Even before Covid-19, store cleaning has always been one of the primary duties of commercial establishments. Stores, especially those navigating the food industry, have checklists to guide them in their sanitation schedule.
If you are a new business owner, you might still be at a loss when the right time is to clean your store. You might also be wondering what type of cleaning is more applicable to certain areas of the store.
Cleaning and sanitation are two different terms. However, these subtleties are irrelevant because a business owner should always consider hygiene and customer safety their number one concern.
Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
These two terms sit in the same spectrum of definition with each other. They may look synonymous, but they have differences that are worthy to note. Simply put, cleaning is the act of physically removing unwanted particles, such as dirt, grime, and other impurities. On the other hand, disinfecting kills or destroys germs and bacteria using a sanitizing chemical. You can clean without disinfecting, but you cannot disinfect without cleaning.
Basic Guidelines to Follow on Doing Store Cleaning
Below are five guidelines to follow to know how often you should perform store cleaning:
1. When someone sick has been in the store
The virus that causes Covid-19 is a known bio-aerosol. That means it can travel through the air. SARS Cov-2 can be transmitted at distances of about 6 feet and can stay airborne even after the infected person leaves the space. As a rule of thumb, if someone who tested positive for Covid-19 was in your facility, whether a customer or an employee, you should immediately block access to the area used by the infected person. Clean and sanitize the place using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s list of approved disinfectants.
As an additional tip, it is best to report the incident to the local government to ensure proper monitoring and guidance in terms of your business operation.
2. Cleaning high-touch surfaces
From the term itself, high-touch surfaces are areas that frequently come in contact with the hands. This includes doorknobs, light switches, handrails, chair handles, and tables. Sanitizing these areas should be done more frequently than usual. These areas require sanitizing based on occupancy.
For those operating a food business, start by removing food. Remove dirt on the surface after every use. Next, use warm soapy water to remove grease and rinse. Finally, apply a disinfectant and spray with clean water. You can leave the surface to dry naturally or use a clean disposable cloth to finish the routine.
3. Food-contact surface
For food businesses, owners must know what the Time/Temperature Control for Safety (TCS) food is. Food that falls into this classification is more susceptible to bacteria. It is also known as Potentially Hazardous Foods or PHF because it can propose danger to anyone who consumes it once bacteria is present.
If a food surface is regularly used with a TCS, it is crucial to clean it every four hours. The logic behind the time is dangerous pathogens are expected to thrive within the said window.
Note that if a store personnel is switching tasks – for example, from cutting meat to vegetables – the food-contact surface and the tools should be cleaned and sanitized. This prevents cross-contamination, which happens when bacteria and other microorganisms are transferred from one area to another.
Cleaning food-contact surfaces are also similar to how high-contact surfaces are cleaned. However, some businesses prefer to add sanitation using heat.
4. Non-food contact surface
Non-food contact surfaces include anything in your place of business that does not come in direct contact with food. This includes beverage dispensers, ice makers, light fixtures, and walls. The frequency in which these surfaces be subject to store cleaning varies. For equipment, the manufacturer usually indicates this in the manual. Simply follow it because it might affect its overall performance. They also indicate that the cleaning agents safe to use for their product.
For walls, decors, and other types of fixtures, it would be safe to clean it once every 24 hours to avoid the build-up of dirt and bacteria.
5. The store’s outdoor
Cleaning the exterior of the store depends on its function. Spraying disinfectants on sidewalks and pavements might be inefficient. Instead, stick to the normal store cleaning guidelines and regular, daily sanitation.
However, if your business has dining areas and facilities outdoors, there are additional requirements to which you need to adhere. Often, these are closely similar to what should be applied to high-touch surfaces and food-contact surfaces. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a set of guidelines to follow now that we are navigating in the time of Covid-19.
Store cleaning is one of the most vital tasks that business owners should pay attention to. Avoid stressing over the lack of facility or even time to perform this responsibility. Hire a professional cleaning service provider today!
Prestige Property Services has been providing trusted and high-quality maintenance aid in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas since 1997. Give us a call today at (714) 224-0301 or send an email to email@example.com for inquiries.