Article provided by Lucy Wyndham
Mold is everywhere: there is 1,000 species in the United States and more than 100,000 worldwide. While not all mold is harmful, you certainly shouldn’t waste time dealing with the signs of the fungus in your restaurant.
The humidity in the restaurant kitchen makes particularly vulnerable mold, which can not only ruin food quality and cause health inspection problems, but also make employees and customers very sick. In order to rid professional kitchens of mold and ensure they are mold free, there are some considerations to keep in mind.
The warning signs
Restaurant owners are often most concerned with the appearance of the dining room, which is why it’s easy to overlook the condition of kitchens and bathrooms. Mold thrives in warm, humid environments, and restaurant kitchens have many surfaces that are not aired out very often. This is why kitchens are the most susceptible areas in a restaurant to mold growth.
Thorough mold inspection is crucial, so be sure to check easily overlooked areas such as under sinks, behind freezers, around the microwave, pantry, etc. Many times you won’t be able to see the fungus, but smell it. Since mold often grows in dark, undisturbed areas, the first signs are often musty smells. You can also look for discolored, fuzzy, and slimy spots, as well as moisture and leaks.
Get rid of mold
After detecting mold in the kitchen, it is crucial that the problem is solved immediately because it can spread very quickly. If it is only a small flower, it is possible to solve the problem yourself with a mixture of bleach and water. Dilute a cup of bleach with a gallon of hot water in a plastic (not metal!) container. Then, transfer the solution to a spray bottle.
Cover objects and furniture before spraying and wear gloves and goggles to protect eyes. It’s also important to keep the area well ventilated, so keep windows and doors open and exhaust fans running. Spray the affected surface and let it soak into the mold for at least five minutes. Then, with a stiff scrub brush, remove the fungus growth.
In many cases, hiring professionals to take care of the mold problem would be the best solution, especially if the bloom is heavy. Specialists will be able to accurately diagnose the problem, so they are sure to take the right steps to get rid of it. If the restaurant has been closed due to a mold problem, the establishment must present documentation of the authorization of the professionals who dealt with the problem.
Taking precautionary measures can prevent mold growth from occurring in the first place. Schedule a regular deep cleaning to stop the problem before it starts. Enforce policies to ensure trash is disposed of regularly and any sources of excessive moisture, such as leaks, are dealt with immediately.
Mold also grows quickly on food, so it’s important to inspect food before bringing it into the kitchen. Be on the lookout for obvious abrasions, bruises, and growths. And of course, always check expiration dates and make sure all opened containers are properly sealed. This not only prevents mold growth, but also reduces food waste.
Discovering mold growth in a restaurant kitchen can really put a damper on business. Because sweaty, humid kitchens are the perfect environment for mold growth, it will take extra effort to keep it at bay. But by staying vigilant and making sure the kitchen is clean and dry, you can keep your restaurant kitchen mold-free.