Cleaning and Sanitising in Food Businesses – Part I

Follow workplace hygiene proceduresCleaning and sanitising is important

It is a legal requirement that a food premises, its fixtures, fittings and equipment, be maintained in a clean condition. Additionally, it is a requirement that all food contact surfaces be sanitised.

Cleaning and sanitising are two separate and important issues. They help prevent the growth and spread of organisms that cause food-borne illness, and help reduce the activity of pests in the food premises.

As cleaning and sanitising often involve using chemicals and special equipment, it is recommended that you seek advice from a reputable chemical supplier.

The legal requirements

A food business must maintain the food premises and its fixtures, fittings and equipment, to a standard of cleanliness where there is no accumulation of:

  • Food waste,

  • Dirt,

  •  Grease, or

  • Other visible matter.

‘Cleanliness’ means that surfaces are clean to touch and free of visible matter, and without a bad odour. A food business must also ensure that eating and drinking utensils, and food-contact surfaces of equipment, are clean and sanitised.

Garbage and recycled matter needs to be stored in appropriate containers.

How to effectively clean

Cleaning generally involves the following steps:

1. Scraping, wiping or sweeping away food scraps and rinsing with water.

2. Washing using hot water and detergent to remove grease and dirt (protective gloves may be required).

3. Rinsing off any loose dirt or detergent residue.