Posted: 01/04/2020

COVID-19: It’s a perfect time to refine your cleaning processes


It’s high time you shored up your cleaning regime, says Guild of Fine Food training manager Jilly Sitch

I’d like to share with you a tale harking back to times BC (before coronavirus). 

I was sitting down for a coffee and cake in a relatively new and thriving bakery/deli, when I noticed an unlabelled, unclean and unattended bottle containing an unknown (presumably cleaning) fluid sat beside a grubby rag on the counter top right next to an uncovered quiche. The bottle sat there for 20 minutes while staff walked by it repeatedly!

Jilly Sitch
Guild of Fine Food training manager, Jilly Sitch

Now, this was unacceptable back then – customers need to be able to see that you take cleanliness seriously, and leaving a grubby mystery container out for that period of time is showing your clientele that your cleaning regimen is lacking across the board. But now?

In these times, providing we can still keep the deli doors open, we need to be showing the people who have chosen to continue supporting us that we are taking their health seriously by ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness are upheld. And this isn’t simply an image issue, it’s an issue of life and death for many!

Really, I’m not suggesting you should be doing anything more than you’re already doing. I’m sure you are maintaining good practice. However, upping the frequency with which you are performing your usual cleaning rota and broadening its scope will not hurt – think about anywhere you or your staff could have come into contact with – and make it visible! Ensure your customers can see you have hand-wash instructions up as well as washing your hands, make a conspicuous hourly wipe-down, think about how your business may have changed (are you making deliveries?) and how your practices must change too, and make sure you have the right products and that they are used correctly.

What is the correct dilution of your cleaning solution, and do the whole team know this? How long do you have to leave the spray on the surface before you wipe it off with a cloth, and are those cloths clean?

In contrast to my pre-COVID bakery experience, now people will be hoping to see that bottle of disinfectant out – just make sure it’s clean, the right stuff, and that you’re using it!

Read stories like this and more in the digital edition of Fine Food Digest here.

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