When inspecting your establishment, EHOs will want to see thorough records of your food safety checks, including temperature verification, maintenance procedures - and cleaning.
That’s why we’ve put together three handy and comprehensive digital restaurant kitchen cleaning checklists. This will help you keep your establishment in tip-top shape, and ready for an unexpected visit from the local authorities.
Don’t forget you’ll need to keep written records of these cleaning checks too, whether in a digital or paper format - but more on that later.
First things first. Why is cleaning so important?
Cleaning is a critical component of ensuring that the food you sell is safe for consumption.
It helps reduce the risk of cross-contamination, preventing harmful bacteria or viruses from spreading to food. It also helps prevent pest infestations.
In fact, cleaning is considered one of the “4 Cs of food safety” according to the Food Standards Agency, along with cross-contamination, cooking and chilling.
Poor cleaning can lead to serious consequences in a food environment - such as food poisoning.
Having a cleaning checklist helps you maintain good hygiene standards, which in turn allows you to create a safe environment for preparing food.
So what exactly is a checklist?
A checklist is essentially a template of tasks which outlines the steps you need to follow to complete a certain process.
A restaurant cleaning checklist is, therefore, a standardised “list” of all the cleaning tasks that need to be done by your team. Regularly washing oven gloves is an example of a specific task that could be included in a checklist.
A useful tool, a checklist helps keep things organised and orderly, and gives you the confidence to delegate tasks.
You can find out more about the benefits of checklists for food businesses in this article.
What makes a good cleaning checklist?
We caught up with our food safety consultants to get a better understanding of what a good restaurant cleaning checklist looks like.
“Above all else, checklists should be clear to ensure that your team knows precisely what needs to be done”.
There’s no point in including technical jargon or complicated language - keep things simple.
You should review your checklists regularly to ensure they are still relevant to your operation. You don’t want to include unnecessary checks that result in your team wasting time.
Finally, your restaurant kitchen cleaning checklists should be concise. Avoid overly detailed explanations and too many items as it can become difficult and onerous to complete them.
Daily restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist
You need to make sure that the general state of the kitchen is clean and in good working order on a daily basis.
Following a good checklist can help you maintain a consistent schedule and procedure within your commercial kitchen.
Different businesses may require different cleaning checklists to suit their operations, but here are some of the key elements you’ll want to include in your daily restaurant cleaning checklist:
Daily Cleaning Task
Equipment & machinery
Cloths, sponges & gloves
Sinks & washbasins
Remember - You should always read the manufacturer instructions of any cleaning products you use to ensure they are safe to use on food-contact surfaces.
You can read FSA’s guidance on how to clean effectively in your food business here.
Weekly restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist
Your weekly checklist should include operational tasks that need to be completed regularly, but not necessarily on a daily basis. Here are some of the key elements your weekly restaurant kitchen checklist should cover:
Weekly Cleaning Task
Canopies & extractors
Dry storage areas
Fridges & freezers
Fixed units / equipment (underneath)
Monthly restaurant kitchen cleaning checklist
When it comes to monthly restaurant kitchen cleaning checks, the most important thing is to ensure all daily and weekly checks have been done, and verify that everything is clean and in good working order.
Monthly Cleaning Task
All kitchen equipment is clean and in good working order
The general state of the kitchen is clean and in good working order
All daily and weekly cleaning checks have been completed
Traditional vs digital kitchen cleaning checks
As a food operator, you have a responsibility to evidence due diligence. This includes keeping records of all your food hygiene checks.
The cost of paper checklists
Many restaurants are still using paper for their checks, which can be time-consuming and labour intensive.
What’s more, having piles of unorganised paperwork laying around may hinder your food hygiene rating.
EHOs like to see that have complete control over your kitchen documentation and that you are confident in the way you manage food safety within your establishment.
If you’re looking for a word template / printable cleaning checklist for your restaurant or commercial kitchen, you may want to consider making the switch to a more convenient and eco-friendly digital solution.
The advantages of using digital kitchen checklists
You should opt for a digital food hygiene diary or app instead of paper - this allows you to log all your cleaning tasks by simply tapping a few buttons.
Making the switch to digital also saves your busy team valuable time that can be spent elsewhere. Furthermore, it cuts costs and reduces your carbon footprint.
For example: the Hubl app’s pre-populated cleaning checklists for restaurants have been reviewed by EHOs, so they include everything you need to pass an inspection.
EHO-reviewed cleaning checklist
Less paper = smaller carbon footprint
Time-saving digitalised tasks
All your food hygiene checks in one place
Cleaning effectively in your business, Food Standards Agency, Last Updated in May 2020, Accessed in May 2022
Cleaning, Food Standards Agency, Last Updated in May 2020, Accessed in May 2022