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The Hospitality Guru (cooking) Back to Basics: Maintenance & Cleaning

Updated on October 12, 2015

Portable items are items, which are not fixed and can be mechanical or utensils.  They must be washed in hot soapy water and detergent.  Clean items thoroughly and rinse in hot water.


  • Electrical components of the equipment must not come in contact with water.
  • The temperature of the water for all rinsing must be at least 77C degrees to kill bacteria.
  • Large (fixed) equipment should be scrubbed with a stiff  brush to remove all food and grease.  Wash with hot water, (77C degrees) and detergent.  Rinse with hot water and dry with a clean cloth.  A sanitiser can be used, instead of hot water, to kill bacteria.
  • Copper and aluminium items need special care because those metals can oxidise food, especially high acid food (eg sauerkraut), which may lead to food poisoning.
  • Copper items can be washed in detergent and hot water with the aid of a kitchen brush.  The outside of a copper pot can be cleaned with a mixture of salt and vinegar or brand name (using alternative copper cleaners is far more detrimental to the product) copper cleaner, then washed and rinsed well.
  • Aluminium pots and pans need to be washed in detergent, hot water and cleaned with a nylon or copper abrasive pad.  Steel wool is not suitable as the fibres may lodge in small lesions in the surface. (In fact I suggest not using steel wool AT ALL in a commercial kitchen).   The items must be rinsed well and dried thoroughly.  Don’t wash aluminium in water containing soda or other acid based products because the protective film which prevents corrosion may be damaged.



Abrasives should only be used in moderation as their constant scratching of the surface makes it more difficult to clean the article next time.

Food must be protected from lubricants (machine oils), detergents and all other cleaning products.  It is illegal to store food and cleaning products together.

Failure to maintain equipment and utensils hygienically and in good condition may result in food poisoning.

The tin lining of copper pots must be properly cleaned and maintained, otherwise adverse reactions between food and copper may occur.


  • The temperature of the water for rinsing must be at least 77C degrees or a sanitiser used to kill bacteria.
  • Copper and aluminium need special care.
  • Piping bags must be thoroughly cleaned and some can be boiled
  • Do not store food and cleaning products together
  • Abrasives must be used with care
  • Food poisoning may occur if strict hygiene standards are not maintained


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