Section 7 Fact Sheet for NSW

NSW Fact Sheet 7: Cleaning and Sanitising


Food might be contaminated and become unsafe to eat if the food premises, food preparation equipment and food transport vehicles and containers are not cleaned and sanitised properly.

Dirty equipment used in food preparation will transfer bacteria and cause food poisoning.

Dirty cloths can spread bacteria in food preparation areas. Bacteria from cleaning cloths could spread to food preparation areas if staff do not follow basic hygiene practices.

Most food poisoning bacteria are killed if they are exposed to chemical sanitisers, heat or a combination of both.


Cleaning Schedules

Create a cleaning schedule to keep track of what must be cleaned and when. The schedule sets out the cleaning tasks so that staff members know how often each job must be done, how it should be done and who should do it. A cleaning schedule should include:

  • delivery area
  • all extractor fans, kitchen equipment, display units, refrigerators and storage areas
  • the cleaning equipment itself (broken equipment should be reported and replaced)
  • a time frame that ensures there is no buildup of rubbish, recycling material or food waste or dirt and grease on any of the equipment and vehicles used to transport food.

For a sample Cleaning schedule go to Sample Cleaning Schedule

  • Operate a clean-as-you-go policy and clean all spillages immediately.
  • Provide cleaning materials, equipment and cleaning agents in order to clean effectively.
  • Wash cloths in hot water and detergent after every use and sanitise dishcloths regularly.
  • Replace cloths regularly during each shift.
  • Ensure staff members wash their hands after cleaning and change gloves, and change protective clothing, before returning to prepare or handle food.

Sanitising and Chemical Usage Tips

  • Know what your cleaning products are designed for and how to get the best from them before you use them. If you use cleaning products that are not chlorine-based, read the information from the manufacturer to check the effectiveness of the product.
  • Check with your chemical supplier for advice about what cleaning agents are suitable for food premises, food contact surfaces and equipment.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a sanitiser. Some sanitisers work as a detergent and a sanitiser and some might need to be applied more than once when used for heavy cleaning work.
  • Clean surfaces before sanitising – unclean surfaces cannot be sanitised. Sanitising small equipment may be done via heat or steam.  Work surfaces and food contact surfaces can be sanitised using chemical sanitisers where it is not appropriate to use heat.
  • Sanitise smaller items using a dishwasher. Or immerse small items for 30 seconds in a solution containing 50 ppm (parts per million) chlorine at 50°C or equivalent. Dishwasher filters need to be cleaned and the dishwasher also needs to be cleaned and sanitised.
  • Make up your bleach-and-water solutions every 24 hours because the chemical breaks down and becomes ineffective after this time. Preparation of solutions should occur away from food and food preparation areas. Old batches or out-of-date chemicals should be disposed of safely.
  • Change types of sanitser on a regular basis, especially non-chlorine-based cleaning chemicals, as some bacteria can become resistant to the active agents.
  • Store chemicals in clearly labelled containers that are free from damage or leaks and away from food in a designated area separate from food preparation and food storage areas.
  • Never store chemicals in food or drink containers.

Please see attached bleach table - reference NSW Food Authority

6 Steps for cleaning and sanitising

1. Scrape to remove visible dirt or grease
2. Rinse with clean water
3. Wash with detergent
4. Rinse again to rinse away detergent.
5. Apply sanitiser to kill any remaining bacteria
6. Rinse off and air dry




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