Copyright (c) 2010 Alison Withers
For optimum hygiene in a commercial kitchen the answer is thorough Steam Cleaning.
It was also early recognised that it had the ability to sterilise equipment and became widely used in hospitals to sterilise equipment and to some extent in the home for cleaning surfaces that needed to be germ free, particularly when there was a baby in the house. Gradually the use of steam extended to other purposes including steam saunas for weight loss, pressure cookers using steam power for healthy cooking, steam fabric cleaning and in central heating systems.
The usefulness of steam as a commercial cleaner was first discovered by a young American during the prohibition era, when alcohol was banned. The inventor, Frank W Ofeldt, was constructing an illegal whisky still in his garage when steam accidentally escaped onto the floor. The steam jet quickly dissolved the built up grease and grime on the floor and in 1927, he formed a company called ‘Jenny’ to produce a steam cleaner that became known as the ‘Steam Jenny’.
Then In 1939 the Sioux company, also in the USA, became the first major company to manufacture electrically-powered, heavy duty, industrial steam cleaning equipment.Because the amoubnt of water used is low (dry steam) and because it cools more quickly at higher temperatatures is is safer to use at a higher temperature and. It is much preferable to using substances containing caustic soda (which also has the ability to get rid of grease) as caustic soda is much more dangerous and can cause blindness (if splashes get into the eyes), breathing difficulties or severe chemical burns on skin.
The ability to dissolve grease and other sticky deposits means steam is particularly useful in a commercial kitchen. Gradually steam has been extended to other purposes that include steam saunas for weight loss, pressure cooking with steam power for healthy. Steam is also especially useful because kitchens need to be sure that any cleaning chemicals being used are not going to contaminate food or trigger allergies (and expensive litigation) in their customers.
Super-heated, clean water (steam) meets this need as well as the need to ensure that the kitchen meets stringent food safety and hygiene regulations legally required of any food outlet. It is usable without damage on a variety of surfaces that include stainless steel, aluminium, plastics, lamintaes and wood.
A regular schedule of steam cleaning carried out by a specialist commercial cleaning company can ensure that hygiene is at a very high standard and the regular daily cleaning between steam cleans is much easier. Frequency of a thorough professional kitchen steam clean depends on the type of food it is producing because some dishes by their nature produce more oil, grease or other elements like spice during the cooking process. A reliable professional cleaning company will be able to advise on this and put together a schedule tailored to cause minimum disruption to the commercial kitchen’s daily work.