Importance of Environmental Hygiene

Environmental Hygiene : Apart from personal hygiene there are other hygienic factors which should be kept in mind for the safety of guest. We may transfer harmful bacteria to the guest while we are working. So stop contamination transfer while handling equipments and utensils and make the environment surroundings hygienic and up to the mark.

Environment in the kitchen depends upon the following factors:
-Kitchen Design
-Exhausting and Fresh Air Circulation
– Kitchen Equipments
-Waste Disposal
-Pest Control
-Cleaning and Disinfection

Kitchen Design :
The kitchens should be designed to give maximum space to workeis while preparing the food. It should have a proper place to work and store the raw and the cooked food. It should have appropriate lighting for avoiding accidents and to show the hidden dust and dirt on the tables, working surfaces, corners, shelves, machines and equipment’s.

Exhausting and Fresh Air Circulation :
Kitchen is a hot and humid place of work. Food handlers work in this condition and lead to excessive sweating because of heat produced by the cooking gas stoves. This is quiet an uneasy situation for a worker and may bring down his performance. This may also cause a transfer of bacteria in the food through sweat and dirt. This heat and humidity can be reduced through proper exhausting and ventilation. Fresh air circulation will bring the cool fresh air in the kitchen and will make the area a cool place to work with minimum sweat and fatigue.

Waste Water Disposal :
We use plenty of water in the kitchen during the food production for cooking and washing purposes. A proper disposal of used water IS mandatory as this cannot be allowed to stay in the kitchen for a long time. Waste water may become a source of contamination the water used for cleaning of surfaces, equipments, pots and pans should be drained off immediately. Drainage system should be planed to remove the waste water through drains (open /closed).

All the water from the wash up area may have a separate drain pipe as most of the fat and oil is washed and goes out of kitchen from that pipe. Chocking of drains should be monitored frequently. Hot water helps in draining off extra fat or oil in the pipe.

Open drains in the kitchen should have an Iron/ Stainless Steel grill cover. It helps in draining off spilled water on the floor and the cleaning of the drain. The cover restricts large pieces of refuse to go in the drain pipe and thus prevents chocking of drain pipe.

All the sinks fitted in the kitchen or wash up area should have a mash to restrict pieca of food, vegetable, meat and other foreign material to go in the drain.

Kitchen Equipment’s : 
All the large or small kitchen equipment needs to be cleaned, wiped or washed frequently. This will check any growth of harmful bacteria in and around the surface of these equipments. Special care should be taken for Door handles of fridge, working tables, pot racks etc. as food handler touch there surfaces frequently.

Waste Disposal :
Kitchen waste disposal is becomes a source of contamination if not treated and disposed off quickly. The kitchen waste has different category as Organic and Inorganic. There is waste like vegetable and fruit peels, pulps, meat trimmings, bones, empty cans & bottles, spoiled food, packing material (cardboard boxes, cling films, empty poly thin packets, paper packets, used gloves etc.

Normally the kitchen waste is distributed two major categories:-

1. organic or bio degradable waste: Fruit peels, meat trimmings, spoiled food, bones, paper, cardboard boxes. Organic waste is biodegradable and can be processed in the presence of oxygen by composting or in the absence of oxygen using anaerobic digestion. Both methods produce a soil conditioner, which when Prepared correctly can also be used as a valuable source of nutrients in urban agriculture. Anaerobic digestion also produces methane gas an important source of bio-energy.

2. Inorganic or bio non degradable waste: Empty cans & bottles, packing material, cling films, empty poly thin packets, and used gloves. Inorganic waste is bio non degradable which cannot be processed for composting. Glass, plastic, aluminum etc. are collected separately so that they can be segregated and sent for recycling.

Different colored dust bins are used for separate categories and the staff is trained to use them accordingly. The dustbins should be fitted with poly bags for easy removal of waste from the bins,

Cleaning and Disinfection :
Cleaning of entire kitchen is should be done to minimize the risk of contamination of food.

Cleaning Schedules are made for work surfaces, floors, walls doors and paintwork, wall tiles behind sink and work surfaces. These schedules will indicate the frequency of cleaning method used and the person responsible.

Cleaning agents like detergents, sanitizers and disinfectants are used for cleaning kitchen. Hot water with detergent is the best source of removing grease, dirt and food residue A proper care should be taken while storing the detergents, sanitizers and disinfectants an they should be kept away from the actual food production area with proper indication them. Preferably they should be kept on a separate rack specially made for this purpose.

A cleaning process is
– Removal of food residue
– Washing with hot water and detergent
– Rinsing to remove dirt, grease and detergent
– Disinfection with either hot water or a chemical
– Drying

The above process is applicable to all the cleaning including cutlery, crockery, surfaces, equipments and floors.
In the kitchen we do all the food production for the guests and we should make sure that whenever we are handling crockery, glassware, utensils or equipment, our hand does not touch the ”food contact surface”, i.e. the part on which the food will be placed, or which a guest would touch. This will avoid cross-contamination between your hands and food you are handling.

– Keep all utensils clean and put away neatly after use.
– Keep the Dust Bins fitted with plastic bags and covered.
– Use proper protecting clothing when going in the walk in.
– Avoid thawing of meats in the sinks

Do not allow any person to break the rules related to environment hygiene. Once you start practicing these rules it becomes easy to maintain the best possible Hygienic Standards and that’s our social responsibility.

 DO’s for the Food Handlers:

1. Keep the Machines and utensils clean and wiped all the time
2. Wash and Clean the mixer, grinder specially blades; after every use
3. Proper Washing and mopping of the kitchen floor is must at a regular interval throughout the day.
4. Deep fridge, Walk inns, Chest Coolers etc. should be washed periodically
5. Food trolleys should be washed and kept ready for the use.
6. Storage areas need a constant check for cleaning.
7. Wash up area should be clean all the time and utensil storage crates and racks should be rinsed with hot water and detergents.
8. Do not allow any person in the kitchen without proper protecting cloth
9. Use cling films or aluminum foil for covering food immediately after processing.
10. Wash knife and cutting board after every use.
11. Handle Guest plates by the outer rim or underside:
– Cups by the handle
– Classes by the stem or base
– Cutlery by the handle.
12. Remove and destroy cracked and broken crockery/ glassware or kitchen utensils.
13. Use forks or tongs to pick up food not your hands
14. Avoid handling food unnecessarily.
15. Use a special spoon for tasting not your fingers.
16. Make sure that all crockery, glassware, equipment and utensils are washed thoroughly and are stored on clean surfaces.
17. Keep your work table/ area clean. Clean it well at the end of the day.

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