[ music] One of the most important steps to
serving safe food is the proper cleaning and sanitizing of equipment, utensils and
facilities. This section will discuss the two-step process of cleaning and
sanitizing. You will learn the difference between cleaning and sanitizing and
understand how, when and why cleaning and sanitizing should be done. Cleaning is
the removal of food or soil debris from the surface to which it clings.
Sanitizing on the other hand is a reduction of the microbial population on
equipment, utensils or work surfaces. First let’s look at the cleaning process.
In order to see how food particles cling to surfaces you need to see the bacteria
at a microscopic level. As you can see in the picture food particles and bacteria
have dried on the table surface. They have even worked their way into surface
scratches cuts and grooves. Many of these particles are not visible to the naked
eye. It is possible that food particles and bacteria have dried on tables and
countertops and even worked their way into surface scratches and grooves
if these surfaces have not been properly cleaned and sanitized. Food contact
surfaces can also have biofilms which are formed by some bacterial. Biofilm
combined with dried food particles acts as a layer that protects the underlying
bacteria from the environment and sanitizers. Biofilms are highly resistant
to cleaning and sanitizing efforts. A thorough cleaning is the first step in
removing this protective layer. Cleaning requires three main components: water to
wash and rinse, soap or detergent and energy. Water helps loosen food and other items stuck to surfaces, dishes, utensils and equipment. The water also serves as a carrier for soap to remove these particles. Of course the water should be
from an approved source so that we are not cleaning with dirty water.
Potable water must be used for cleaning purposes. Water temperature should be
warm to hot about 110 degrees Fahrenheit or as recommended on the label instructions of the cleaning agent. Water should be changed when there are visible
food particles in the solution. Soap also loosens food particles from surfaces and
removes some microbes. Energy can be from the water pressure in the dish machine
or from the scrubbing friction from hands. Pressure and scrubbing help loosen food and microbes and break up biofilms exposing hidden bacteria. For some types
of dirty dishes or equipment it can take more than soap and water to remove
visible soil. Pre-soaking or repeated washings may be needed be sure to rinse
all surfaces as part of the cleaning step. Any surface of dishes, utensils or
equipment that comes into contact with food should be cleaned before it is
sanitized. This includes cutting boards, stationery equipment, work tables and
utensils, surface equipment, flatware and utensils, and dining room surfaces. Manual cleaning begins with fresh soapy water in a sink or designated pail and ends
with rinsing of the work surface. Water used to clean needs to be changed
frequently. Soap becomes less effective at removing food and other particles as
the water collects more food particles and other matter. At a minimum change
wash water before each meal if washable cloths are used and get a clean one each
time you change the wash water as it is hard to clean with dirty tools. It is
recommended that clean linens for the kitchen be kept in a separate area from
those used in other areas of the facility such as for custodial or
recreational purposes. Now let’s look at step 2 sanitizing. Sanitizing is done
after washing and rinsing are completed. When serving to the public it is
important that food contact surfaces are sanitized after cleaning to prevent
foodborne illness. There are two ways of sanitizing dishware and equipment either
mechanically through a dish washing machine or manually
using a three compartment sink. For mechanical sanitizing heat sanitizing
with high temperatures or chemicals can be used. Heat sanitizing uses hot water.
The final hot water sanitizing rinse temperature will vary depending on type
of machine. Check machine instructions. A final rinse temperature of 180 degrees
Fahrenheit when water exits the machine is typical. Consult with your local
health inspector if you have questions regarding final rinse temperature for
the type of machine in your facility. The water temperature should be checked when beginning dishwashing at each meal period to make sure the machine is
working properly and heat sanitizing is occurring. Simply reading gauges on the
dish machine is not enough. In order to be sure that the water is hot enough you
need to periodically check it using a temperature sensitive strip or dish
machine thermometer. The water temperature when it comes in contact
with the dishware should be at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature sensor
strips are available to measure a variety of temperatures. Attach the strip
to a serving dish or other flat item and send it through the machine. The
temperature strip will turn black if the proper temperature has been reached. Use of the temperature sensor strip verifies proper sanitation has occurred. Record
the gauge temperatures at each meal as a way of documenting proper operation of
the machine. Attach the strip to the cleaning and sanitizing log to verify
the dish machine was working properly. Other types of test strips can be put in
the tines of a fork and sent through the machine. These strips will also turn
black if the proper temperature has been reached. If the test strips do not turn
black this indicates the machine is not working properly and heat sanitizing is
not occurring. Corrective actions should be taken. After testing remember to run
the dishware used for testing through the dish machine again for proper
cleaning and sanitizing. To avoid re-contamination of clean dishware two
people should be scheduled in the dish room one to load soiled dishes into the
machine and one to unload clean and sanitized items.
Another way to sanitize is to use chemicals. Be sure that you only use
chemicals that are approved for use in kitchens and appropriate for equipment.
Review manufacturer’s instructions for use of chemicals to be sure correct
amounts are used. Chemical sanitizer concentrations should be checked at
least once during each meal for chemical dish machines and three compartment sinks. In three compartment sinks there often will be a fill line to indicate
how much water should be in the sink. The amount of chemical dispensed through a
pump or tower should be in correct proportion to the amount of water used.
There are three types of chemical agents used in foodservice sanitizers:
quaternary ammonium or quats, chlorine and iodine.They are not all the same.
Each has different characteristics and each requires a different concentration
to be effective and a different test strip for checking accuracy of
concentrations. The proper concentration for food contact surfaces is based on
the type of sanitizer. According to the current FDA Food Code quaternary
ammonium should have a concentration as indicated by the manufacturers use
directions. Chlorine should be 50 to 100 parts per million and iodine should be
12 and a half to 25 parts per million. The best way to ensure the sanitizer is
effective is by checking it with a test strip. There are specific test strips for
each type of chemical agent. When the test strip is placed in the solution for
at least 10 seconds it should change color. Compare the color of the test
strip to the indicator on the package to determine sanitizer concentration.
Checking the concentration is important because sanitizers become less effective
over time. That doesn’t mean more is better! If the concentration is too high
there is a potential for toxicity. Sanitizer effectiveness also breaks down
when food particles are present in the solution. Most sanitizers are good for
about two hours and then should be changed. Some dish
machines use quats or chlorine for mechanical sanitizing rather than high
temperature. Water chemical sanitizers can also be applied manually using a
bucket or spray bottle following cleaning. Be sure the spray bottle is
properly labeled with the name of the agent. The cleaning solution and
sanitizing solution must be kept in separate containers. If the detergent is
mixed with a sanitizer the sanitizing solution is not as effective. You should
now know the difference between cleaning and sanitizing and the proper steps for
each procedure. To avoid re-contamination of clean and sanitized items be sure
dishware and equipment are completely dry before returning to storage. Do not
use towels to dry items. Air drying is recommended. Be sure clean hands are used to handle the clean and sanitized dishware and equipment. Remember it’s a
two-step process. Step one is cleaning which involves washing with soap or
detergent and rinsing with clean water. Step two is sanitizing either by high
temperature or chemicals applied manually or using a dish machine.
Remember these tips: cleaning requires a cleaning agent, water and energy to be
effective. Use separate cloths and pails for
cleaning and sanitizing to avoid cross-contamination. Check your dish
machine temperature or sanitizer concentration at each meal. Document the temperature or sanitizer concentration and the date and time that they were
taken. Sanitizer in sinks or buckets should be changed several times a day.
Now that you know how to properly clean and sanitize you’re on the road to
serving the safest food possible. [ music ]