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Hygiene standards for stainless steel food preparation surfaces


Although cleaned and disinfected, wear and tear inevitably leaves many food preparation surfaces worn and scratched and therefore vulnerable to bacterial harbouring. This is often overlooked in the catering industry when it comes to cleaning food preparation surfaces. Even though there have been vast improvements in hygiene standards within the catering industry, this is still no cause for complacency.

There are two main types of food poisoning, infectious agents and toxic agents. The vast majority of reported cases stem from infectious agents which take the form of harmful bacteria or microbes that become attached to food and subsequently infect the body. The vast majority of these instances can be traced to poor hygiene standards.

Throughout the catering industry stainless steel is probably the most common material used in food preparation environments. It is an iron based alloy which contains a minimum of 10.5 percent chromium and a maximum of 1.2 percent carbon. The chromium content provides a protective layer of chromium oxide on the surface, also known as the passive film or layer. However, to be suitable for use in food preparation areas, a minimum chromium content of 18 percent is recommended.

No matter what grade, stainless steel will stain and discolour due to surface deposits and can never be accepted as completely maintenance free. To achieve maximum corrosion resistance the surface of the stainless steel must be kept clean. Provided the cleaning schedules are carried out on a regular basis, good performance and long service life are assured. Stainless steel is easier to clean than other materials such as polymers and aluminium, and has comparable hygienic qualities to glass.

Teknomek manufactures stainless steel furniture and equipment, providing high quality and cost-effective stainless steel solutions to industry hygiene requirements.

Further details on Teknomek, its services and products can be found at


 Hygiene Standards
 Food Preparation
 Stainless Steel Surfaces
 Food Hygiene

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