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Green Cleaning for Foodservice, Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Project Details

Year: 2014
Location: Greenfield
Project Manager: Phoebe Walker, Franklin Regional Council of Governments
Partners: Franklin County Cooperative Public Health Service, Berkshire County Boards of Health Association, Foothills Health District, Williamstown Board of Health, Pittsfield Health Department


The project team helped reduce toxics use in food service by compiling information on certified green cleaning products, practices and benefits and then distributing that information during routine public health inspections of commercial and institutional kitchens. The project team will develop a pre-survey of the current cleaning and disinfection products and practices used in food service operations and restaurant kitchens in Franklin, Hampshire and Berkshire counties in Western Massachusetts. They will develop a “Keep it $imple Guide to Green Cleaning in Food service” and distribute it to food service establishments during health inspections. The team will provide “Introduction to Green Cleaning” training to food service operators both on-site and on-line.


Using Health Inspectors, the team surveyed 123 food service providers in 16 towns in person during food inspections. People were asked about: Use of chemicals, experience with green cleaners, distributor used, and the best way to receive training. The team produced and provided Green Cleaning Guides to all food service establishments in each of the 16 towns.  A post survey showed eighty-three percent of respondents reported that they had seen the Keep it Simple Green Cleaning Guide, and 79% had read it. In addition 61% had shared it with other staff.  Almost 40% of respondents reported that they had tried a new product after receiving the Keep it Simple Green Cleaning Guide, the majority of which also reported that the new product was third party certified by Eco Logo or Green Seal. Eighty percent of those who tried a new product agreed that it worked as well as their previous product, and were still using the product at the time of the post-survey. When it came to purchasing, 75% of those who tried a new product said they could get EcoLogo or Green Seal products through their usual supplier. 58.3% said that the reason they did not switch was because they were already using environmentally friendly products before they saw the Guide. Of the remainder, 33% claimed that they hadn’t yet had time, with very few respondents claiming expense, difficulty finding or requirements of the sanitary code as reasons. Finally, 62% of respondents said they would purchase third party certified products if they were easier to find, and 85% claimed they would use a less toxic sanitizer if they were assured that it met all relevant codes. These results suggest that food establishments are eager to use less toxic chemicals, and only relatively mild logistical issues stand in their way.

This page updated Monday July 23 2018
Project Materials