A clean kitchen means a healthy kitchen. Maintaining the highest levels of hygiene will stop bugs from accumulating in your kitchen and will also help to prevent accidents. Apart from the hygiene and food safety aspects, kitchens can also be dangerous places to work in, with many potential hazards like hot surfaces, slippery floors, sharp equipment and hazardous chemicals.

Kitchen hygiene tips

  • Always clean surfaces first with detergent to remove any grease or dirt, then apply disinfectant to kill any remaining germs.
  • Allow time at the end of the working day to thoroughly clean the kitchen so it’s ready for the next day.
  • Surfaces and equipment that come into contact with food are the most important, but don’t forget to regularly clean walls, floors and storage areas.
  • Do not just wipe surfaces and utensils with a damp cloth. Remember that towels and cloths can contain a lot of germs themselves, and you could end up simply spreading them around.
  • Keep kitchens free of clutter.
  • Do not allow pets into the kitchen.
  • Keep the floor dry by quickly mopping up any spilled liquids.
  • Cleaning substances should leave no toxic or tainting residue.

Make a list of things to clean in a kitchen
Walk through your kitchen and make a list of everything that needs cleaning. Be sure to review this list regularly. Also note that some equipment may need to be cleaned more than others. Focus more on those utensils that are more likely to be touched by food handlers, such as;

  • Cooker knobs
  • Can openers
  • Door handles
  • Fridges
  • Knives
  • Microwaves
  • Sinks

Main steps for cleaning and disinfecting

  • Pre-clean – remove all leftovers and visible surface waste.
  • Main clean – use a detergent to clean away tiny bits of waste.
  • Rinse – use running water to wash away the detergent and small bits of waste.
  • Disinfect – use this to kill remaining bacteria.
  • Final rinse – use running water to wash away the disinfectant.
  • Drying – natural drying is the best, if this is not possible then use disposable towels.

Cleaning schedules
This is a simple way to organise the routine daily, weekly and monthly cleaning of your kitchen. A cleaning schedule should list:

  • What items need to be cleaned.
  • When they have to be cleaned.
  • How often they should be cleaned.
  • How they should be cleaned.
  • Who is responsible for cleaning what.

Tips on writing up a cleaning schedule

  • Ensure that any cleaning schedule chart is waterproof.
  • It should have a space for the cleaner to sign once the cleaning has been done.
  • It should have a space for a supervisor to sign once they have checked the cleaning.
  • Tell staff members what their responsibilities are.
  • Include on the chart any special cleaning instructions.

Cleaning materials

  • Chemicals must be stored in their original, labelled containers.
  • Always use non-absorbent, washable and non-toxic materials to wash surfaces with.
  • Dilute cleaners according to their instructions.
  • Never put food cleaning materials into unmarked containers or food containers.
  • Do not use bleach indiscriminately.
  • Store all cleaning materials and equipment away from food in separate cupboards or rooms.

Empty bins daily, and do not let them overflow.

These should be light in colour (allows you to see dirt), and have a smooth finish. Textured plasterwork, absorbent ceiling tiles and artex should be avoided.

Cleaning food preparation surfaces
For optimum cleaning food preparation surfaces and worktops should be smooth and washable.
Sanitize the food preparation area frequently during continual use, i.e. once every four hours.

Deep cleaning
The frequency of kitchen deep cleaning depends on it’s usage and the demands placed upon the kitchen itself.

Detergents such as washing up liquids are designed to dissolve grease, oil and dirt.

Such as bleach, are designed to kill germs. They along with other anti-bacterial cleaners will not work effectively unless you use them properly. When using disinfectants make sure you leave them on for the length of time recommended by the manufacturer. Cleaning chemicals tend to be concentrated, meaning they have to be diluted with water before they can be used, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when doing this.

Drying items
When drying things like plates or knives, try and let the item air-dry, but if this is not possible, then use paper towels or a clean dry cloth.

Clean these out regularly with soap and water.

Kitchen ventilation
Cooking facilities should be positioned with ventilation requirements in mind.

Protective clothing
Wear gloves, hairnets and aprons etc.

Sanitize them with a mild bleach solution. Do this by combining bleach with water in a labelled spray bottle, then spraying the solution on the surface or utensil and letting it stand briefly, then rinsing with lots of clean water and a cloth, and finally air drying or using clean towels.

Wipe down the sinks at the end of the working day.

Cleans up all spillages as soon as they happen.

These should have a smooth, hard wearing finish, be light in colour and be heat and steam resistant.

Wash your hands regularly
Wash your hands after going to the toilet, sneezing, touching your nose etc.

Washing utensils
Use soapy water to wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops, and then rinse with running  water.

Worktop surfaces
Clean these both before and after you have finished preparing any food on them.


Food hygiene course online