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Five Ways to Keep Your Kitchen Clean

By | Kitchens | No Comments

Whether you’re preparing food in a residential kitchen or running a commercial kitchen, following proper sanitation measures for cleanliness is a must. Of course, commercial kitchens must follow certain procedures as determined by individual state regulations (as required by their respective health departments) to stay up to code or risk being fined, shut down, or forced into doing costly adjustments. However, many of these often mandated cleaning tips are good measure for everyone!

1. Plan ahead to keep your kitchen up to code.

Even though customers might not see the kitchen, food safety is a must and mandated by law for public health protection. You never know when an inspector might show up! Given the importance of following these required protocols and the effect it can have on your business, take time to plan and invest in safety procedures. This includes buying products that are NSF certified to meet these strict standards. These can include purchasing a commercial-grade stainless steel sink, prep tables, work tables, utility tables, and more. Don’t forget about stainless steel kitchen islands and a kitchen work table, too – even if you are only working at home or working in a smaller-scale kitchen operation.

To eliminate the potential risk of being fined or shut down by the state health department, it is highly advisable to check with your individual area’s requirements and apply for plan review before you begin any renovations, construction or plumbing installation. For instance, drain boards are typically required to meet health codes, as they help limit the growth of mold and bacteria growth. Separate attachable drain boards can be purchased to bring existing equipment up to current code, if purchasing all new equipment is not currently in the budget.

2. Choose low-maintenance, easy- to-clean surfaces such as stainless steel.

As mentioned, planning out your kitchen equipment is a vital step in keeping your kitchen clean. Stainless steel is one of the most popular materials for not only kitchen sinks but also utility sinks, garage sinks, laundry sinks, and more because it is nearly indestructible, affordable, easy to clean, low maintenance, and well-known for its antibacterial properties – making it ideal for commercial kitchens.

In addition, there are many grades of highly durable stainless steel that will meet the necessary FDA conditions to be considered food-safe. Therefore, it is wise to consider investing in stainless steel for not only the sink, but also for the other important surfaces in your kitchen area, including prep tables, work tables, kitchen work table, utility tables, and stainless steel kitchen islands.

3. Sanitize all surfaces thoroughly

When cleaning up after meals, it is common to just wipe up the areas that were directly used in the preparation process, such as the countertop. However, to avoid cross-contamination, it is imperative to thoroughly sanitize all surfaces, especially kitchen work tables, prep tables, wall mounted shelfs, and even the stainless steel sink or the stainless steel kitchen islands.

In addition, there is a distinction between cleaning and sanitizing, as anyone in the food handling industry should know. “Cleaning” often refers to simply removing food and other soiling at a surface level (that is, visible to the naked eye).  “Sanitizing” actually utilizes heat or chemicals, intended to reduce the amount of microorganisms on a clean surface to safe levels (beyond those visible to the eye). Sanitizing should be done on a regular basis, but is absolutely necessary after any surface contacts raw food, which includes cutting boards and knives.

Also, avoid common kitchen cleaning mistakes, such as allowing certain items to dry on the sink’s surface, such as sponges, towels or rags. Doing so can harbor bacteria. Also, avoid leaving rubber dish mats and cleaning pads in the sink. Since they are designed to trap water, they too can lead to harmful harboring of bacteria.

4. Use specific cleaning solutions for different areas of the kitchen

To avoid cross-contamination, it is important to execute a variety of different cleaning methods, as appropriate for different zones of the kitchen. For instance, front of house areas versus back. These methods often employ higher levels of cleaning, such as disinfection and sterilization.  These include the utilization of higher heat and higher chemical concentration. For example, non-food contact surfaces such as floors and walls of a kitchen might use disinfection. Sterilization is typically used for medical equipment and food processing equipment, but not in a standard kitchen environment.

Because of the often varied ways to clean, having separate cleaning stations is a must. Front of kitchen areas need at least one stainless steel sink, while back of house areas need a separate utility sink for mops and such. In a typical residential household, having a separate laundry sink or garage sink would be very useful to avoid tracking dirt and bacteria into the kitchen sink area.

5. Practice correct washing and cleaning procedures for sinks.

Sinks require certain cleaning procedures to be up to code and meet minimum health safety standards, so it is important to factor in the time and labor involved to stay compliant. This includes factoring in your daily customer volume, as well as staff. Regularly cleaning your sinks and surrounding areas is a vital part of any business.

First, thoroughly clean each sink, drain board, and surrounding areas before cleaning any dishes, glasses, pots, pans, or other kitchen wares. Next, rinse out each sink and use a commercial sanitizing agent that is intended for use in a food prep area to wash all surfaces. Don’t forget to include the drain boards and faucet handles. When finished, rinse the entire sink with clean water and allow it to drain.  Then, begin the cleaning and sanitizing process as required for all items needing to be washed.

