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Making Foodservice Floors Safer

Last updated 5 years ago

This article was originally published by CMM Online

By Rex Morrison

When it comes to soils, commercial kitchens and foodservice areas are some of the most challenging environments with which to deal.

True, restrooms have their share of issues; but, for the most part, the contaminants found there are — at least to some degree — water-soluble.

In kitchens, floors play host to a variety of soils mixed with grease, oil and whatever may have been tracked in from outside.

“We first started getting involved with restaurants about 10 years ago when we started going to the National Restaurant Association show with our large cleaning systems,” says Tom Morrison, vice president of marketing at Kaivac Inc. “We would have a lot of interest, anyone from chain store operators to chefs, people involved in the running of the restaurant. Of course, the restroom applications of our systems were apparent, but what they were really interested in was using it in the kitchen.”

The operational nature of the commercial foodservice environment is such that even floors cleaned multiple times throughout the day are again quickly covered in oily soils that also penetrate grout lines.

Out of necessity, floor maintenance becomes part of the regular routine.

The problem is that the standard go-to equipment is the outdated mop and bucket.

Mops were originally invented to apply a solution and spread it around, which they do very well; but, they do a poor job of effectively removing many soils from surfaces.

A mop will do very little to cut through grease and next to nothing in removing soils in grout lines.

Using a mop, you’re never really removing some soils; you’re simply moving them around and, at times, actually creating layer upon layer of oily buildup.

Add detergents and surfactants and it gets very interesting because the semi-porous quarry tile and grout found in many commercial kitchens retains this mix over time, resulting in a slippery, polymeric and sometimes dangerous surface.

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Rex Morrison is president of the nonprofit Process Cleaning for Healthy Facilities (PC4HF). Morrison is formerly the housekeeping training coordinator for the Washoe County School District (WCSD) in Reno, Nevada, one of the few districts in the nation to achieve ISO 9001 certification due to its focus on quality and standardized process. He pioneered Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools (PCHS) in 100 schools in Washoe County, and more recently developed PC4HF. Morrison is also a Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS) ISSA Certification Expert (ICE) ready to provide training and consulting services to cleaning organizations interested in complying with and preparing to be certified to CIMS.


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