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Guidelines for hygiene inspection (part 2): What do cleaning companies need to know nowadays
By Wadih El Feghali | 10.04.2012



Table of content:

  • Garbage cans, requirements and cleaning
  • Restrooms, cleaning
  • Sinks requirements
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Detergents
  • Manual dishwashing
  • Tools and utensils
  • Cleaning companies and their role


- Garbage cans and disposal:

a) General Requirements

􀂃 Garbage containers must be:

  • Leak proof and waterproof
  • Easy to clean
  • Equipped with tight‐fitted lids
  • Foot activated
  • They must be kept covered when not in use
  • Garbage should be removed from preparation area as soon as possible
  • Garbage‐storage areas, inside or outside, must be large enough to contain all

garbage and must be located away from food‐preparation and storage areas

  • Garbage containers should be placed the furthest away form food and surfaces


       9- Garbage should be removed as soon as container is full


b) Exceptional requirements in dishwashing area

􀂃 Garbage container may not have a lid

􀂃 Garbage can may be located under dishwashing counter

c) Cleaning

  • All garbage containers must be cleaned thoroughly daily
  • Both inside and outside of containers must be cleaned
  • A cleaning area equipped with hot water and cold water and a floor drain is

recommended if cleaning is done inside

  • Garbage‐can cleaning area should be located away from food and food preparation

or storage areas


- Employees Restrooms:

a) General Requirements

  • They should be separate from customers’ restrooms
  • They should be equipped with a self‐closing double door
  • They should be equipped with a hand washing station
  • Restrooms should not open directly to the kitchen
  • They must be adequately stocked with toilet paper and paper towels at all


b) Cleaning

  • Restrooms should be thoroughly cleaned at least once daily
  • Restrooms should be cleaned as often as needed to maintain them clean at all times



- Hand washing stations:

a) General Requirements

  • They must be conveniently located so employees will be encouraged to wash their

hands often

  • They are required in restrooms and in areas used for food preparation and service as well as in dishwashing areas
  • Potable water should be connected to all hand washing sinks
  • All hand washing stations must be equipped with the following:
  • Hot and cold running water or mixed water at 38°C
  • A soap dispenser always well stocked with liquid soap
  • A paper towel dispenser always well stocked with single use paper towels
  • A foot activated waste container
  • Signage indicating that hand washing is required and method of washing

hands. Sign must reflect all languages used in the establishment

      6- Hand washing sinks should be used for that purpose and that purpose only


b) Cleaning

  • Hand washing stations should be thoroughly cleaned at least once daily
  • Hand washing stations should be cleaned as often as needed to maintain them clean

at all times



-Utility sinks:

a) General Requirements

  • At least one utility sink or curbed drain area is required in any establishment
  • This is the only water source where it is acceptable to have water that is not potable
  • This sink should only be used to dispose of soiled water and clean cleaning

equipment such as mops or buckets


b) Cleaning

  • Utility sink should be properly rinsed after each disposal and use
  • Utility sink should be thoroughly cleaned at least daily
  • The only time where it is tolerated to have an unclean utility sink is during cleaning

- Cleaning equipment and their storage area:

a) General Requirements for tools

  • All tools used for cleaning should be made of material that will not break off and risk

of contaminating food.

           Some good options are:

  • Heavy duty plastic brushes with synthetic bristles 
  • Nylon scouring pads (metal scouring pads are not allowed)
  • Mops can be all‐cotton or synthetic blend
  • Tools should be replaced when they are worn out
  • Clean all tools before putting them away
  • Only use designated tools for designated task
  • Always use a separate set of tools for restrooms
  • Containers used for cleaning purposes should only be used for this purpose and be

b) General Requirements for storage area

  • Cleaning tools and chemicals should be placed in a storage area away from food and

food‐preparation sites

  • Storage area should be well lighted so that employees can identify chemicals easily
  • Storage area should be equipped with hooks for hanging mops, brooms and other

cleaning tools

c) Cleaning

  • Cleaning of cleaning tools should be done exclusively in utility sink
  • Tools should be cleaned after each use
  • Storage area should be cleaned as often as needed to keep it clean
  • Buckets, dust pans and containers should be cleaned, rinsed and sanitized
  • Moping water and other soaking solutions should be frequently replaced (when they become cloudy or dirty)
  • Always use fresh water and fresh water‐detergent mix


d) Storage of cleaning equipment:

  • Mops

          􀂃 Hang cotton and synthetic mops to dry

          􀂃 Mops should be soaked in clean water‐detergent or water‐sanitizer solution

while in operation

  • Buckets, containers and dust pans

         􀂃 They should be air dried 

  • Brooms and brushes

         􀂃 They should be hung on hooks to air dry

         􀂃 Do not leave brooms and brushes standing on their bristles

  • Chamex and wet wiping towels

          􀂃 All types of wiping towels should be cleaned

          􀂃 When not in use, they should be soaked in clean water‐sanitizer solution

          􀂃 Air dry them overnight


- Detergents and chemicals:

a) General requirements

 Detergents should be placed in specific containers used only for this purpose.

