Cleaning Services

The Importance of Clean Cafeterias in Schools


The importance of clean cafeterias in schools is crucial because of food hygiene. Even a microscopic germ can cause problems if it gets into a student’s stomach. Your students need to eat without worrying about the environment.

Maintaining school cafeteria hygiene should be every school administration’s top priority. Student health and cleanliness go hand in hand. Health, mood, and academic performance are all interconnected.

In this guide, we will discuss why school cleaning is important and how a school can achieve safe eating environments with minimal effort.

Why Are Clean Cafeterias Important in Schools?

Schools that maintain proper hygiene produce active students who lead healthy lives. So, cleaning school dining areas benefits your students and the school. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Having clean school lunch areas will make your students feel more comfortable. It also encourages the students to be more social and make friends. With all the stress from their classes and homework, they deserve peace of mind, right?

No matter how yummy the cafeteria food is, the students will lose their appetite if the environment is unclean. For their body and mind to function correctly, they must have an appetite for their meal.

Speaking of which, a survey by ABC News revealed that almost 16,000 students get sick from cafeteria food every year. And the percentage is increasing every year.

You can only expect the students to love their school if you give them a healthy space to grow. It is time we start promoting healthy school environments and give our little ones what they deserve.

Why You Should Be Concerned about School Cleaning?

Now that you know the importance of school hygiene, let’s learn why you should be concerned about maintaining hygiene in schools.

  • Unhygienic school cafeterias are 100% likely to spread diseases and flu that cause food poisoning.
  • Germs multiply rapidly in unclean environments, so the more you wait, the worse it gets.
  • Spilled foods or drinks on the floor can cause accidental slips, causing significant injury.
  • Oil buildup in the kitchen could start a fire hazard.

So, not only does an unclean cafeteria pose a threat to the students but also to the janitorial staff and everyone involved. If these points don’t convince you to keep the space clean, we don’t know what will!

How You Can Keep School Cafeterias Clean

Although the risks of unhygienic school cafeterias are high, cleaning them isn’t difficult. All you need to have is determination. The school board needs to be serious about the health of their students.

If you need help figuring out where to start, here are some brief yet crucial steps you can follow to clean eating spaces for students.

Regular Cleaning

Regular cleaning is one of the most obvious and effective routines for reducing germs in school food. There is no alternative to daily cleaning routines.

Your first goal is to clean all the tables, chairs, and floors. This way, leftover or spilled food doesn’t have any chance to build up a bacterial colony. Preventing foodborne illnesses is the first step to keeping everyone healthy.

Speaking of cleaning, you should only use EPA-approved cleaners. Not only does it clean, but it also disinfects the surface. It removes mould and mildew from their roots, giving you a safe, ultra-clean surface.

Once the surfaces are clean, your next aim should be washing the dishes. Use different cleaners to wash the dishes. Get a food-safe dish cleaner.

Make sure the dish cleaner doesn’t have colourants. Harsh chemicals can cause health problems for your students. This is why cleaning service providers like Holy Cross Cleaning use eco-friendly cleaners with Biodegradable enzymes. It’s safe for your students and the environment.

A study by PubMed shows that regular cleaning can yield a lower level of biocontamination. PubMed assessed weekly average data and found that the probability of student absenteeism due to illness can increase from 0.021 to 0.026. They used quantitative ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) to assess the impact. So, regular cleaning can result in a higher attendance level in your school as it ensures a healthy school environment.

You can make a routine for each staff member. This way, they can follow the routine and take their turn cleaning the cafeteria. Health department inspectors can also encourage the staff members to perform better.

Environmental health specialists won’t cause any issues unless you serve unhealthy food. Keep the cafeteria neat if you don’t want them ruining your school’s reputation.

Food Safety

If you thought germs only spread from unclean foods, you were a bit misinformed! Storage plays an important role here. Which is why school food safety is a thing, you know?

Foods should be kept at the correct temperature. You go higher or lower, and the food rots faster. And, of course, keep RAW meat in a separate refrigerator. As for the temperature, RAW meat is best kept under 5°C or below.

Inapt cooking can cause severe food poisoning. Cooking at the correct temperature is equally as important. So, you must ensure the school foods are cooked at 75 °C or higher.

You should clean storage and containers every week. This way, germs don’t get the chance to grow. You can use cleaners that come with antibacterial features. This way, you can have clean storage and kill viruses simultaneously.

Thanks to the student nutrition program, students get nutrient-rich meals every day. Keeping those meals inside contaminated storage will render this program useless. You wouldn’t want that, would you?

Food Serving

School cafeterias become chaotic during lunch break. You need to calm this chaos. Otherwise, food spills and wastage won’t stop. This is why handling the serving stations is crucial.

There should be many food stations to divide traffic into many lines. The school cafeteria manager can also create a self-service station. This way, you can tame the chaos and maintain cafeteria cleaning standards.

Holding a parent-teacher association (PTA) meeting can produce positive results. It helps determine how many stations the school needs or how to operate them.

Appointing Students

Involving the students in the school cafeteria sanitation is another excellent way of keeping everything neat. Japanese schools assign students for cleaning. The results are positive.

Appointing students to clean the cafeteria will keep them active. It also teaches them basic skills and connects them with the school.

Please don’t make them clean the entire ground, only specific areas. Give them school cleaning protocols each week. Keep changing them so every student gets a chance.

Calling Professionals

Even with regular cleanings, we recommend you call in professional cleaning service providers every month or two. Average janitorial staff can only do deep cleaning if they have the equipment.

For example, mopping the floor helps a little. The bacteria and viruses remain active. Professional cleaners use “no mopping” machines that kill viruses from their roots.

Professional cleaning teams also know which commercial cleaners work the best. You have to keep in mind that every spot requires different treatment.


The school should refrain from serving too much food. A 9th grader will eat a different amount of food than a 2nd grader. You can have plates of various sizes for different students.

Giving the students too much food will result in food waste. And it’s not beneficial for the school budget either. So, why waste the budget and invite germs at the same time?

You can also have plenty of recycling bins. Students can recycle one-time plates or glasses. If everything is done accordingly, schools won’t have to put much effort into cleaning the cafeterias.

Final Words

At this point, you already know how important school cafeteria sanitation is. We suggest contacting school cleaning service providers if you need further help.

Since we’re on this topic, why not call the best of the best? With 130+ years of experience, Holy Cross Cleaning has an unbeatable track record of cleaning spaces quickly.

They also operate silently. Schools can continue their classes at the same time. No more halting classes for cleaning.

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