Cleaning Green in Restaurants
Consumers want their restaurants to be clean, but kitchen operators struggle with the use of toxic products that present hazards to employees, customers and the environment. These products typically contain chlorine or ammonia or caustic soda, which can negatively affect the indoor air quality.
According to reporting from Mother Nature Network, many restaurants are turning to green cleaning products that extend beyond the health of staff, customers and the environment.
The article stated: Diners have voiced a preference for green dining. In a survey released earlier this year by SCA, 53 percent of adults said they would choose a green restaurant over another that didn’t embrace environmentally responsible practices. And, according to a 2010 study from Ohio State University, 80 percent of diners are willing to pay more to eat at environmentally-friendly restaurants.
But, green cleaning does pose special challenges for restaurants. The federal Food and Drug Administration food code requires that restaurants sanitize any surfaces that might come into contact with food. Most green cleaners don't meet the standards of killing 99.999% of disease-causing microorganisms within 30 seconds. While chlorine solutions are the fastest and cheapest of approved sanitizers, they are also the most toxic. Gentler, greener alternatives for restaurant cleaning include solutions containing iodine, hydrogen peroxide, peroxyacetic acid, fatty acid or citric acid.
When shopping for green alternatives for restaurant cleaning, visit the Web sites of a third party certification organizations such as Green Seal and EcoLogo that test green products for effectiveness. The Green Restaurant Association also provides a guide to green cleaning products for restaurant use.
Some other tips for green cleaning restaurants:
• Vinegar-based glass cleaners are safer alternatives to mainstream cleaners using ammonia.
• Replace petroleum-based solvents with citrus-based solvents.
• Most commercial oven cleaners are extremely caustic. Replace toxic commercial cleaners baking soda, borax, soap and elbow grease.
• Purchase cleaning products in bulk concentrate and mix on site. This will reduce your cost and your waste.
• Replace toxic insecticides with boric acid and osage oranges.
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