Stewarding plays a crucial role in maintaining kitchen hygiene in various food service establishments, such as restaurants, hotels, and catering facilities. Infact, stewarding is integral to maintaining kitchen hygiene, which is essential for the safety of both customers and staff, as well as for the overall success and reputation of food service establishments. Proper stewarding practices help prevent foodborne illnesses, maintain compliance with regulations, and create a clean and welcoming environment for patrons. We spoke to Mario Creado, Assistant Stewarding Manager, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Hotel to understand his best practices towards maintaining an impeccably clean kitchen.
Share the cleaning practices you follow in the kitchen and dining area.
The cleaning practices we follow in the kitchen and dining area are designed to ensure that all surfaces are clean, sanitized, and free of bacteria. The specific steps we follow vary depending on the area being cleaned, but some of the common steps include:
Daily cleaning routines:
We have a team of dedicated stewarding staff who conduct daily cleaning routines. This involves cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces including countertops, kitchen equipment, and dining tables. We use an Ecolab sanitizer called Oasis 146. Sweeping and mopping the floors is done in kitchens and dining areas after every meal period daily.
Scheduled deep cleaning:
Periodically, we conduct deep cleaning sessions to reach areas that may not be cleaned during daily routines. This includes cleaning behind and under equipment, deep-cleaning ovens and grills, and sanitizing exhaust systems. We also have daily (soaking of crockery & cutlery in chemical)and weekly schedules (eg: Cleaning of Ice machine, Descaling of Dishwasher and Bain Marie, Deep cleaning of chillers and freezers, cleaning of walls and ceilings)
Quarterly deep cleaning of kitchen equipment:
Every quarter the Stewarding, Engineering and Pest Control team dismantle kitchen equipment and the preventive maintenance is done and treatment is carried out.
Our stewarding team follows strict dishwashing procedures, including pre-soaking, washing, rinsing, and sanitizing dishes, glasses, and utensils. Physical checks are carried out on the washed items coming from the dishwasher, if found dirty we clean it once again with soap and scoring pad and pass it in the dishwasher.We also ensure that the dishwashing machine is well-maintained with proper temperatures and regularly serviced.
We use industry-approved cleaning agents from ECOLAB and ensure that our staff is well-trained in handling chemicals safely. Staff are given Chemical Re-fresher trainings every six months. We also maintain Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all cleaning products.
Regular pest control measures are in place to prevent any infestations in the kitchen and dining areas.
Disposing of all trash and food waste:
We segregate waste at its source into different categories: food waste, non-food waste (such as packaging materials), and hazardous waste (e.g., broken glass). This separation is essential for efficient disposal and recycling. Food waste bins are emptied regularly, at least daily, to prevent odors and pest infestations.
Is there ongoing training required for stewarding managers/staff?
Yes, there is ongoing training required for stewarding managers and staff. This training is important to ensure that everyone is up-to-date on the latest cleaning practices and procedures. The training also covers topics such as food safety, cross-contamination, and the use of cleaning chemicals.
I personally conduct regular training sessions for my staff on these topics. I also encourage my staff to attend workshops and seminars conducted by our L&D and HSE department to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in stewarding e.g.
Hygiene and sanitation:
Regular training on the latest hygiene and sanitation practices, including HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) principles.
Training staff on the proper use and maintenance of kitchen equipment to ensure longevity and safety.
This training is conducted by ECOLAB in the safe handling and storage of cleaning chemicals.
Building effective communication skills among the stewarding team to ensure smooth coordination with kitchen and service staff.
Training on eco-friendly practices and the use of environmentally responsible cleaning products.
What is the required skill set for a stewarding manager in any hotel?
The required skill set for a stewarding manager in any hotel includes:
Effective leadership skills to manage and motivate a team of stewarding staff.
Strong knowledge of hygiene and sanitation practices, including food safety regulations.
Excellent organizational skills to maintain a clean and organized kitchen.
The ability to identify and address cleaning and maintenance issues promptly.
Good communication skills for coordinating with other departments and managing staff effectively.
Understanding of kitchen equipment and cleaning agents. Knowledge of cleaning and sanitation procedures.
Awareness of eco-friendly practices and products.
Ability to work independently and as part of a team :
The Stewarding manager must be a good role model
In addition to these skills, a stewarding manager should also be able to:
· Set and enforce cleaning standards
· Train and supervise staff
· Manage inventory and budgets
· Troubleshoot problems
· Stay up-to-date on the latest trends in stewarding
How do you ensure the kitchen is clean, well maintained and organised at all times?
I ensure that the kitchen is clean, well maintained, and organized at all times by following a strict cleaning schedule and by conducting regular inspections. I also work with my staff to ensure that they are following proper cleaning procedures.
In addition, I make sure that all equipment is properly maintained and that all supplies are stocked. I also create a system for organizing the kitchen so that everything is easy to find and use.
Regular inspections are conducted on daily basis
Training programs emphasize the importance of cleanliness.
We have an efficient inventory system for cleaning supplies so we don’t run out of essential items like tissues, fuel or garbage bags.
Preventive maintenance schedules are in place for kitchen equipment.We do a weekly walk around with the engineering team and Head Chef and check for maintenance issues in the kitchens.
What kind of equipment do you use and what are the steps taken to ensure all equipment are clean and in good working order?
We use a variety of equipment to clean the kitchen and dining area, including:
- Mops/Floor wiper
- Vacuum cleaners
- Floor scrubber machine
- Water Jet machine
- Fat Tank ( to decarbonise pots and pans)
- Cleaning chemicals
We ensure that all equipment is clean and in good working order by following a regular maintenance schedule. We also have our staff inspect the equipment regularly to make sure it is working properly.
Daily cleaning and sanitization routines are followed.
Equipment maintenance schedules are strictly adhered to.
Immediate repairs are carried out when needed.
Staff is trained to report any issues promptly.
Are eco-friendly products being used in the cleaning process? How much importance is given to use these?
Yes, we use eco-friendly products in the cleaning process whenever possible. I believe that it is important to use products that are safe for the environment and for the people who work in the kitchen. We use ECOLAB chemicals and the Garbage bags are bio-degradable. The chemical in the Fat Tank machine is safe on hands and eco-friendly.
We give a lot of importance to using eco-friendly products. We believe that it is not only the right thing to do, but it is also good for business. Eco-friendly products are often more effective than traditional cleaning products, and they can help to reduce the risk of health problems for my staff.
Environmental sustainability is of utmost importance to us. We choose products that are biodegradable, non-toxic, and energy-efficient whenever possible. This aligns with our commitment to reducing our ecological footprint and promoting a healthier environment.
What are the steps taken for food safety in the kitchen area?
We take a number of steps to ensure food safety in the kitchen area, including:
- Adhering to strict food safety guidelines
- Conducting regular inspections
- Training staff on food safety procedures( eg: Hand washing and Grooming standards)
- Visitors Policy in place
- Separate area for De-boxing
- Using clean and sanitized equipment
- Storing food properly
- Disposing of food waste properly
- Strict adherence to HACCP principles
- Temperature monitoring of food storage.
- Cross-contamination prevention measures.
- Thorough cleaning and sanitization of food contact surfaces.