Practicing hygiene is very important, whether you are working in a commercial kitchen or preparing food at home. Washing hands and keeping work surfaces clean and disinfected could prevent you from falling ill with a stomach bug or worse, E-coli. Of course hygiene is just as important in a bakery. Food here is prepared from fresh ingredients, just as it is in a restaurant.
A bakery makes fresh baked goods, including bread, pastries, cakes and savoury snacks. Food is prepared and baked in ovens before being cooled and placed on display for customers to peruse and buy. Since baked goods could easily be on display for several hours at a time if business is slow, it is important that everything is done to ensure health and hygiene protocols have been followed to the letter.
Cleaning the Work Area
Work areas need to be kept clean at all times. Surfaces should be wiped down with hot, soapy water and disinfected with an appropriate cleaning solution. Work surfaces need to be smooth and free from cracks, crevices and anywhere else where dirt and grime can easily become trapped and allowed to fester. Stainless steel is a common material for work surfaces and food preparation areas, but Proclad commercial grade panels are a good alternative as they are easy to clean and very hygienic.
There is a lot of specialist equipment used in large bakeries, including machines for mixing dough, proofing cabinets for bread, and ovens for baking. Some items, in particular the proofing cabinets, are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other nasty micro organisms. These all need disinfecting to prevent the growth of bacteria. You also need to ensure that the areas where baked goods are left to cool prior to packaging are kept clean and hygienic.
Working in a bakery involves handling food constantly. This means that basic food hygiene practices need to be followed at all times. Employees must wash their hands before, during and of course after all aspects of food preparation. Hand washing is also essential after breaks, toilet or otherwise. Hair should be covered up to avoid stands of hair falling into pastries and loaves. The same applies to jewellery: finding an earring inside a bread roll isn’t ideal, although customers probably won’t be complaining if they find a diamond ring inside a cupcake.
Availability of food is the main reason why pests such as rats and mice make their home inside a bakery. All pests love a free meal and mice and rats are no exception. If food is allowed to accumulate on the floor and in dark corners of the work space, it won’t be long before vermin think they are staying in a five star resort. To avoid vermin becoming a problem, keep the floor spotlessly clean and ensure there are no places where vermin can find their way in.
Implementing basic hygiene in a bakery will prevent customers from falling ill. This in turn will ensure that business continues to be profitable.