No matter what type of industry you work in, if you prepare food and drinks then it is vital that you take food hygiene seriously. This means ensuring that you prepare food safely, maintaining a clean and tidy work prep environment while prioritising high personal hygiene standards.
Below we share a useful checklist of the tools and products that you need for when considering what food and beverage hygiene products you need when preparing food and drinks. These really are the essential items that you need to keep stocked up in your cupboards.
Dustpan and brushes
You should have a selection of dustpans and brushes, both in your food prep area and in any dining area. Ideally, they should be colour coded, so that you know where they are to be used. It is essential that all floors are kept free of any food debris or general dust and dirt, to prevent the risk of cross-contamination from floor to food.
Dishwashing brushes and soap
It is vital that all items used to prepare food and drink are thoroughly washed in hot soapy water. If you don’t have an industrial dishwasher, then you’ll need to invest in good quality dish brushes and dish soap. Dish brushes should have stiff bristles to effectively remove any dried-on food. Don’t forget that items such as chopping boards and blenders will also need to be thoroughly washed.
All food prep surfaces need to be kept clean and tidy at all times. This should be an ongoing task throughout the day. One quick and easy way to achieve this is by using disinfectant wipes, as you simply wipe the surface and throw the cloth away. This can help to prevent cross-contamination as the cloth is not reused.
Hygiene hand scrub brush
Personal hygiene is of great importance when preparing food and drinks. Handwashing is the biggest defence against passing on germs and bacteria to food and food surfaces. This is why every food prep area needs access to warm running water, hand soap and hygiene hand scrub brushes to ensure that hands and nails are hygienically clean.
J-cloth or coloured cloths
All areas in the kitchen require regular cleaning. This includes washing down surfaces, cutting boards and drinks machines after using them. This makes sure that the surfaces are clean and free from any spills and splashes of food. While cleaning, it is important to use cloths that have been designated to different areas, such as preparing meat, to avoid any cross-contamination. J cloths provide you with a disposable alternative, while coloured cloths make it easier to keep cloths in the designated area. They just need to be washed at the end of the day.
Disposable aprons and gloves
Personal protective equipment (PPE) can help to ensure that your food prep area is kept hygienically clean at all times. This is particularly vital if you are preparing raw food such as meat and fish. Hair should always be tied back and a cap or hairnet can provide an extra layer of protection. You can also give staff a generous supply of plastic aprons and disposable gloves when preparing foods. These need to be changed when leaving the kitchen, after breaks and after using the toilet.
Mop and bucket
Finally, every kitchen needs to have several mops and buckets. Again, these should be colour coded, depending on where they are to be used in the kitchen and what they will be cleaning, such as food spills or around cookers and food prep tables. Buckets need to be kept clean and all mops should be cleaned at the end of any shift.