As Check Safety First celebrates its tenth anniversary it is clear that hotel room hygiene issues are still not being addressed. The last ten years have shown an increasing dependence on the internet for information as holidaymakers look online for recommendations on where to stay. With the rise of online review sites influencing the reputations of many hotels, it is vital that staff apply due diligence to room hygiene as one bad review can seriously affect future business. In order to quickly turn rooms around and maintain the highest standards of hygiene and cleanliness, there are some key procedures that need to be undertaken to avoid health risks that can affect customer reviews.
The bathroom is the biggest breeding ground for bacteria of any room. There is a lot more to think about than just replacing towels. It is important to wipe all surfaces down using the appropriate chemical cleaner, including the shower, sink and toilet. The cleaner must be suitable for the surface/material being cleaned and to prevent cross-contamination, use different cloths for each area. The physical condition of the bathroom also needs to be regularly monitored by looking for the presence of damage or difficulties that can make cleaning difficult and ineffective. Visible signs of mould and dirt should be checked regularly, but this should also be backed up with UV torch to identify poor cleaning and stains (urine – which glows a different colour under UV light).
Another key area is the cleanliness of bedding. Clean sheets are an obvious must for any new guest, but the condition of bedding and mattresses should also be regularly monitored for bed bugs. Signs of blood spots and faecal droppings are both key indicators of unwanted guests which can be found in any crevice in and around the bed.
Carpets, rugs and surfaces also need to be cleaned and checked for signs of deterioration, stains and build up of foreign matter. Hotels must have a pest control regime in place to ensure that rooms are free of insects and other unwanted visitors. The presence of dust accumulation provides a feeding environment for mites and insects which may present a health hazard to guests. The number of asthma sufferers in the general population has increased as well as those with allergic reactions to dust.
To conclude, hotel cleaners are often quick to spot and act upon the obvious hazards that are visible to the naked eye. However, to be thorough in their work and ensure the highest standards for guests, dangerous invisible factors also need to be considered and acted upon.