How to Prevent Food Poisoning – Food Handling and Hygiene Tips

Food poisoning is an illness caused by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemicals. Some of these toxins are found naturally in foods, while some have accumulated in the environment. Food poisoning is not only extremely unpleasant for the person suffering from it, it can also be detrimental to the reputation of the kitchen where the outbreak occurred. At Cleaning Edge, we specialise in cleaning of commercial kitchens and we understand the importance of a clean and hygienic space to the success of every hospitality business. Here’s our guide to reducing the risk of food poisoning.

Types of Food Poisoning

There are many different bacteria and viruses that all have different effects, some of the most common types are:

  • Salmonella – gastro and flu-like symptoms that appear between 8 and 72 hours (usually 12-36 hours) after eating the infected food and last for 2 to 5 days.
  • Listeria – gastro or flu-like symptoms that usually appear within 3 weeks, but can take up to 70 days.
  • Norovirus or rotavirus – severe gastro or flu-like symptoms that usually begin 24 to 48 hours after exposure and last 1 or 2 days (norovirus) or up to 6 days (rotavirus).
  • coli – gastro symptoms that usually appear within 3 to 4 days and last about 1 week.

Food Handling Tips to Reduce the Risk of Food Poisoning

There are a few simple rules you can follow to help minimise the risk of food poisoning. These steps will help to prevent food from being contaminated and prevent the bacteria in the food from growing and multiplying.

  • Avoid handling food when you are unwell
  • Wash your hands thoroughly in soap and water before you touch any food. Make sure you also do this after you have visited the toilet and before you handle food. Also thoroughly dry your hands.
  • Uncooked meats should be kept covered and separated from cooked foods and ready-to-eat foods to avoid cross contamination
  • Put food in the refrigerator in closed containers or covered with plastic wrap to reduce the risk of cross contamination
  • Use clean utensils, plates or containers to prevent contaminating cooked food or food that will be eaten raw
  • Always use clean equipment to pick up food
  • Always wear clean clothes or a clean apron when handling or preparing food
  • Wash all fruit and vegetables under running water
  • Do not wash raw chicken, meat or fish before cooking as this does not remove any harmful bacteria and may splash water around the kitchen that can transmit bacteria
  • Ensure meat, seafood, poultry and eggs are cooked thoroughly
  • Keep hot food at 60ºC or above until served
  • Store cold food at 5ºC or below
  • Ensure cold groceries go into the refrigerator as quickly as possible
  • Thaw frozen food in the refrigerator or microwave
  • Do not refreeze food once defrosted
  • Check the temperature of the refrigerator regularly

Keeping The Kitchen Clean

Kitchens should be kept clean and free from bacteria whenever possible. This will reduce the risk of bacteria spreading and causing infection. Proper kitchen cleaning includes:

  • Thoroughly wiping down and sanitising of all kitchen worktops
  • Washing chopping boards either by hand with hot soapy water or by a dishwasher after every use
  • Washing of all utensils in hot water and soap or in the dishwasher after every use
  • Washing of tea towels, dishcloths and general purpose cloths on a regular basis. Dirty or stained tea towels are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria so it is important to wash them frequently.
  • Frequent mopping and sanitising of floors, sinks, ovens, fridges and other appliances
  • Frequent removal of rubbish and wiping up of any spills

Keeping a commercial kitchen clean and hygienic is one of the most important ways to prevent contamination of food and an outbreak of food poisoning. If you are looking for the best commercial cleaning company that is experienced in maintaining kitchen cleanliness to the highest standards, contact the team at Cleaning Edge today.

Preventing the Spread of Infection in Care Facilities

Infections can spread in any environment, however residents and clients in care facilities are more vulnerable to infections, due to a number of reasons including their age, current medications, weakened immune systems and chronic medical conditions. Clients in care centres share air, space, food and equipment, and as such, they also share organisms that can easily cause infections such as viruses and bacteria. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are experts in aged care, childcare and medical centre cleaning, so we understand that germs can spread quickly and have a severe impact on clients. Let’s take a look at infection outbreaks and how to prevent them through proper hygienic cleaning practices.

What is an infection outbreak?

An infection outbreak can be defined as:

  • Two or more people with the same infection caused by the same organism who probably acquired the organism in the same place
  • More people than you would expect with the same infection

Types of infection outbreaks in care homes

The most common types of disease outbreaks in care homes are respiratory infections (often caused by influenza viruses), and gastrointestinal infections. Skin, urinary tract, and bloodstream infections are also common. Infection outbreaks can occur in care homes because:

  • Vulnerable residents have frequent contact with staff, other residents, visitors and the environment.
  • The immune system of vulnerable residents can be easily overwhelmed.

