As the chaos of the mad rush has started to subside, your exhaustion begins to sets in. By this time, many employees and food truck owners are not as enthused about cleaning up after the successful day of prep and service. As a specialty builder for high-end food trucks and trailers, APEX would like to offer some tips for cleaning food trucks that will enhance the look of your truck, increase customer perception of cleanliness; and will keep all employees accountable for their tasks.
Let's Get Started on Tips for Cleaning Food Trucks
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It's important to note that the main reason for properly cleaning your food truck is to maintain and protect the health of your customers, as well as meet health codes and regulations; and eliminate cross-contamination. It's a critical part of the business, and one that must be done correctly.
Tips for Cleaning Food Trucks Floor
One of the largest areas to clean within the food truck is the floor. The floor accumulates so much dirt, grease, dust and food that it's important that this is kept clean, and kept safe (not slippery). Here are some tips from another food truck builder, Mobile-Cuisine that provides 6 Tips for Cleaning Your Food Truck Floor:
- Before cleaning your food truck floors, make sure floor drains (if installed) are unobstructed and working properly.
- Food truck floor surfaces, which are typically metal panels, vinyl or ceramic tile, should be sealed with a low- or anti-slip coating to foster proper sanitation and reduce the possibility of a slip-and-fall accident.
- All floor care work should be performed before food handling/processing equipment is cleaned; this helps prevent floor soil and debris from becoming airborne and landing on workstations or equipment.
- If using mops and buckets, they should be cleaned/changed daily. Soiled mops and buckets can spread contaminants across the floor, increasing contamination concerns.
- A squeegee should be used to move moisture into floor drains or out of the truck for quicker drying.
- If stored in the truck, mops, buckets, squeegees, chemicals and all floor care equipment should be stored off the ground on shelves or racks. This will help keep the equipment clean and deters pests.
Schedule for Cleaning Food Trucks
The idea of cleaning the food truck top to bottom after every service can see overwhelming. The below list, provided by Kaivac.com provides Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Tasks for Food Truck Cleaning that breaks down the tasks into more manageable and attainable. Check out these tips for cleaning food trucks:
After Each Shift
Some jobs are so important that they have to be performed multiple times each day. You should keep your prep and cook area clean by washing all the dishes as you go, brushing the grill whenever you change the type of food you cook (i.e., changing from beef to fish) and emptying the trash whenever it gets near to being full. You should also wipe down counter areas and switch up cutting boards throughout the day.
At the End of the Day
When closing down for the night, it's important to make sure that the truck is clean and ready for use the next day. It's important to clean and disinfect all of your cooking tools and appliances. For instance, you should clean the inside and outside of the microwave, empty and clean the steam table, and close down and clean all of your fryers. Next, you should clean all of your work surfaces. Last, you should wash your floor mats and sweep and clean your floor.
Since food trucks have so many different types of surfaces that need cleaning, a multipurpose cleaning system is ideal. A spray-and-vac system can be used to quickly and thoroughly clean the surfaces and floors in a food truck. You can use the low-pressure spray to apply an environmentally safe cleaner over the interior of the food truck and then use the high-pressure mode to blast all the soil and bacteria to the floor. Then, you can vacuum up the moisture and dirt leaving your surfaces clean and dry.
Some food truck cleaning jobs, while important, don't warrant being done every single night. For instance, you should empty and wash your coolers and ice machines on a weekly basis. You should also clean out your freezer, empty and scrub your coffee maker, and clean your ovens on this weekly schedule.
It's enough to do some cleaning jobs monthly, as the soil in these areas builds up slowly, and it would be a waste of time and effort to perform these tasks more regularly. You should wash the walls and ceiling on a monthly basis to keep everything looking fresh. You should also pull out the stove and fryers and clean the walls behind them to remove any built-up grease, which can be a fire hazard. It's also important to clean your exhaust hoods once a month in order to keep them free of dust, pollen, and other pollutants, as well as grease deposits. Finally, you should clean inside your light fixtures to remove dust and other debris.
Should you have specific questions on cleaning your food trucks, or information on how APEX custom food trucks and trailers maintain their longevity, give us a call - 816-853-3360 or visit apexspecialtyvehicles.com