One of the dirtiest places in an office is the pantry simply because it’s a high-traffic area. What’s more, the presence of food and food waste can foster a breeding ground for pests, germs, mould, and other disease-causing organisms.
This isn’t an ideal situation because, again, there are any number of people congregating in an office’s pantry, kitchen, and mess hall at any time. Thus, the risk of acquiring and spreading illnesses is high. A dirty communal space can also have an effect on a person’s mood and mental health.
As part of your obligation as an employer to provide a health and safe working environment for your employees, you need to ensure that your office pantry is clean and hygienic. While it can be challenging to do so, due to the reasons stated above, it’s not entirely impossible.
Here are some best practices and tips to maintain the cleanliness in your office pantry:
Hire Professional Cleaners
One of the biggest factors that makes it difficult to keep offices clean is that different people have different habits with regard to cleaning up. Some might be more mindful, while some can be a little careless. In addition, cleaning and tidying up the pantry aren’t among the core duties of your employees.
This is why it’s best to leave the task of keeping your office pantry (your entire office, really) to office cleaning service providers like Crewcare. With properly trained personnel and the right equipment, you can count on professionals to keep things neat, clean, and hygienic at all times.
Enforce a “CLAYGO” Policy
While hiring professional cleaners is the best way to keep your office pantry clean, keep in mind that the overall cleanliness of the workplace is a shared responsibility. Simply put, everyone has a stake and should do their part to keep things in order.
For this, it can be helpful to implement a CLAYGO or clean as you go policy. This is essentially the practice of picking up after yourself, whether that’s putting food wrappers into the trash bin or placing used dining utensils in the sink.
A CLAYGO policy is especially important in a workplace where there’s no in-house janitorial crew that conducts hourly cleaning tasks.
Keep Things Organised
To encourage your employees to follow your CLAYGO policy and maintain the cleanliness in the office pantry, you need to take the first step. You can do this by keeping things organised through labels, storage solutions, and the like.
For example, you can buy desk organisers so that clean spoons, forks, and knives have individual containers inside their respective cabinets. It’s also helpful to indicate clearly where everything should go, from coffee mugs to dish towels.
With an organised office pantry, you avoid clutter and messes that can become the cause of health and safety risks. Plus, a clean pantry is more pleasant to be in and can perhaps even encourage your employees to take breaks whenever they need one.
Provide Cleaning Materials and Supplies
Sometimes, people don’t clean up after themselves because it’s not easy for them to do so. If they spill something, for example, it’s hard to wipe up the mess without paper towels or cleaning rags. The same can be said about the absence of dish soap, proper trash bins, and the like.
To make your employees more willing to clean up the pantry, make sure to provide cleaning necessities that they can easily access. Some of the most important ones include:
- paper towels
- microfiber cloths
- dish detergent and dish sponge
- hand soap, hand sanitisers, and alcohol
- waste bins with liners
- mops, brooms, and dustpans
With these supplies readily available, your employees are more likely to perform simply cleaning and organising tasks in the pantry. Of course, make sure to wash, replace, and/or replenish them when necessary. Most commercial cleaners will handle this task but to be sure, discuss it with them so you’re on the same page.
Schedule a Deep Cleaning Every Month
Even with daily maintenance, your office pantry will eventually need some deep cleaning. There are plenty of hard-to-reach areas in such a space, such as under the refrigerator and atop high shelves. In addition, greasy residues can accumulate on tables, countertops, and floors.
Many appliances in the pantry also require regular sessions of deep cleaning, including the refrigerator, microwave oven, and coffee maker. Moreover, the sink and its fixtures need to be scrubbed every so often to keep them sparkling clean.
Depending on the size of your office pantry and the foot traffic it receives, it’s ideal to schedule a deep cleaning at least once a month. Doing this not only maintains cleanliness and good hygiene, but also keeps your facilities in good shape for longer.
Places like pantries, kitchens, and dining areas can be difficult to keep clean because of factors like the presence of food and constant level of activity. However, there are plenty of simple things you can do to keep things spick and span. Follow the above-mentioned tips to maintain a clean office pantry in an efficient manner.