In addition, properly cleaning, whether for a kitchen or a utility sink, ensures long-term use and performance. For best results, combine a basic daily treatment with thorough weekly cleansing. For a stainless steel sink, this might include weekly use of a soft abrasive cleaner, followed by cleaning with warm water, sponge or clean cloth to maintain a shiny finish.

Why You Should Incorporate Stainless Steel Products in Your Next Renovation

By | Bars, Bathrooms, Cafeterias, Janitorial Rooms, Kitchens, Professional Offices, Restaurants, Salons, Warehouses | No Comments

When choosing to undergo a renovation, whether commercial or residential, there are always many points to consider. Budget, design, and durability are usually some of the main considerations, as well as of course taking into account the intended purpose and use of the newly reconditioned space.

For instance, someone restoring their dream home likely will factor in a bigger budget for higher quality materials since they view the project as a long-term investment, versus someone looking to do a quick remodel and flip. Similarly, even if the intention behind a renovation is to rent/lease the space rather than live in it, consideration might be made to invest in more durable as well as timeless materials (even if the cost is higher) so the renovation will hold value with high-traffic wear. For commercial builders, many of the same considerations apply. Commercial builders also usually have the advantage of working with larger quantities and bulk rate discounts, which can make even higher-end products more appealing.

Regardless of the reasons and purpose of the renovation, many people are turning to stainless steel products because of their unique ability to fulfill almost every aspect of a home or commercial space makeover wish list. There are also options to suit any budget. As a result, stainless steel has been a staple finish in many commercial as well as residential settings for decades, with no sign of slowing down. Stainless steels are iron alloys with a minimum of 10.5% chromium, combined with other alloying elements for enhanced strength, formability, and durability. While trendy surfaces come and go, stainless steel has remained a leading choice for many reasons.

Stainless steel is extremely versatile, and is commonly found in both commercial and residential kitchens, including one of the most popular, the stainless steel sink. Stainless steel is known for its strength, stain and heat resistance, making it an ideal choice for the kitchen. The non-porous, hygienic surface is great for food preparation and is very easy to clean and maintain. As a result, other areas of the kitchen beyond the sink are also utilizing this strong, sturdy material, such as for the kitchen work table, other side prep tables, and even stainless steel kitchen islands. Commercial kitchens are often required to have at least one utility sink in the kitchen, as well, and stainless steel is an ideal choice.

Stainless steel’s reflective surface also can help a small kitchen appear larger. Stainless steel is also often integrated into backsplashes, drain boards and soap dispensers, with its neutral color easily complementing almost any décor. It is also usually easy to match to pre-existing appliances and hoods, for a streamlined design.

Stainless steel is also a great choice for other areas as well, such as a single stainless steel table (or many work tables), which can provide invaluable workstation space across many different trades, as well as for professional offices such as doctors’ offices. Stainless steel does not rust or corrode as easily as regular steel, making it a great durable option.

Warehouses and salons are two other examples of places that would benefit from having a stainless steel table, a utility sink, or multiple utility tables at each worker’s station. Residential garages also often have a need for garage sinks, a laundry sink, or some stainless steel work tables for DIY projects.

Bathrooms are also another popular area where people often turn to stainless steel. Many people first consider using chrome to refresh and update the bathroom, as it may seem like a good choice due to its affordability and high-shine initial appeal at the point of sale. However, for a lasting and more durable finish, stainless steel is the clear winner. With time, chrome plating is likely to corrode due factors such as water damage, heat, or hot and cold air coming into contact with the product – making that initial shiny aesthetic start to look worn and dull quickly.

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is much better for lasting durability and well-known for its hardwearing properties. While not completely stain-proof, stainless steel is much more resistant to staining, corrosion, and rust than chrome. In addition, stainless steel can also be highly polished to provide a stylish, modern appearance. Given its robust appeal and lasting performance, stainless steel can even be a surprisingly affordable alternative to chrome. A stainless steel sink can also be an unexpected and stunning focal point for a bathroom renovation, and is a great choice for a row of commercial sinks.

Stainless Steel Benefits Include:

  • Exceptional Affordability – While there are many varying grades of stainless steel, with choice often dependent on intended application and budget, there are few other materials that offer the many benefits of stainless steel at such competitive price points.
  • Durability – Stainless steel is ideal for heavy-duty use, perfect for sinks, work tables, trays, and more. It is heat-resistant, and won’t chip, crack, fade, or stain.
  • Easy maintenance – One of the most favorable attributes of stainless steel is that it is easy to clean, wiping down quickly after use. It also retains a great luster even after years of use and cleanings.
  • Lightweight – While other materials may offer equal strength, stainless steel is unique because it offers strength without the bulk and heaviness of other comparable materials. It can also be formed into larger, deeper basins.
  • Corrosion-Resistant – Adding to its durability, stainless steel is a metal which is rust and corrosion-resistant, making it an ideal choice for lasting performance and a like-new appearance.
  • Eco-Friendly – Stainless steel is a recyclable material, making it an ideal choice for companies and individuals striving to go green and promote sustainability in their business and personal practices.