If you choose to run a restaurant, you automatically have many legal responsibilities regarding cleaning. You are obligated to ensure your customers can expect their food to be prepared in a clean and safe environment, with professional management and respect for the law. It’s vital to understand what your responsibilities are before you get started in this business.
After all, the penalties and potential consequences of not following relevant laws when it comes to food hygiene can be very severe, and rightly so. Not only do you stand a chance of having to pay legal fees if you are prosecuted, but fines and compensation have been known to reach the tens of thousands on a regular basis. You should also consider that the FSA (Food Standards Agency) will arrange for your premises to be inspected and you will be presented with a food safety rating, which will be public knowledge.
With this in mind, consider the importance of keeping your kitchen clean and maintaining all equipment to a high standard. It is unavoidable that your kitchen will frequently get dirty during the course of cooking, but that doesn’t make it acceptable to leave it in such condition. Proper sanitation prevents the risk of bacterial contamination increasing over time, which protects your customers as well as your employees. This includes appropriate measures taken when storing, preparing, cooking and serving food.
You must also bear in mind that the most common cause of health and safety issues in commercial kitchens is not actually food contamination, but accidents such as slips and trips. Spillages are common in any kitchen, and in a fast-paced commercial environment this risk is multiplied. Avoiding these risks needs to be a high priority.
As a restaurant owner, your day-to-day responsibilities must cover these basic things and more, but you are also required to take more action in particular circumstances. For example, if there are several cases of food poisoning in a short period of time resulting from food prepared in your kitchen, you may be required by law to carry out an investigation, or officials representing your local council or the FSA may have to carry this out.