Food Services Solutions Articles

Germiest Places in Restaurants

Identifying the most contaminated places in the restaurant is an opportunity for customers to be aware of what to avoid or watch for. At the same time, it provides the operator a great opportunity to differentiate from competition and impress customers with great cleaning practices and attention to detail. A clean restroom is always a plus in any business. However, restrooms are not among the top dirtiest places on the recent studies conducted among restaurants.

In a survey from ABC news it was found that:

  •      -70% of chairs had pathogenic bacteria
  •      -Menus were in second place among number of pathogenic microorganisms
  •      -50% of lemon wedges had traces of fecal matter
  •      -50% of condiments were rarely cleaned
  •      -Tables were on 5th place even as the health department considers them a food contact surface

As a result, cleaning the back and arms of the chairs regularly should be a part of the restaurant practices. It is recommended to color code cleaning towels and use a color for chairs and door handles and a different color for menus, condiments, and tables. It is important to review staff procedures to cut lemons, limes, and bar garnishes and ask customers before automatically including any of these garnishes on drinks.

Continuous training and making the staff aware of these findings while connecting the sanitation practices from a Food Handler course to training and implementation is crucial. Remember to always apply cleaning and sanitizing process in the correct order and without combining steps. Start by removing food (scrape), then wash (warm soap and water), rinse, sanitize, finish with air drying to any surface that would normally come in contact with food and customers hands. This procedure is not only for dish ware and utensils, it should be extended to many other surfaces. As always, adequate employee hand-washing practices are essential to maintain a responsible and efficient food operation. Make sure food handlers know the correct procedures, review for accuracy, and reinforce consistent practices.

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