While it’s one thing to be creative and showcase your baking flare, it’s another to ensure that your bakery is completely clean and free of potentially harmful bacteria. Maintaining a safe food space requires constant vigilance, but regular and ongoing cleaning is far easier than the alternative of giving your customer food poisoning. Here are some of the ways to keep your bakery clean.
Clean your work area
Keep the surface area of your working spaces, as well as utensils such as piping bags and thermometers, clean, using effective cleaning chemicals designed for food spaces. Make sure to clean utensils such as chopping boards and knives between different tasks so that cross contamination doesn’t occur. Clean the floors and walls regularly, and make sure not to miss the nooks and crannies that often get overlooked – if there are gaps under work stations or against walls, or any other places where dirt can accumulate, move any obstructions to clean those areas properly. Promptly empty all bins in your bakery so that rubbish and food waste doesn’t accumulate. Contamination can often happen in the areas where you slice, cool and wrap your products, so make sure that these areas are spotless.
Observe personal hygiene
Personal hygiene is incredibly important in stopping any harmful pathogens from contaminating foodstuffs. Full uniforms, including shoes, should always be clean, and don’t walk around outside in your uniform during your shift and return to work, as you might be bringing harmful bacteria into the work environment. Hair should be kept away from the face with a hair net, nails should be kept short and no jewellery should be worn. Bakers should wash their hands regularly – before and after handling raw ingredients, after taking a break and before handling finished products.
Regularly clean equipment
While it’s hard work, it’s important to clean all the large pieces of equipment that are used during the baking process. Mixers, dough sheeters, bread slicers – all need to be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Not only will this avoid creating an unhygienic area, but over time ingredients that get into parts of the equipment will calcify and harden, leading to bakery downtime. Clean equipment regularly according to equipment needs, following a schedule for daily, weekly and monthly cleaning. It’s also very important to keep your proofing cabinets clean, as this warm environment is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Clean cabinets daily with warm water and mild soap.
Properly store all food
Keep the cold chain intact by making sure your fridge and freezer are all at the correct temperature – and check the temperature daily in case there’s an issue. Cover food before it’s placed inside the fridge or freezer, label clearly and practice First In, First Out (use the oldest produce first).