Is It Safe To Use Bleach In The Workplace?

One question that we get asked regularly is about the legislation and safe use of bleach in professional kitchens and offices.

The word ‘Bleach’ is a sweeping statement, some bleaches such as standard 5% bleach and thickened bleaches are hazardous and highly reactive when mixed with other chemicals. Strong bleaches also typically cause surface corrosion to metals and plastics. Strong bleaches such as this are outlawed for use in professional kitchens.

Other bleach based products are available and are less hazardous to surface materials. These products are stabilised beach, which include 2Work Sanitiser Steriliser (2W75441) and Milton, these products are safe for wiping surfaces without causing corrosion but are only good at killing bacteria and not cleaning.

Strong bleaches have a powerful bug kill but can lose this performance if products are not used correctly or if products are not stored correctly. Greases and contamination on a surface quickly deactivates the biocidal effect of bleach-based products, therefore modern alternatives for use in kitchens such as – 2Work/Catering Sanitiser (2W71457); 2Work/Anti-bacterial Surface Cleaner (2W03983), and 2Work/Kitchen Cleaner (2W03987) – will not cause surface damage and are also more resilient and provide a bug kill in dirty/soiled conditions. Surface disinfection tests for use in kitchens are based around BSEN1276. This shows that a biocidal product is fit for purpose and also is effective in all working conditions (including dirty or contaminated surfaces).

Surface damage and corrosion is deemed of high risk as you create little pockets where bacteria can be harboured. The main difference between a professional kitchen compared to the home market is the legislation that puts the onus on business owners to be responsible and to provide safe and hygienic conditions to prepare food. Products purchased for the home market are the consumers’ personal choice. Some chlorine-based products are stabilised to produce and limit the effect on surfaces. These products are typically lower in bleach content and have to be used as part of a two-staged process: clean first, then disinfect. Using alternatives to bleach is often safer and avoids the risks of damage to fabrics and materials. Bleach has no cleaning property purely in the right circumstance removes colour, and kills bacteria.

If you have any cleaning questions that you’d like to ask us please send us a message via ‘contact us’