How do infections spread?

There are many ways infections can spread, some of the most common include:

Through physical contact – when a person touches, or is touched by, someone or something that is contaminated with an infectious agent.

Through droplets – when the infectious agent is spread by droplets caused by coughing or sneezing.

By airborne infection – when a person directly inhales the exhaled breath of an infected person.

By airborne dissemination – when the infectious agent is disseminated in the air – for example, during bed-making or dressing changes.

Through ingestion – when a person eats contaminated food or water.

Infection prevention and control

Infections can spread rapidly within environments where many people are living and eating in close quarters. Due to the vulnerability of the people in care facilities, the spread of infection within care homes is particularly dangerous. Care homes must maintain rigorous standards of infection prevention and control to provide residents with a clean and safe environment.

Common Precautionary Measures Include:

  • Reinforcing hygiene and cleaning measures, including regular deep cleaning for all common touch points
  • Isolation of residents with infection
  • Heightened observation of residents to identify new cases of infection
  • Postponing of visitors, outside trips or new admissions
  • Proper documentation and communication
  • Recording of all information on the outbreak including resident details, onset date, symptoms and action taken
  • Ongoing staff training and professional development on the latest best practice infection prevention and control

The importance of proper cleaning in reducing the spread of infection

Adherence to good practice in relation to cleaning and hygiene has been shown to reduce the risk of infection to clients, residents and staff in care home facilities. In these facilities, all common touch objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, taps, remote controls and light switches, must be cleaned, sanitized and disinfected frequently. Deep cleaning involves the removal of dirt and soil, while sanitizing reduces germs, and disinfection involves removing as many germs as possible. The use of cleaning agents such as bleach, ammonia, and hydrogen peroxide are used to disinfect a wide range of surfaces and objects in hospitals and care homes.

Care facilities have a higher risk of infection outbreak and spread than almost anywhere else. This means that commercial cleaning companies must be aware of the cleaning, health and safety standards set by the federal and state governments and other governing authorities. If you are looking for a professional, experienced and complaint company to clean a care home facility, contact the team at Cleaning Edge Solutions today.

The Importance of a Clean Commercial Kitchen

Cleanliness is a vital part of any commercial catering facility. Only by following strict commercial kitchen cleaning procedures can you be sure the highest level of hygiene is maintained. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, our expert team of industry professionals are highly trained and experienced in cleaning of kitchens, restaurants and businesses in the food service sector. We understand that the cleanliness in your kitchen says a lot about the success of your business. Read ahead for our guide to cleaning in commercial kitchens.

Why is it Important to Keep My Commercial Kitchen Clean?

A dirty or unhygienic kitchen can have dire consequences including the possibility of causing illness to consumers and clients, as well as the potential to ruin the reputation of the business. A clean kitchen will:

Prevent cross-contamination – food prep areas are filled with contaminants that can be easily transferred to food and then to the customers. A clean and sanitised kitchen reduces the likelihood of contaminated food and illness outbreaks.

Ensure compliance with health inspections – health inspectors visit kitchens on a regular basis to make sure that all eateries and catering facilities are compliant. They look at some indicators that will point to hazardous bacterial growth that can be present in each of the working stations of your kitchen.

Attract more customers – if your kitchen is clean and you produce good food, you will significantly increase the number of your potential customers and spark excellent reviews.

Encourage good work habits from employees – providing a clean and sanitized workspace will inspire your team to perform at their best and encourage them follow a specific protocol that denotes cleanliness and sanitation.

What Are the Must-Haves for a Clean Commercial Kitchen?

Bacteria can lurk in many places in a commercial kitchen from the cutting boards to bench tops, appliances and utensils. Commercial kitchens need the following to ensure the highest level of hygiene standards are upheld:

The right cleaning solutions

It’s important to know which products should be used to keep your workplace sanitary. Certain chemicals are specifically designed to help keep kitchens clean. You also want to source chemicals which are not toxic and are environmentally friendly.

Sanitation Buckets

These are the clean red buckets with clean sanitizer. Replacing commercial bleach in a restaurant set up, this is the sanitizer that is used to wipe knives, chopping boards, and countertops. It is 100% food safe.

