Cleaning Your Kitchen – Drains

Kitchen Hygiene, please

Kitchens can be very dirty places if the management wants it to be, or leaves it piling up trash. Kitchen hygiene should be emphasized a lot – Not only kitchens that provide food for airplane trips (with HACCP checkpoints) but also the standard kitchen in restaurants we visit all the time. It's daunting to see many restaurants here in Malaysia do not keep up to the standard of hygiene in the kitchen.

Today, Food Central is going to talk about kitchen hygiene, focusing on drains. Somewhat during our dear Chef – Mr. Sun's time in a Chinese kitchen before, he pointed out that there are different types of drains constructed in restaurants. Some do not even have a proper drainage system, or open drains topped with 1 1/2 inch thick holes.

Drains are very important in a kitchen, especially when it's a commercial, busy kitchen. For home kitchens, there may not be so much hassle as cooking activities and preparations are not done at large every single day.

Filters on the other hand could cover filters for the sink, filters for the ventilation equipment, filters for the drains and filters for the water system. Filters play a huge role in ensuring comfortable, safe kitchen handling and food quality – And also depending on how well it's maintained and kept.

Kitchen Drainage Systems
A proper commercial kitchen should always be designed in a way where it would not contain any water on the floor – Lest accidents are bound to occur. Like the bathroom, the drain is a hole kept on one side of the bathroom, while its landscape is made ​​such a way it's lower, to enable gravity to flush excess water into the drain.

Raw and cooked food; water, sauces or soups; dirt and sand; plastic materials; sometimes even kitchen utensils, are often found on the kitchen floor, and they become dangerous once it's on the floor. Not to say everything has to go into the drain, but it's more of a mini sewerage system for the kitchen. Here are some common uses of the drain.

  1. Draining convenience during kitchen cleaning.
  2. To drain unusable liquid or dangerous liquidized materials in a large amount without cross contamination (liquid with strong acid, hot oil / greasy items or scraps of chemicals cleaned in a water solution)
  3. To keep the kitchen floor off excess water.
  4. Transfer liquid from in the kitchen to an appropriate place (rather than the sink).

There are many misuses of the drain, also. In certain kitchens (which are not supposed to be made kitchens), drains are not available, sometimes to the extent of not having a hole for drainage at all. At times when kitchen staff are less disciplined, trash will see its way to the drain. Or maybe sometimes, when a soup needs to be thrown away, they still contain certain solid materials.

Although there are requirements in building a kitchen but there's no law to it stating that in a kitchen, you need this much of drain build or you will not be able to get your license. Have a drain for your kitchen, and you can see that things get very much easier. You can follow these few tips to better drains in your kitchen:

  1. Below the grill frame used to cover the drain, have another layer of filtering wire where they can filter off bigger solid items. Alternatively, you can also use drain frames with smaller holes in diameter to allow only liquid to pass, not solid items. But this alternative method is bad in the long run. Rubbish will be on the floor after liquid has been drained.
  2. Scrap the sides of your drain in order to not accumulate rubbish that are stuck.
  3. If your kitchen floor is cleaned from time to time, you might not have a smelly drain. Should you encounter this, 1 cup of baking soda into 4 quarts of hot water will help a lot.
  4. At times, the drain can grow plants, or roots. Use hot water to wash it away or acidic items like vinegar to take them off. If you're encountering something like tree roots growing out of the drain, consult a professional drainage company immediately.