prepared and stored. And while restaurants in England can choose whether or not to display these ratings for all to see, the practice is compulsory in Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, whether or not a restaurant chooses to display its ratings has become irrelevant. All hygiene assessments are now displayed on the Food Standards Agency’s own website, where anyone can check them before they dine.

Even those of us who are insufficiently motivated to make these checks will quickly come to hear about any hygiene transgressions. Once again, this information is freely available and highly likely to reach us through news sites, online reports and social media.

News sources all over the country have had a field day over recent years as they are suddenly able to discover the least hygienic restaurants in their vicinity. So, articles abound about famous restaurants with shockingly poor ratings; takeaways that continue to operate with zero stars, and areas of the country where five-star or zero-star eating houses proliferate.

Because of this, restaurants are more exposed to criticism about hygiene than ever before which makes it even more important for them to be seen to be clean. This is easier said than done in the chaotic environment of the restaurant kitchen, where any number of meals are being worked upon at once.

It’s therefore crucial that kitchens provide a good ‘flow’ around the premises, enabling staff to find cleaning and hygiene products at critical moments so that they can clean up as they go, without wasting precious moments hunting around for equipment.

Commercial kitchens need to be tidy and organised, with a place for everything and everything in its place to enable staff to carry out their jobs effectively. Besides enhancing efficiency, this will also create a good impression on all those diners observing through the viewing window – and on the restaurant inspectors as well.

All products and equipment need to be carefully placed to ensure that no logjams are created and that everyone can move around the kitchen with ease. Hygiene should be factored into every step of the process and quality hygiene solutions should be provided for staff. Products such as soap and paper towels should be made readily available at the entrance and exit of kitchens and placed at eye level to ensure that they are not missed. This makes it an ingrained habit for staff to use them.

Effective systems for surface cleaning should also be highly visible since staff should not have to hunt around for these products when they need them.

Smart, cohesive cleaning and hygiene systems will go a long way towards creating an impression of neatness and order. Tork Reflex, for example, is housed in an easy- to-clean dispenser that protects the paper inside before use. It is available as a portable version or a wall-mounted dispenser, according to customer preference.

Colour-coded cloths will also support order and control, making it clear to inspectors that staff are using different cloths on surfaces where raw meats are prepared, or

where nuts and other allergens are being handled, etc. Tork Coloured Long-Lasting Cleaning Cloth fits the bill here.

In fact, it is not only the kitchens and meals in restaurants that are being photographed and judged by the public. The washrooms are also being assessed – and it turns out these can have a major influence on the diner’s overall experience.

In a series of surveys run by Essity, it emerged that more than 80% of us believe a dirty washroom in a restaurant to be a likely reflection of standards in the kitchen, and more than 75% respondents said they would not return to an establishment where the toilets were unclean.

55% of diners considered clean and sanitary washrooms to be of major importance when dining out. More than half of the 3000 people questioned admitting to having shared pictures of restaurant washrooms on social media.

So, attractive washrooms with plenty of supplies of soap, hand towels and toilet tissue are an important asset to any restaurant. Units such as the Tork Image Design Line of dispensers can help to create a cohesive effect and provide ambiance. The unit is stainless steel with sleek black plastic and the range includes

“Staff are constantly

on show, putting them under greater pressure to wash their hands

frequently and to keep all surfaces clean and uncluttered.”

dispensers for interfold towels, toilet tissue and foam soap in both manual and sensor- operated versions, plus a stainless steel tissue box, a coat hook and matching bin to create a cohesive look.

We live in a world where we are constantly being watched in everything we do. And now that everyone is equipped with a camera and recording equipment on their phone, we are also being photographed and videoed. So, it is those restaurants that are prepared to play to the camera and create spectacular, photogenic dishes in premises that are clean, well-ordered and well-equipped that will inevitably thrive in today’s transparent world. FOOD HYGIENE AND STEAM CLEANING | 57

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