Now that you know how to avoid cross contamination, let’s take a closer look at “Cleaning and Sanitizing” in Part 5. Some crucial points in this segment include: The difference between cleaning and sanitizing, and why it’s important. Washing dishes by hand and using a commercial dishwasher. Cleaning and sanitizing are not the same. Cleaning uses soap and water to remove dirt and food from surfaces while sanitizing uses chemical or heat to kill germs Remember that surfaces that look clean may still have germs that you cannot see. Sanitizing reduces these germs to safer levels. Food contact surfaces should be washed, rinsed, and sanitized after each use to remove germs that can cause illness. Chemical sanitizers must be mixed following the label’s directions and soap should never be added to sanitizers. Use test strips to make sure the sanitizer is not too strong or too weak. Change the sanitizing solution often because grease, dirt, and food particles make the sanitizer less effective. Store wiping cloths in clean sanitizer. If you are washing dishes by hand, all dishes and food-contact surfaces must be washed, rinsed, and sanitized between uses. The procedure for washing dishes by hand is as follows First clean and sanitize the sink, then scrape leftover food into the garbage. Wash dishes in hot, soapy water in the first sink, and rinse dishes with clean, hot water in the second sink. Sanitize by soaking the dishes in the third sink filled with warm water and an approved sanitizer Always air dry dishes. Towels can breed bacteria if left wet. You may have a mechanical dishwasher that will wash, rinse, and sanitize the dishes. You need to know that the dishes are reaching correct temperatures for sanitization. So temperature gauges and sanitizer levels must be monitored. If you have any questions speak with your Person-In-Charge about proper dishwasher operations. Many of the same basic practices for dishwasher use at home apply to commercial dishwashers. Yet don’t be fooled, the stakes are high to get this right. To get the cleanest dishes, start by scraping leftover food from the dishes. Then, stack dishes in dish racks. Do not stack dishes on top of each other, as this will not allow water to circulate properly. To keep them from filling with water and dirt, glasses, cups, and bowls should be upside down in the dishwasher. Plates and flatware should be stood up edgewise. Dishes should be allowed to air dry for 1-2 minutes before removing from racks. Just like towel drying is not acceptable for hand washing, it is also not used for dishwashing. Towel drying could contaminate the dishes. Inspect all items coming out of the dishwasher. Are there spots or stains? Are all dishes and flatware clean and free of food? No soap should remain on any dishes. Chipped or cracked dishware must be removed from service. After dishes are clean and dry, handle and store them safely to minimize possible contamination. Never touch part of a dish that a guest’s mouth might touch. Cups, bowls, pots, pans, etc. must be stored upside down. Handle silverware and other utensils by the handles only. Always store kitchen utensils at least 6 inches off the floor in clean dry areas. Here are the facts on cleaning and sanitizing: Cleaning and Sanitizing are different. Cleaning uses Soap and Water. While Sanitizing uses Chemicals or Heat to kill germs. Surfaces that look clean can still have germs – sanitizing reduces those germs to safer levels. Food contact surfaces should be washed – rinsed – and sanitized between each use. Follow the label directions on all sanitizers. Never add soap to sanitizer. If washing dishes by hand use the 3 sink method to wash-rinse and sanitize dishes. Store bowls upside down, and store utensils and dishes at least 6 inches off the ground. Never touch a part of a dish or utensil that a guest’s mouth might touch.