A convenor from a QLD State school asked me a few weeks back about cleaning of the canteen floors after she was informed that in state schools cleaners are NOT permitted to use hot water and are only allowed to use the product "strobe” to clean the canteen floors.
I did some research and this is correct for state schools.....no hot water.
We were both concerned about the Food safety side of things and so I advised the convenor to contact her Local Population Health Unit. [This is what I do when I have any food safety queries] as she is in a state school. A non-state school would contact their local council.
This is the response she got-
There does not appear to be any prescriptive requirement in Standard 3.2.2 Food Safety Practices and General Requirements (copy attached for your information) for the use of hot water or specific types of disinfectants. Division 5 of the attached standards deals with Cleanliness under clause 19. Clause 20 deals with Cleaning and sanitising of specific equipment which of course excludes floors as no food should come into contact with the floor.
I have also attached an information sheet on the chemical product Strobe which has an application described as follows:
Strobe Concentrated Floor Maintainer is a concentrated floor maintainer and is specifically formulated for the maintenance of all commercial and domestic resilient and hard surface flooring.
Our conclusion- while we are stunned about the no hot water it appears as if just using water and the strobe is fine.
In saying that, convenors that clean their floors can use the standard floor products and hot water[as long as it is done with WH&S in mind]. One last thing to bear in mind if the cleaners are cleaning your floors, Ensure they are not lifting the bucket into the tuckshop sink to fill it or empty it. If it is filled in the tuckshop sink it should be by a hose style attachment or jug etc. not by putting the bucket in the sink. It should be emptied elsewhere.
Every state is different in who is responsible for the floors. In QLD state schools, EQ (Education Queensland) allocates minutes per day towards the cleaning of the Canteen including the floors on a daily trading day basis. If the cleaners do not do the floors and they are done by Canteen staff, then this means the P&C are paying for something that EQ is already paying for. If your convenor is cleaning the floors, speak to BSM [Business Services Manager] about what is happening with the allocated minutes.
In non-state schools the floors are done by the canteen staff or cleaners.