Simple Tips for Cleaning During COVID-19

The easiest fixes still are the most effective.

Careful cleaning has always been part of operating a restaurant. But with the coronavirus lurking, it can seem like best practices for cleaning that have been sufficient are now a little more than fool’s errands.

That’s not necessarily the case. While current times certainly call for more diligence and knowledge to keep kitchens coronavirus-free, the official recommendations for cleaning and sanitizing are relatively simple.

Among the guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency and other government departments:

Don’t abandon the basics. Simple soap and water remain the first step in the EPA’s recommendations for an effective cleaning routine. Cleaning regularly with soap and water will decrease the amount of virus on surfaces and objects, reducing risk of exposure and spread.

Use the right products. It’s when it comes to disinfecting high-touch areas after cleaning that what you use matters. Products on the EPA’s “List N” are found to be effective at killing COVID-19, so do your homework and check back for updates.

Move it out. Why clean what you don’t have to? To diners, sanitation trumps ambiance these days. Reduce risk by removing and storing anything that’s not necessary in a space.

Check that equipment is tiptop. Until the pandemic hit, you might have been fine knowing your equipment worked well enough. But if you’ve been putting off a maintenance call, don’t wait. For example, the Food and Drug Administration recommends verifying that your warewasher is operating at the required wash and rinse temps with the appropriate detergents and sanitizers. Optimal is better—not just for safety but also for efficiency.

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