Cleaning and sanitising

If you operate a food business in the Northern Territory you must make sure that the premises are kept clean and sanitised so that food does not get contaminated.

Keep premises clean

You should keep the premises clean by ensuring that:

  • there is no accumulation of garbage, recycled matter, food waste, dirt, grease or other visible matter
  • there is no visible dirt, dust or food particles
  • there are no unpleasant smells.

Keep premises sanitised

You should ensure that surfaces are sanitised with heat or chemicals to reduce bacteria to a safe level after cleaning.

Steps for effective cleaning and sanitising

Cleaning and sanitising should be done as separate processes by following the steps below:

Step 1. Pre clean - Remove dirt and food by sweeping, scraping, wiping or rinsing with water.
Step 2. Wash - Wash with warm water and detergent. Soak if necessary.
Step 3. Rinse - Rinse off detergent and any remaining food or dirt.
Step 4. Sanitise - Sanitise to eliminate/reduce micro-organisms to safe levels.
Step 5. Final rinse - Rinse off sanitiser (if necessary).
Step 6. Dry - Air dry or use a single use towel or clean tea towel.

Cleaning procedures

Food businesses should have a cleaning procedure which should provide:

  • written instructions that describe everything that needs to be done to keep the business clean
  • a list of all the tasks of cleaning and sanitising
  • details of how often each job should be done, how it should be done, and who should do it.

An example of a cleaning schedule is shown below.

If you would like blank copies of this schedule, contact your local Environmental Health office. 

Daily or after use task Who Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Clean food preparation benches and sanitise identified benches Cook
Mop Kitchen floor Cook
Clean and sanitise cutting boards Cook
Clean hand basin Afternoon shift
Weekly task Who Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Clean fridge/cold room Cook     
Sweep dry storage area Morning shift     
Monthly task Who Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Clean cupboards Cook     

For more information contact Environmental Health.

Last updated: 13 October 2017