The start of Spring means daylight savings, warmer weather and Spring cleaning. In honor of Spring we wanted to offer some insight into the important task of cleaning your kitchen. Chefs, foodservice directors, managers and staff try to practice safe food handling at every turn in the kitchen. Don’t let that effort go down the drain by slacking off on the many aspects of sanitation.
Cleaning vs. Sanitizing — Cleaning is the process of removing food and other visible dirt. Sanitizing is the process of reducing the number of invisible microorganisms on a clean surface to safe levels.
Any surface that comes in contact with food must be cleaned and sanitized:
- After each use of that piece of equipment.
- Anytime you begin working with another type of food.
- Anytime you are interrupted and the tools you were working with risked contamination.
- At four-hour intervals if the food contact equipment is in constant use.
Dishwashing Machine Operation — For the best cleaning, start with the right equipment. Selection of the right machine depends on several factors, including the overall volume and type of wares to wash and sanitize. Machines range in size from single-tank, stationary-rack units to flight-type conveyor units. It’s critical to match the machine’s rating to your real-life dish count. Operators can choose “high-temperature” (180°F – 194°F) or “low-temp” (under 120°F) machines.
High-temp machines sanitize using very hot water while low-temp machines rely on chemicals to sanitize. Even though both types of machines are “automatic”, their efficiency is dependent upon the human factor, so remember these points:
1. Check the machine for cleanliness daily, cleaning it as necessary.
2. Scrape, rinse, or soak items before washing.
3. Load dish racks correctly and don’t overload them.
4. Check temperatures and pressure frequently following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
5. Check each rack as it comes out of the machine for soiled items and run dirty items through again.
6. Air dry all items.
Three Compartment Sinks — Pots, pans, utensils, and bar glassware are typically washed manually in a three-compartment sink. All sinks should be rinsed and cleaned prior to use. The first sink is for pre-soaking and washing, and should be filled with water at a temperature of at least 110°F (as hot as you can stand). Scrape any pots and pans that need presoaking and place them in the filled first sink. Fill the second sink – the rinsing compartment—with warm water too (at least 110°F). Then fill the third sink, the sanitizing compartment, with the suggested ratio of sanitizer to water. Based on the sanitizer manufacturer’s recommendations and label instructions, use water temperature of 75°F to 120°F to sanitize. Do not rinse off the sanitizer, and air dry all equipment.
Follow these helpful hints to keep your cooking area clean. For more information on kitchen maintenance visit ServSafe.com.
From our friends at SEFA