Proper Food Storage

Meat should always be at the bottom of the fridge and the vegetable at the top. This will prevent the juices of the meat from dripping to the vegetables.

To Follow HACCP principles

The HACCP food safety management system helps to minimise the risk of spoilage or cross contamination of food during storage, preparation and cooking. These standards ensure that food is kept and prepared at the right temperature, promoting safe practises which stop harmful bacteria from being able to grow.

A Cleaning Schedule

This will ensure cleaners come in at certain times of the day, and help to make each staff member accountable for the cleaning of his/her station in the kitchen. Cleaning must be done thoroughly, so if you’re in doubt about your kitchen staff ‘s ability to properly conduct their daily cleaning tasks, employ a professional cleaner who will get the job done right.

Checklist for Common Cleaning in Commercial Kitchens

There are many aspects involved when it comes to cleaning kitchens, the below tasks should be carried out frequently:

  • Collecting and removing rubbish from bins
  • Vacuuming, sweeping and mopping floors
  • Deep cleaning and sanitising of sinks, and counters and work stations
  • Deep cleaning of equipment including stoves, broiler, fryers, and ovens
  • Sanitation of smaller items and utensils
  • Proper cleaning of all mats
  • Washing down walls
  • Window cleaning
  • Degreasing exhaust hoods and fans

To ensure the above tasks are completed regularly and to the highest level, it is best to hire a cleaning company that has all the necessary certifications and insurances and is highly experienced in cleaning commercial kitchens.

If you are looking for the best cleaning company Melbourne kitchens and restaurants trust for their cleaning and sanitation, choose Cleaning Edge Solutions today. With over 30 years’ experience, we are proud to be fully Triple ISO Internationally certified. Call us today on 1800 556 634 for a free quotation or enquire online.

The Importance of Proper Cleaning in Aged-Care Facilities

Aged care facilities have a duty of care to ensure that the cleanliness and sanitation within their facility is maintained to the very highest of standards. Not only do proper cleaning practices and procedures reduce the risk of spreading infections and illness to the vulnerable elderly residents, it also helps to keep the staff who work in these places healthy so they can continue to provide their services. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are highly experienced and certified to clean in an aged care environment. Read on for our guide to the importance of keeping these facilities clean and the cleaning challenges that may be faced on a daily basis.

Aged Care Facilities Must Adhere to Strict Industry-Specific Regulations

Aged care facilities are bound by their own cleaning standards, and for good reason. A delicate environment where, if standards aren’t strictly adhered to, consequences can be detrimental. Few other industries are subject to both audits and unannounced visits to inspect their compliance to defined standards, and the facility’s accreditation and ability to continue accepting new residents may be impacted if they are found to be in breach.

Proper Cleaning Reduces the Risk of Illness and Infection

Elderly adults are more susceptible to sickness and infections, and even minor ailments can be fatal to their weakened and vulnerable immune systems. Common bacteria that can be found in aged care environments include VRE, MRSA, C.difficile and gastro, and when an outbreak of these types of infections occurs, there are significant costs involved including extra resources, closure of facility areas, extra staff and reputational damage. Regular cleaning and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and work spaces is one of the most important ways of reducing the risk of illness and infection. Areas such as kitchen benches, bathroom sinks, toilets and doorhandles all need to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly using the proper cleansers and sanitisers to remove harmful bacteria.

The main touch-points that must be cleaned and sanitised in a resident’s room include:

  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Basin and taps
  • Chairs
  • Bedside tables
  • Bed and bed railings
  • Transport trolleys
  • Wardrobes
  • Windows and drapes
  • Objects such as medicine cups, remote controls, phones, walking frames

What Are the Challenges of Cleaning in Aged Care Facilities?

Working around people – cleaners become part of the facility’s everyday world, so much so that residents may see a cleaner as often as nurses or other staff. This means that aged care cleaners must be able to interact with the residents and their visitors appropriately, they must also show tact and discretion in regards to the privacy of residents, understand the importance of cleaning up spills and other hazards in a timely manner and know when to call for medical assistance.

Daytime cleaning – aged care is one of the few industries which requires most cleaning work to happen during the day, as opposed to many industries where cleaning is preferred after hours. This creates a few challenges, such as the continual flow of people in and around the area being cleaned increasing the risk of cross-contamination, slips, trips and falls. Unlike cleaners in other industries, cleaning staff in aged care homes are unable to rush through their tasks while no one is around, instead they must navigate far more variable elements including residents, staff, visitors, objects and equipment. As such cleaners must have a high awareness of their personal movement as well as the positioning of cleaning equipment like vacuums, brooms, buckets, power cords and other cleaning tools.

