Hello every one,
In my chefs life, a clean kitchen is the utmost important factor running a kitchen. No matter if it is at work or at home. Every job I had as a chef in Switzerland and here in Australia, the chefs clean the kitchen. That includes, all equipment, benches, and all other working areas, the fridges, the dry store area and sometimes even cleaning the floors. You don't want a customer of yours ending up with food poisoning. Working in commercial kitchens, were foods of all sorts are cooked and prepared, a strict regime of food health and safety play a big role. We need to use specified cleaning products and sanitizers to keep the kitchen clean and free of bacteria like salmonella.
Chopping boards are one of the more dangerous equipment when it comes to cross contamination. We have color coded chopping boards for different foods. For example: Green is for vegetables and fruits, blue for fish and seafood, red for meats like lamb, beef, pork etc., yellow for poultry, brown for bread and bakery. After each use the chopping boards need to cleaned and sanitized.
Here in Australia, a Head Chef and Sous Chef and Chef de Parties need to go to a full day course with certificate finish for food and safety. Without that certificate you are most likely not going to be employed or given the responsibility to run a kitchen.
Keeping your kitchen clean must be your number one priority! After each Service, a full clean down and sweeping the floors, change rubbish bins is a must. After your preparation jobs are done, clean your benches, chopping boards, your knifes and equipment used.
Also a important factor of the kitchen cleanliness is your personal hygiene, like clean chefs uniform, clean apron before every shift. Hands washed and sanitized, clean fingernails, no jewelry like rings and if you have long hair, wear a hairnet.
Lets not forget your fridges, freezer and dry goods areas. Walk in fridges should be fully cleaned out at least once a week. That includes, shelving, walls and floors. While you doing the clean up of the fridges, check all produce for dates, spoilage, have all containers covered with a lid or cling wrap and check the temperatures once or twice a day. A good way to do your temperature check is to put a small container of water in your fridge with a probe thermometer. This temperature reading will give you the core temperature of your produce.
In your dry store, all cans delivered in cardboard boxes should be unpacked and rotated, earlier expiring use by dates in the front and the later dates in the back. This gives you control of your dry goods. The same applies to your rice, flour and other dry goods like nuts and seasoning.
Your freezer should be at least minus 18 degrees Celsius, again keep a watchful eye on the dates of your frozen products. Make sure all your frozen products are well packed to prevent freezer burn. Your freezer needs to be also very clean including sweeping the floors. In our low season or every 4 to 6 months, when we have not much in the freezer, we fully defrost the freezer and give the walls and floors a proper clean over. All your frozen products, keep them in your fridge. The whole process should not take more than 1 hour to do. You don't want your frozen goods to defrost and then back in the freezer. Once the goods are defrosted, they have to be used within a day or two.
I hope my section here will give some of you the idea about working in a clean kitchen.
Good luck and many enjoyable moments preparing your dishes. Been a Chef you need passion. Without passion you may as well try your luck somewhere else.