Start a Chemical Management Plan


Chemicals are used to clean and sanitize your kitchen, but when mismanaged, they can lead to increased costs, health code violations, and significant personal injury. A management plan for controlling chemicals needs to be implemented.

Each plan must address labeling, storage, proper chemical concentrations, and retaining manufacturers’ labels and instructions. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Labeling: All containers, spray bottles, and buckets need to be labeled with the common name of the contents. Using pre-labeled bottles and buckets can be very helpful. If using generic containers, labeling can be accomplished with a permanent marker. It’s important to remember that the contents should match the label and sometimes the writing can wear off and may need to be reapplied.
  • Storage: Chemicals must be stored so they don’t contaminate food, utensils, single-service items, or any food-contact surfaces. This means chemicals should be stored in a separate area so there isn’t a chance for cross-contamination. The biggest problem comes from sanitizer buckets and other cleaning products stored on the service line. Be sure to store them on a bottom shelf or on the floor. Having a small shelf only for storage of cleaning materials is best. Be sure to separate incompatible chemicals such as acids and bases if stored in the same cabinet.
  • Proper chemical concentrations: All chemicals have manufacturers’ instructions for use and mixing. It is illegal to use them in any other way than how manufacturers instruct. Read directions carefully, and when mixing with water, be sure to follow the label. Using too much chemical will cost more money and could result in personal injury. Reviewing the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is also important to understand possible hazards and first aid recommendations.
  • Keeping manufacturers’ labels and instructions: A central location for all information on the chemicals you have available is important. Make sure all employees know where this information is located so it can be easily accessed in case of a medical emergency.

By following these recommendations, you will reduce risk and save on chemical costs. Note that some chemicals are not even allowed in the kitchen, so be sure to read the entire label and train your employees on proper use.

For more information, refer to these websites:


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