At a time when many bakery businesses are temporarily shutting down operations, Bolton-based NWCE Foodservice Equipment offers advice on ensuring catering areas are clean, safe and ready for when the government announces it is safe to re-open.

Cooking and worktop areas
Turn off gas and water connections, clean any pipes and drain lines and ensure these are dry. Clean all surfaces and storage areas thoroughly, including above and underneath. Once the area is sanitised, leave it to dry then cover with a dust sheet. This will ensure you are ready to re-open quickly when allowed. With fryers, leave the drain valve open after rinsing through until the unit is dry.

Combi and convection ovens
Put the unit through a full internal chemical clean if it has this option. If not, then put the unit on steam for a while to help lift off burnt-on products, carry out a manual deep clean internally, including the door seal, door channels and drip trays. Flush through the drains thoroughly to remove grease and fats. Leave the door open, so the internal cavity does not trap moisture and is able to dry. Disconnect from the power supply and cover with a dust sheet.

Microwaves and accelerated cooking equipment
Disconnect from the electrical supply, clean all internal cavity and filters, remove any splash guards and clean, then dry off before putting them back in. Leave the door open for circulation. This will help dry the unit internally, helping to reduce mould building up. Cover with a dust sheet if possible

Fridges and freezers
Remove all perishable items and disconnect from the power supply. Clean all areas, including door seals, hinges and the internals. If the unit has a collection tray, make sure this is also empty. Adequate air circulation will be required during storage, so keep the doors open and cover the unit to protect from dust and damp.

Walk-in cold rooms
Before turning the unit off, remove all perishable items and clean all racking, floors and walls. Make sure to include the door and door seal. Leave the door ajar for circulation to help dry the room out.

Dishwashers and glasswashers
Disconnect from the power, water and chemical supply. Ensure they are emptied and drained, then thoroughly clean all areas, including baskets and strainers, and dry thoroughly throughout. Leave the doors open and the baskets and strainers outside the unit if you can.

Extractor hoods and fans
Clean all areas, including removing and cleaning the filters, drains and grease collection trays. Make sure the filters are dry before putting them back into the canopy.

To avoid unwelcome odours, flush through thoroughly and seal off where possible. This will also block access for any vermin or insects.

Gas safety and interlocking
Turn gas off at the nearest isolator to the kitchen, which should ensure that any gas leaks you may have will be isolated. You will be able to turn your gas interlock system off, if you have one, by either a key on the panel or a power switch.

Ice machines
Disconnect from the power supply, clean the internal storage bin thoroughly with an anti-mildew chemical – if this is not possible, then hot soapy water will do. It is imperative the drain is cleaned on an ice machine also, this can be swilled through with boiling water. Dry out well and leave the door open for air circulation. Cover with a dust sheet once dry.

Pest control
Ensure you notify your pest control supplier of when you shut down and ask for their advice on how to keep deterrents up to date.