Keeping a facility’s lunchroom clean can present a challenge for any facility. While janitorial employees are generally responsible for cleaning a facility, in most cases, it is the staff who is tasked with keeping the kitchen clean and making sure inspections are passed. That means ensuring everything from the dishes, the sink and most importantly the refrigerator, are clean and free of disease-causing bacteria.
One of the challenges facilities face with the lunchroom is that employees are not as vigilant about hand washing, as they would be in other rooms like the restroom. This makes the area a breeding ground for germs. The refrigerator door is a real hotspot for germs. And because everyone in a facility uses the lunchroom, this can easily cause a health disaster.
Additionally, it takes a long time to clean a lunchroom. Studies suggest a lunchroom with ten tables and 40 chairs can take one person up to an hour to clean. Additionally, a half hour can be spent to clean and disinfect the fridge, microwave, sink, and countertops.
So how could this important area be kept clean and germ-free?
Set ground rules.
Ensure all employees know they are responsible for keeping the area clean and that they should treat the lunchroom like their own kitchen and dining room.
Set a regular kitchen-cleaning schedule.
Rotate cleaning duties between departments. Rotate responsibilities among employees to ensure each person cleans the kitchen once. Make sure employees wipe down all surfaces, especially the fridge door handle. Having employees clean up the kitchen will go a long way towards preventing messes, and encourages everyone to monitor the actions of their coworkers.
Ideally, managers should form part of the cleaning schedule to ensure fairness and encourage participation.
Ensure to empty the fridge every Friday.
Post signs reminding employees that everything will be thrown out Friday evening. If employees want exceptions to be made, mark items like ketchup and mustard with “Free to Use” signs, but be sure to throw out items that are past their expiration date.
Purchase gallon Ziploc bags for employee use.
Inform employees that whatever they put in the fridge MUST go in a bag with their name on it, and stick to the rule. This will reduce what is left in the fridge and keep spills to a minimum.
Initiate a zero tolerance policy.
Ensure all employees are aware that ALL dishes left in the kitchen at the end of the day will be thrown out. People will get the hint after a day or two of their items being tossed.
With a little vigilance, persistence and constant reminders, your lunch area will be more of an enjoyable place to eat and less of a breeding ground for germs and disease-causing bacteria.
For more help on keeping your facility clean and germ-free, contact Vanguard Resources.