Running a successful restaurant involves more than just providing delicious food and impeccable service. It must maintain a safe and clean environment for both your customers and employees. An important aspect of restaurant safety is the proper storage of cleaning chemicals. In this article, we’ll discuss safety rules and essential guidelines on where cleaning chemicals should be stored in a restaurant to ensure the well-being of everyone involved.
Why is proper chemical storage important?
Before discussing where to store cleaning chemicals, it is essential to understand why proper storage is important. Failure to follow the required guidelines can lead to various risks, such as:
- HEALTH HAZARDS: Improperly stored cleaning chemicals can leak, spill, or fume which can harm your workers or customers.
- Food Contamination: If cleaning chemicals come into contact with food or food preparation areas, it can cause contamination, which is a serious health violation.
- Fire Hazards: Some cleaning chemicals are flammable, and improper storage can increase the risk of fire, putting your restaurant and everyone in it at risk.
- Regulatory Penalties: Violation of safety regulations can result in heavy fines and even closure of your restaurant.
Guidelines for Storage of Clean Chemicals
To ensure your restaurant complies with safety regulations and avoids potential hazards, follow these guidelines for proper chemical storage cleaning:
- Designate a storage area: Create a dedicated storage area for cleaning chemicals that is separate from food storage, preparation, and serving areas. This area should have good ventilation and good lighting.
- Use proper containers: Store cleaning chemicals in their original, labeled containers. Avoid transferring them to unmarked or inappropriate containers, as this can cause confusion and accidents.
- Separate Chemicals: Separate different types of cleaning chemicals to prevent possible chemical reactions. For example, don’t store chlorine bleach near ammonia-based cleaners, as the combination can produce harmful fumes.
- Label Shelves and Containers: Label storage shelves and containers clearly with the names of the chemicals they contain. This makes it easier for employees to identify and access the right product.
- Store chemicals at eye level: Place frequently used cleaning chemicals on storage shelves at eye level to prevent employees from reaching over or under other items, which could cause accidents.
- Locked or secured cabinets: If your cleaning chemical storage is in a cabinet, make sure it can be locked or otherwise secured to prevent unauthorized access.
- Implement a FIFO system: Follow the “first in, first out” (FIFO) policy for chemical use. Use old products first to prevent them from becoming obsolete and accumulating.
- Train your staff: Educate your staff on the importance of proper chemical storage, as well as how to safely handle and use cleaning chemicals.
Common Chemicals Used in Restaurants
Although the exact cleaning chemicals used in restaurants can vary, there are several common types you should be aware of:
- Degreasers: These are used to remove grease and grime from kitchen surfaces such as stovetops, ovens, and countertops.
- Sanitizers: Used to disinfect food preparation areas and utensils, sanitizers are essential to prevent foodborne illness.
- Glass Cleaner: For keeping glass surfaces, such as windows and glassware, sparkling clean.
- Disinfectants: These chemicals kill harmful bacteria and viruses, making them essential for maintaining a healthy environment.
- Bathroom Cleaner: Used to clean and sanitize restroom facilities for the safety and comfort of both customers and employees.
Properly storing cleaning chemicals in a restaurant is an important aspect of maintaining a safe and compliant operation. By following the guidelines mentioned above and educating your employees about the importance of chemical storage, you can ensure a clean and safe environment for both your customers and employees. Remember that compliance with safety regulations not only protects your restaurant but also enhances its reputation for cleanliness and professionalism.