items that are frequently touched. Examples include water taps, door handles, light switches, etc. These should be cleaned more than once a day to prevent contamination and should be cleaned and allowed to dry naturally after every shift. Allowing items to dry naturally removes the chance of contamination by using towels.

A kitchen must be properly cleaned and sanitised. It is of utmost importance to follow the guides and instructions provided with the cleaning agents to prevent chemical contamination of food.


Cleaning Plan

The following six-point cleaning plan is one example of achieving cleaning and food safety:

  1. Pre-clean. Remove all debris and loose dirt (e.g., sweep floors, wipe work surfaces).
  2. Main Clean. Remove grease and waste using detergent and appropriate cleaning materials with hot water.
  3. Rinse. Remove detergent.
  4. Disinfect. Use the appropriate agent. Always follow manufacturers instructions.
  5. Final Rinse. Use potable water to remove all traces of disinfectant.
  6. Dry. Air dry or use disposable towels to avoid the chance of contamination by reusable towels.

All kitchen work areas should be cleaned after each task.

You can find out all about essential food safety in eLearn Safety fully online food safety course Food Safety (HACCP) Level 1 which is based on the training criteria set down by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland’s Guide to Food Safety Training Level 1.

There are many additional resources available online that look into great detail of cleaning and food safety. For example SafeFood has plenty of very useful information on their website page titled Kitchen hygiene and food safety.


General Advices on Cleaning and Food Safety

To keep the kitchen clean, always ensure the following:

  • Always clean as you work.
  • Make sure that your work area is cleaned and disinfected after each task and that all waste is cleared away.
  • Ensure your work space is as clean and uncluttered as possible as otherwise this could lead to cross-contamination and is a hazard.
  • Try to leave tasks such as the preparation of raw meat until last. Always clean and disinfect  thoroughly the work area immediately after preparing or handling raw meat.

Never store chemicals in the same area as food. If food gets contaminated, it can seriously harm all that consume contaminated food.


Online Food Safety Training

Please remember – it is a legal requirement that staff who are involved in a food environment are trained and/or supervised commensurate with their work activity!

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Food Safety (HACCP) courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email