These containers should be clearly identifiable

 􀂃 MSDS sheets should be available for all detergents used in the kitchen

 􀂃 All concerned staff should be trained on correct use of chemicals: purpose,

concentration, temperature, action time, method of use…

b) Storage

1-  If chemical has a use‐by date, abide by it. Discard any chemical that has passed

its use‐by date

2- Discard any chemical that shows change in appearance or smell

3- Store chemical with special storage requirements according to manufacturer’s


c) Labeling

  • All detergents should be labeled with name or use. Language used should be

understood by all employees who use these chemicals


 Manual Dishwashing:

a) General Requirements

  • Potable water should be used
  • Sink should always be kept clean
  • Soaking water should always be changed to preserve it clean
  • Dishwashing station should include an area for rinsing away or for scraping food into garbage container.
  • Dishwashing station should be equipped with drain boards to hold clean items


b) Flow of the dishwashing process

  • The dishwashing process should be done in a manner that does not cross between

clean and dirty items

  • All items should be scraped and rinsed
  • If needed, items may be soaked to help detach difficult residues
  • Wash items using detergent solution at least at 43°C. You may use dishwashing tools to loosen the remaining soil.
  • Immerse or spray rinse to remove soil and detergent. Replace rinse water when it

becomes cloudy or dirty

  • Sanitize using temperature or chemicals
  • Let air Dry 

c) Detergents

  • Make sure that the right detergent is being used
  • Train employees on correct dilution of detergents and sanitizers
  • Train employees on correct temperatures to be used with sanitizer
  • Routinely examine employee knowledge and supervise process

d) Sanitizing / Temperature requirements

  • If you sanitize using hot water:

 o Temperature of final rinse should be at least 77°C

 o Item should be immersed for 30seconds

 o A heating device may be needed to maintain this temperature

 o Check that water is at the temperature mentioned by using a probe


􀂃 If you sanitize using sanitizer:

o Sanitizer must be at correct concentration and at appropriate temperature

o Check that water is at the temperature mentioned by the manufacturer by

using a probe thermometer 

o Check the concentration of the sanitizing solution at random intervals using

test kits


e) Dishwashing tools

  • Utensils such as steel wool pads or metal scouring pads and other material that might chip or break apart should not be used
  • Utensils that may be used include, but are not limited to: nylon scouring pads, plastic brushes with synthetic bristles, well preserved sponges

f) Drying

  • Air dry all items
  • Drying racks should be clean
  • Drying racks should be free of rust and peeling paint
  • Drying area should be clean and protected from possible contaminants such as garbage cans, dirty dishes, open windows, water splashes…

g) Special requirements for wood surfaces though better avoid wood:

  • Wood surfaces include but are not limited to: handles, garlic mill, bakers’ tables…
  • After each use, scour them in a solution with a stiff‐bristle nylon brush
  • Rinse them in clean water
  •   Sanitize them
  • Do not soak wood surfaces in detergent or sanitizing solutions

- Preparation tools and utensils:

a) General Requirements

  • Utensils should be in good condition. Replace them when damaged (burns, holes, cracks…)
  • Wood is forbidden in the kitchen unless for baking purposes (these utensils should be cleaned as mentioned above.
  • All utensils should be made of material that does not react with food. Metals such as

aluminum or copper are forbidden. Stainless steel, Teflon, font and food grade plastic

utensils are acceptable.

  • Use serving utensils with long handles

b) Storage

  • Storage racks, drawers and cabinets should be clean and free or rust or peeling paint
  • Storage area should be clean and protected from possible contaminants such as

garbage cans, dirty dishes, open windows, water splashes…

  • Store tableware and utensils at least 15cm off the floor
  • Keep clean utensils covered or otherwise protect them from dirt and condensation
  • All hollow utensils such as pots, pans, bowls, cups… should be stored upside down
  • All silverware and utensils such as spoons, forks, knives, spatulas…should be stored

with handles up


c) Cleaning

􀂃 Clean and sanitize drawers and shelves before clean items are stored

􀂃 Clean and sanitize trays and carts used to carry clean tableware and utensils. Do this

daily or as often as necessary



d) Handling by kitchen staff

 Use clean and sanitized utensils

  • Use separate utensils for each food item
  • Utensils should be cleaned and sanitized at least once every 4 hours of continuous use
  • If utensil is placed in food, extend the handle above the rim of the container
  • Spoons or scoops used to serve ice cream or mashed potatoes can be stored under

running water



e) Handling by servers and cleaning staff:

  • Glassware and dishes: hold by the bottom edge or by the handle or stem(when


  • Flatware and utensils: hold by handle
  • Do not stack glassware or dishes when serving
  • Use ice scoop or tongs to get ice


Cleaning companies:

That said, all cleaning companies should know all of the above, we should be able to train others on these head points, this way and this way only we would be pioneers in this business, all our operations department, from managers, supervisors and staff should be able to work in an environment abiding by those standards and or guide people who don’t know them to learning and living by those standards.


© All photographs are property of Chef Mohamad Zaghal. Pictures are personally taken by the Chef. Credits