Reducing The Risk Of A COVID-19 Outbreak In Your Restaurant: 4 Commonly Neglected Areas That Need To Be Disinfected

Posted on: 14 October 2020


Keeping your restaurant clean has always been part of the business, but it's become even more important due to COVID-19. Disinfecting your restaurant regularly shows your dining guests that you care about their safety, and it also helps to prevent outbreaks from occurring among your employees.

Unfortunately, not every restaurant is effectively deep cleaning. Restaurants have typically concentrated on removing bacteria, since that's what leads to food poisoning. Destroying a virus requires additional areas to be cleaned, and many are often overlooked. Below, you'll learn about four areas that you need to sanitize that aren't commonly part of a restaurant's cleaning program.

1. Walk-in Freezer

One of the most commonly overlooked areas for deep cleaning is the walk-in freezer. The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 remains viable for a much longer period of time when it's held at low temperatures, which is why laboratories store samples in freezers. Unfortunately, the same principle applies to your restaurant's walk-in freezer, which means that it needs to be disinfected regularly. An employee with COVID-19 may spread it around in the walk-in during their shift, and the virus will linger for a considerable period of time.

Plastic or cardboard food containers in the walk-in freezer can be disinfected without affecting the contents. Empty the contents of porous containers (such as burlap sacks) and place them inside a plastic container for easy disinfection. Make sure that your staff also disinfects the shelves of the walk-in freezer along with disinfecting the food containers.

2. Dining Tables

Dining tables are also commonly neglected when cleaning a restaurant. If you're using tablecloths, you should launder them in warm water daily in order to destroy any traces of the virus on them. You may need to purchase more tablecloths for your restaurant so that you always have clean ones on hand.

If your restaurant doesn't use tablecloths, you'll need to use a hard-surface cleaner on the table after every closing shift. Note that tables are considered food surfaces, much like the prep areas in your kitchen. After disinfecting them, you'll need to rinse them thoroughly with water in order to remove all of the excess disinfectant from the table.

3. Bar Area

When your restaurant has a bar, the whole area needs to be thoroughly cleaned at the end of the night. In general, you need to ensure that any object the bartender touches is disinfected. This includes the bottles behind the bar and the beer taps. While your customers won't be touching these items, cleaning them helps to prevent your bartending staff from accidentally infecting each other with COVID-19.

4. Kitchen Utensils

In a similar manner, all of your kitchen utensils need to be disinfected at the end of the day as well. Unlike the utensils that your dining guests use, these tend to be rarely cleaned. This opens up the possibility of your kitchen staff transmitting COVID-19 to each other via the utensil handles. Your kitchen staff needs to clean all of the spoons, spatulas, and knives that they use to prepare food. Anything that can't be placed in the dishwasher should be scrubbed in the dish pit using soap and hot water.

Deep cleaning your restaurant regularly is a great way for your business to minimize the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak. An outbreak linked to your restaurant can scare away potential customers, and an outbreak among your employees can lead to you quickly becoming short-staffed as everyone affected isolates at home. Keeping your restaurant clean helps your business continue to operate smoothly.

If you're struggling to keep your restaurant clean with the staff you currently have, it's a good idea to hire a COVID-19 deep cleaning service to periodically disinfect your space. A professional service will disinfect anything that can potentially be harboring the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reducing the cleaning workload on your employees and helping them avoid becoming ill.