The Biotest Top Ten Cleaning List

Over the fifteen years he's been inspecting facilities across the United States, in facilities from hot dog stands to five star restaurants, our president Steven Lipton has collected his ten top cleaning violations. While many are merely cleaning issues, some may effect other violations as well. So for both inspectors and restaurant management we present this list. Please note this is the opinion of Mr. Lipton, based on his experience and not  a scientific or statistical survey of known violations, your experience may vary. If you are interested in Steve helping your inspectors or food service management identify possible violations they are other wise missing, e-mail Steve or call us at (847) 824-3113 

10. The floor under food storage shelves and posts

Places that tend to get missed are under the shelves near the cove molding and the under shelf posts, under wheels of equipment or any other small, hard to get at area. If there are pipes and conduits in this area, often debris will collect back there as well. 

9. The counter under the coffee or cappuccino machines.

 Coffee beans  will collect under here, and  roaches love coffee....  Often this cleaning issue is due to not using  4-inch legs on the permanent equipment.  If you do not yet have 4-inch legs  on your equipment, try obtaining them so you can  easily clean under the machines.

8. Hoods and fire suppression systems

 Both for fire safety and for preventing grease, dust and condensation from dripping into food, keeping hoods, hood filters, and the fire suppression systems  clean  and maintained  is a highly recommended practice

7. Heating ducts and surrounding ceilings

When hoods are not effective enough, cooking dust and particulates  can accumulate in  the rest of the ventilation. There's nothing like a customer having a dust bunny fall into their food from the ceiling........

6. Around the garbage area

No big surprises here. Keeping the Garbage area clean and secured prevents access from rodents and other animals to food sources.  

5.Cobra-Head soft drink dispenser holders

When wet, these often can be places where mold and yeasts will accumulate. When not in use, keep them as dry as possible. Make sure that the drain line from these holders are functioning properly and not pooling soft drink syrup anywhere. This is also part of a good control  program for fruit flies, as they find such mold very tasty. 

4. Locker & rest room floors and ceilings

 Workers at locations store many things here,  some of them are not really wanted  in a food service facility.  Check this area for rotten  half eaten food regularly,  which can be  a common source of a pest problem.  If you have a drop ceiling, often employees will hide things in the drop ceiling they don't want management to know they have, so check this area regularly.

3. Food slicers

Biotest Services Inc. started with an investigation of  an outbreak associated  with cross contamination through a food slicer, so this one is near and dear to our hearts. 

2. Exchange coils in the coolers

One of the biggest ignored factors in refrigeration not working at proper temperatures is this one. Make sure all internal and external coils are free of dust and grease. If there are outside compressors, check for leaves and other debris getting caught in the compressors. Often a $5 can of compressed air  and blowing out the coils is all that is needed to bring a improperly working refrigeration unit back into proper temperatures. Of course, make sure there is no food around while cleaning.    

1. THE ICE MACHINE!!!!!!!!

For those who have ever opened up an ice machine or looked inside the storage bin, the science fair project from a  Florida teen finding  water from ice in many commercial ice machines had a higher bacterial count than the toilets in the same restaurants should be no surprise.  Mold, Algae and bacteria can grow in this very moist environment very rapidly and visibly.