We’ve all been inundated with cleaning tips specific to Coronavirus, and how we need to conduct our business moving forward to protect our customers and our team. The importance of a germ free environment has been brought to the forefront on a grand scale.
Those specific wipe down rituals will be included in our new normal and part of a daily routine. So let’s cover cleaning the inside of our truck. Our goal in this article is to organize the tasks in an order that makes sense and even if you are already doing everything listed you will be able to schedule tasks and know they have been taken care of in a timely fashion.
Let’s take a look at what the tasks and schedule look like.
Daily Cleaning Habits
Based on the importance of basic daily routines this task schedule focuses on cleanliness and making sure your team can be a productive as possible.
Making sure ALL the dishes are washed and the grill has been brushed. Take out the trash! Emptying all garbage is a must, make sure staff is informed of proper dumpsters to use, you can cause problems using a private dumpster.
Wiping down all of your cooking surfaces as well as your steam table. Water wells should be emptied every day, otherwise you give bacteria a chance to grow underneath the same place your wonderful food is being fished out.
To consistently have clean cutting boards it is best that they be switched out each day, after they have been deep cleaned and sanitized.
other thing to sanitize that is easily overlooked are window ledges, inside and out. As we’ve recently learned germs travel quick and it’s up to us to cut them down just as quick.
Cooking appliances and kitchen tools should get a daily scrub down. This insures that they are safe and ready to use when it’s show time. These items include ovens, the microwave, coffee machine and other specialty appliances you use for your style of food.
Much of what we have talked about so far is at counter level or above. That’s a good order of doing things because gravity creates a dirty floor. The next set of tasks are to sweep and then mop the floor, and to wash any floor mats you use.
Lastly be sure that all food bins get covered to insure your signature dishes remain germ free and delicious.
Monthly Cleaning Habits
Deep cleaning is the name of the game when we talk about monthly tasks. Monthly deep cleaning will make daily cleaning so much easier. This is where we focus on disinfecting the walls, ceiling, and you exhaust hood, with the goal of killing any germs that might be hiding.
Show your refrigerator some disinfectant love, give it a good scrub inside, and then clean that thoroughly making sure there is no disinfectant residue remaining that might alter the taste of food. On the outside pay attention to the coils, they have a tendency to collect dust.
Speaking of dust collectors, make sure you schedule in your monthly tasks to clean all light fixtures. They are like a magnet for dust and dirt.
Other areas to put on the monthly list are the spaces (if there are any and you can get to them) behind the stove, friers and oven. Other appliances that get the monthly once over include can-openers and remove any rust or scale build up on your sinks.
Freezers and ice machines need attention too, sanitizing your ice machine will make drinks taste better and will lessen the risk of a customer finding anything odd at the bottom of their cup.
Annual habits are a combination of important things to do and cleaning. Things that fall into this category are making sure your truck is up to code, and that include paying attention to your fire extinguishers and your trucks fire suppression system.
Having your thermometers and oven calibrated are good annual tasks. So are having your pilot lights on any gas equipment cleaned, and having a professional service clean your range hood and filters. This is a messy one so it’s why a lot of food truck owners hire it out.
Check first aide kits and make sure to replenish supplies that have used, all safety sheets should be updated and in good condition.
We can get so caught up in the day to day operations of food truck life that we try to cheat time and take shortcuts, quite often it affects our daily monthly and annual cleaning routine. Our goal here was to organize these things in such a way that they would be easy to include in daily operations if they weren’t already.
Just like any habit the more these tasks are practiced the better and faster we get at them. The key is to remember what the tasks are and when they need done. We hope that even if you only picked up one nugget from this article it helps your business.
We also hope you will consider us when you are in the market for a custom built food truck, use our contact form and ask us a question or our free quote form if you are further in your planning process.