Last issue we learned how the professionals keep their facilities free of vermin and how you can implement the same practices in your own home. Do you wonder how the large food companies keep their facilities so clean and spotless to ensure you get the highest quality product? I don’t know about you but I don’t always remember how long ago I cleaned behind the fridge, or how often I clean the range hood grills. Was it last month? Last year? The professionals use a fabulous tool to track cleaning that you can as well to make sure all is done on a regular basis and it’s called a “sanitation schedule”.
Yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a cleaning schedule that is posted in a convenient location where everyone can see it. It lists every component, every apparatus, every location that food touches and every other nook and cranny from receiving to production to packaging to the warehouse and finally shipping. Also on the schedule along with each item listed is when it should be cleaned, who’s responsible to make it happen and when it did happen. This ensures a uniform and continuous cleaning program that you can also schedule high traffic and critical areas for more intense cleaning.
You can do the same thing for your home. Great areas, to begin with, would be the kitchen and bathrooms. So what do we need to clean? Use a critical eye and look around the kitchen and break it down. Don’t forget any surfaces. As an example, I have behind the refrigerator scheduled as an annual chore and then for the stove vent hood, it’s done along with the grease traps and vents every other week May-Sept and then up to once a week Oct – Jan when we do more cooking and entertaining. How about inside the refrigerator? The door shelves, the produce storage bins, the ice bin. All items you may miss but with your sanitation schedule, you are confident they’re clean and fully operational. Don’t forget the pantry and other cabinets as well that you use to store food items. When you’re cleaning them also keep an eye out for signs of infestation like mouse droppings and that food is properly sealed so it won’t entice unwanted visitors.
Get the kids involved too by allowing them to make a cleaning schedule for their own rooms as well as other cleaning chores you may assign them. This is also the perfect time of year to get this started and a great habit to develop. So get your sanitation schedule together, (please feel free to change and tailor the name to suit your needs) and then you can run your household just like a professional.
Want to learn more? It’s easy. You can begin by subscribing to this blog or you can also research it or google it. Try the term HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) to get you started. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question.