Ensuring that every surface and work area has been cleaned and sanitised is of utmost importance to the health and wellbeing of those who live, visit and work in aged-care facilities. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are highly experienced in cleaning aged-care facilities, we work to the highest standards, and have the quality assurance certification, ISO9001. Our cleaning staff are trained in cleaning standards designed to mitigate and manage the risk of the spread of disease or infections. Contact us today for more information or for a free quotation.

The Importance of Hospital Cleanliness

Cleanliness in hospitals and other medical facilities is critical due to the fact that the spread of germs and infection can seriously endanger individuals who are already at risk. Nosocomial infection is the name given to hospital-acquired infections (HIAs) which are unrelated to the original illness being treated. According to recent statistics, an estimated 200,000 HIAs occur each year across Australia with the consequences sometimes fatal. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are certified and highly experienced in cleaning medical centres and hospitals throughout Melbourne. We understand that maintaining cleanliness levels to the highest standards is important not only to adhere to legislation, but to reduce the spread of illness and infection, helping to save lives.

Ensuring a Clean Hospital Environment

Cleaning regulations in medical environments are understandably strict, so cleaning should be undertaken by a professional cleaning company with experience and expertise in cleaning medical facilities and with staff who clearly understand the expectations and standards required.

Keeping a health care facility clean involves:

The Proper Use of Gloves

The improper use of gloves can spread dangerous and infectious bacteria. Different gloves should be used for different tasks, patient rooms, and jobs involving heavily soiled items. Gloves must always be changed between tasks, should never be worn in hallways, and cleaning staff must their wash hands after removing gloves.

Focusing on High-Touch Areas

Cleaning staff should focus on cleaning and sanitising the most-touched surfaces. These include beds and bed rails, door handles, basins, taps, phones, and remote controls in patients’ rooms. Counters and chairs in waiting rooms, toilets and taps in restrooms. The more an area is touched, the greater the likelihood of it containing dangerous bacteria.

Avoiding Cross-Contamination

One of the biggest challenges for health care cleaning staff is the removal and disposal of contaminants before they infiltrate other areas of the hospital. Mops and cleaning cloths pose a high risk of spreading bacteria to other parts of the facility. Cleaning staff should be trained in procedures involving spraying, vacuuming, and disposal of contaminants to ensure bacteria doesn’t leave the room.

Safely Disposing of Contaminated Materials

Whether you have soiled linens, dirty cleaning fluids, or contaminated biological materials, there should be no chance for contamination during removal. Knowing how and where to dispose of contaminated materials and liquids is as important as the cleaning system itself.

Cleaning in Health Care Facilities is Different to Other Industries

Hospitals, medical centres and other health care facilities pose a number of challenges to cleaning contractors. Such challenges include:

  • Training – intensive orientation and ongoing training are required for cleaning staff in a medical environment. This is due to the many physical and health-related risks involved, as well as the required documentation and supervision.
  • Documentation – there are extensive checklists, operating procedures, sign-off sheets and communication books that are commonly used to track and validate that work is completed as specified. Staff must ensure these are properly maintained at all times with correct and specific details.
  • Supervision – there is no room for error in a medical environment, therefore cleaning contractors must be adequately managed and supervised. Multiple government and private agencies monitor, audit, inspect and approve the operation and funding of health care facilities and these groups often conduct testing to ensure cleaning results are up to standard.
  • Risk – cleaning in health care environments poses greater risks to staff including potential exposure to infectious materials, medical-waste disposal, and increased risk of slip, trip, and fall injuries to cleaners, patients, visitors and staff.
  • Security and confidentiality – cleaning staff must maintain confidentiality about the activities and occupants in health care facilities.

Hospital cleaning is a crucial part of overall health and safety, as it’s a major contributor to controlling the spread of infections. Prestigiously certified with triple ISO certification, Cleaning Edge Solutions specialize in industrial and commercial cleaning for Melbourne health care facilities. Highly regarded as one of Melbourne’s most reliable and professional cleaning companies, we can expertly take care of all of your hospital and medical centre cleaning services. Cleaning Edge Solutions, will be able to give you the peace of mind that your facility is being cleaned to the highest standards to ensure the health and safety of all patients, visitors and staff. Contact us today for a free quotation.

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