To determine the scope of a deep clean, consider:
- All the common areas used by the affected person. For example toilets, benches, storage areas, dining tables, chair any equipment or PPE used. All surfaces must be cleaned and sanitised especially common touch points such as light switches, keyboards, door handles, undersides of tables, chairs etc.
- The areas accessed by staff and visitors and target those areas. Including cleaners, employees and visitors to front and back of house, maintenance and delivery personnel. The extent of a deep clean will depend on circumstances, function and layout of your business. This should also include surfaces that may not be part of a normal cleaning
- Reinforce the importance of limiting where staff members need to go and where possible develop a plan of who has access what areas.
- Document a procedure to be followed in the case of COVID-19 detection and nominate one or two people who will be responsible for overseeing the process and record-keeping.
- Decide if the cleaning will be done by in-house staff or a cleaning contractor will be engaged.
- Consider how staff resources may be affected if required to self-isolate following direct or indirect contact with a confirmed case. Ensure you can demonstrate how teams can been effectively separated from each other during operations.
- If resources permit ensure there are several staff that are trained in the deep cleaning procedures if not they are familiar with areas likely to need attention.
- Ensure an adequate supply of: hand sanitiser, liquid soap, warm running water, personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfection chemicals, disposable paper towel etc on hand.
- The cleaning and sanitising agents used in your usual cleaning regime will be suitable for deep cleaning.
Deep cleaning process
- Document all the actions taken from the outset (i.e. from when first advised of the case detection) to demonstrate to health authorities that steps taken have been proportionate and appropriate.
- In larger enterprises isolate all the areas that could be contaminated
- Suspension of operations will depend on factors such as the size of operations, nature of work performed, number of people, and suspected areas of exposure.
- Use of dry dusting, air pressure guns or high-pressure washers can spread the virus and should be avoided where possible. (This does not mean that normal cleaning and sanitising practices in processing areas to control pathogen contamination, which may involve the use of such equipment, should be amended).
- Touch points should be manually cleaned and sanitised using wet wiping
- Only personnel involved in the cleaning will be permitted in the affected area until the clean is complete. It is expected that a one-off process will be sufficient, however if further positive cases of employees are detected, then an expansion and repeat of the process may be required.
- Safe Work Australia advises that safety glasses, gloves and surgical masks should be used if cleaning an area impacted by a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case.
- Ensure sanitiser remains on surfaces for the appropriate contact time as specified by the manufacturer.
- Double bag and dispose of waste in the usual manner.
Safe Work Australia: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/how-clean-and-disinfect-your-workplace-covid-19
Article by Jacqui Ward – Cafe Culture International
Quality Systems & Food Safety Auditor