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Cleaning checklist for food preparation areas

Implementing proper cleaning, sanitising, and disinfecting techniques is vital in the food service industry. Regular cleaning in the back-of-house helps to avoid cross-contamination and the spread of disease. Without a cleaning schedule in place, keeping your commercial kitchen clean can seem overwhelming. That’s why we have created a kitchen cleaning checklist for your staff to help ensure all important tasks are completed. Feel free to use and customise our list below for your team.

Cleaning equipment you’ll need

  • A sturdy grill brush with scraper
  • Multi-purpose cleaner
  • Disinfectant
  • Kitchen degreaser
  • Microfibre cloths
  • Non-abrasive sponges, scouring, and scrubbing pads
  • A mop and bucket
  • A broom, dustpan, and brush
  • Cleaning gloves

A complete commercial kitchen cleaning checklist

Kitchen staff typically perform many regular cleaning tasks throughout their shift. Daily sweeping and tidying during the day will make cleaning tasks at the end of the shift less time-consuming. Some tasks can wait until the end, such as emptying and wiping down the trash bins. Here is a helpful restaurant cleaning checklist for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks.

Food preparation areas

Throughout the shift

  • Wipe down and disinfect prep areas and line surfaces
  • Sanitise the cutting boards used for chopping meats or vegetables
  • Scrub the grill between cooking vegetables and meats
  • Clean and sanitise utensils between uses
  • Wipe up any spills immediately with a damp sponge


  • Clean the walls to remove splashbacks
  • Wash and sanitise all cooking and serving utensils
  • Wash and sanitise dinnerware and glassware
  • Disinfect or replace sponges
  • Disinfect the sink and the garbage disposal
  • Launder cleaning cloths and dish towels, but place aprons and uniforms in the washing machine separately
  • Dust light fixtures
A food handler using a kitchen cleaning checklist to clean


  • Unclog and de-lime all sinks and taps
  • Wipe down walls to remove grease


  • Clean refrigeration coils
  • Clean and sanitise freezers
  • Wipe down the dry storage area

Main cooking areas


  • Clean cooking equipment, including the grill, range, flattop, and fryer
  • Change the foil lining of the grill, range, and flattop
  • Wipe down and disinfect large equipment such as meat slicers, juicers, etc
  • Remove food splatters from the surface of stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators, etc
  • Remove and disinfect beverage dispenser heads
  • Put dirty dishes and hood filters through the dishwasher, using a commercial-grade dishwasher detergent
  • Wipe down cabinet doors


  • Scrub the oven and wipe clean


  • Give fryers a thorough clean
  • Move and clean beneath heavy appliances
  • Wash behind the hotline to prevent clogs
  • Vent hood cleaning

Cleaning floors


  • Sweep and mop floors, paying extra attention to underneath cabinets, mats, and walk-ins
  • Clean out grease traps
  • Wash mats


  • Use drain cleaner in floor drains
  • Check pest traps and replace if necessary

Recycling bins


  • Remove all trash and recycling to an outside dumpster or appropriate storage container
  • Wipe down the interior and exterior of recycling bins. Sweep floor and mop

Waste disposal areas


  • Place all garbage in outside garbage bins
  • Disinfect the inside of the garbage can and its exterior surface
  • Sweep and disinfect the waste disposal area


  • Empty grease traps

Want more great tips about food safety for your business?

Read our food safety blogs for more techniques to help create a cleaner and safer kitchen in your workplace. Take a look at our online and onsite food safety training courses for all food-related sectors across New Zealand.

Food Safe’s Training:

  • Complements compliance requirements
  • Is simplified and visual, and supportive of implementing learning back on-job
  • Is delivered by a trained ISO 9001 & 22000 lead auditor
  • It is delivered by a trainer with first-hand knowledge and experience in high compliance operations where Food Safe also operates, such as the meat, dairy, and seafood sector. This allows us to transfer best practices.

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For more information, call us on +64 9 2814226 or email [email protected]