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Is Your Food Establishment Clean?

Is your restaurant, bar or hotel clean? I mean really clean. I don't mean "do you stick to all the rules and regulations?". I mean, do you and your staff really care about cleanliness and hygiene?

Just complying with hygiene regulations will almost certainly result in you breaking them. By meeting standards that are higher than the minimum you will probably comply with them. But is this enough? There are two mindsets when it comes to good hygiene practice in catering businesses. One is the "will I avoid a fine?" school of thought. The other mindset is: "I really care that my customers can enjoy the highest standards of hygiene".

Hygiene Officer

Should you have a designated hygiene officer in your establishment? Some jurisdictions insist on having a person who is responsible for hygiene (depending on the size of the business). This is a double-edged sword. The hygiene officer must have some clout, though, and have a direct route to senior management. On the other hand if the hygiene officer appointment is just a sop to regulations or a way of impressing health inspectors it could actually make things worse. Why? Because hygiene is the responsibility of everyone. All staff from top to bottom must ensure that they and their customers are working in clean conditions. The danger of having a hygiene officer is that the rest of the staff may feel justified in disowning responsibility for this area. The hygiene officer must not be the cleaner. So, unless the law says you must have a hygiene officer, think long and hard before you go down this route. If you do, do it well and it will pay off.

Cleanliness is Next to Succesfulness...

Why would you want to go beyond the basic standard when this costs you money? Just look at the successful restaurant chains: McDonalds and Pizza Hut have had their critics, but one things they have in common is that they are very clean. The cleanliness of these establishments may not be immediately noticeable to customers, but the subliminal message sinks into the sub-conscious: "This is a place I feel it is safe to eat at" or "I am happy for my kids to eat here" - these thoughts become hard-wired at each visit (yes I know there will be exceptions, but please accept my generalization for now!). OK, so you don't want to be a McDonalds. That's fine - but you do want customers, right?

Involving Staff

Anyway, there is no great cost involved in keeping things clean. What about encouraging more staff to eat in your kitchen, restaurant or bar. Do you charge them? Try reducing or waiving the charge. You need to encourage the staff to eat the food that you produce. They will not want to eat food in a dirty establishment. By having staff eat the food that they produce and serve, you have already introduced mutual quality control and hygiene monitoring.

Of course, a pastoral attitude towards you customers is what you are surely looking for. In other words, your customers are dear to you, aren't they? Well, try to endear them to your staff. Phrases like "would you eat off of that plate", or "would you like it if restaurant staff didn't wash their hands in the washroom" are very helpful. They personalize the effort rather than making it into the boss's issue.

And what of the boss? Does the boss in turn just make it into an issue with the health inspectors? Does the boss really care about the customers or does he just want to comply as cheaply as possibly with the rules?

Go For Quality

We sell InsectoCutor fly killers. Our customers are firmly in the former of those two camps. They really care about their customers. I don't make this statement flippantly. They really do care and speak up for their customers. From the smallest to the largest, when you see a food establishment with an InsectoCutor fly killer machine, this is a virtual hallmark of cleanliness.

And why do they prefer InsectoCutor fly killers? They are not the cheapest.

Well, they are not plastic but are made of steel. They do not allow insects to explode but are tuned very carefully to ensure the insects drop full-bodied into the catch tray. If you want to comply - just comply - with the hygiene regulations in your area then go ahead and buy a cheap, short-life low quality fly killer (you may still not comply!). On the other hand, if you want to keep and attract more customers and really care for those customers, I would urge you to buy InsectoCutor fly killers.

Fly Killers are available from Arkay Hygiene. For small establishments, the F1 or F2 fly Killers are ideal.

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