Food hygiene inspections coronavirus

1Enya McAteer, Mulkerns Spar Jonesborough, County Armagh

“Having a clean store is our number-one priority, so I’ve instilled a cleaning routine. There’s one in the morning and one in the evening, and the people doing them have to sign them off and then I’ll check it. The sign off makes sure our standards aren’t slipping. People are still cautious, so it’s so important to have a clean store.

“At 8pm we clean the floors, the till and the coffee machine. The coffee machine has a cleaning schedule that’s signed off every hour because there’s milk in there. The front of the store and the deli are also important to keep clean. Customers won’t trust your food standards if the area is not clean.

“Once a week, we’ll focus on a certain area or aisle so the whole shop gets a deep clean every six weeks. And with lots of farmers with dirty wellies coming into the store, keeping the floors clean is also very important.”

2Alpesh Shingadia, Budgens Southwater, Horsham, West Sussex

“We’re still maintaining those high standards that we built up during the pandemic. It’s been built into the customer journey that we have clean areas and clean places not only on the shop floor, but also back of house in the back office. We’ve needed to be very flexible and fast on this at the moment with cases increasing again, so it’s still really important.

“We had a chat with the staff to see if there were any cleaning systems or safety equipment they’d like us to put in. The situation is always changing. You need to have areas you’re cleaning daily, weekly and monthly. Things such as door handles, baskets, checkout areas – these are cleaned daily and there are checklists to make sure they are cleaned. Weekly cleans are things like back of house and the glass windows.

“I would advise retailers to have weekly and monthly cleaning rotas and allocate people to certain sections of the store.”

3Catherine Johnson, Premier St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire

“Before Covid-19, we had a system that had a crib sheet for every level in the store. We tried to get through and clean everything within a month. We were even more diligent with that during the pandemic. We always want to maintain a high standard of cleanliness. Even without the pandemic, there are colds and everything else going around, so you want to stop people transmitting. We still have hand sanitiser in the shop and shields at the till. “The fridges need to be cleaned far more often, but that’s because there’s a higher turnaround on milk, fruit and veg, and high-risk products. And because they’re glass and well-lit, they show any dirt or marks faster. The areas near the door, which is kept open, need cleaning more often as well. Generally, hightraf ????ic parts of the store need to be cleaned three times more often than low-traf????ic areas.”

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