Historically, it’s been recommended that you first wash utensils with soap and water, rinse them in clean water, then sanitize them with chemical sanitizer or heat. Recently, the CDC has recommended that you do things differently. First things first. If you’re washing your own plate or bowl in the sink of your home or your dorm room, you can skip this post. Just remember to wash and rinse in that order.
According to FDA regulations, utensils must be cleaned as follows:
This order was designed to minimize the growth of potentially dangerous germs.
Use soap and warm water to wash the utensils, dishware, etc. If you’re cleaning greasy utensils, use a heavy-duty detergent or liquid cleanser. Scrub detergents into food residues with a brush. Rinse well with hot, clear water (140°F). You should never use cool water to rinse dishes and utensils that have been handled with potentially hazardous foods because it will not kill bacteria effectively. Let’s read How to clean old tiles?
Once the utensil is rinsed and dried completely on both sides, you can sanitize it by soaking or spraying on a sanitizing solution. Or you can sanitize it through heat: wash and rinse as above; then immerse in the hottest tap water that is safe to touch (130°F to 140°F). For example, if your city’s tap water gets up only to 120°F, don’t use it for this purpose; get some hot water from the hot-water heater. The utensil must be immersed in the water long enough so that all surfaces are cleaned and sanitized. Keep in mind that this method will probably not comply with health codes for commercial kitchens.
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I had always heard about cleaning first then rinsing then sanitizing. When I moved in with my boyfriend, he said he was going to sanitize and I asked him what that meant. We did a little research online and found out that we had been using improper methods for a long time.
Step 1: Wash with soap and warm water
This is your first step because you want to remove food soils as well as kill bacteria. Clean the dishes or utensils in the first sink of hot, soapy water (at least 150°F). Rinse the dishes or utensils in the second sink using clean, clear water. The rinse water should be at least 140°F, but it can be hotter than that if possible.
Transfer the dishes or utensils to a third sink filled with hot sanitizing solution—a concentration of between 50-100 parts per million (ppm) chlorine bleach; for example, 2 tablespoons bleach added to 1 gallon of 140°F water will make 50 ppm chlorine bleach (1 ppm = 1 milligram per liter, or 1 part per million).
Step 2: Spray the solution onto one side of the dishes or utensils
You want to spray enough so that liquid makes contact with most surfaces; don’t flood them. Allow it to air dry on the second sink drain board until no longer wet—usually only a few seconds; never rinse it off. This is important! Rinsing will not allow adequate time for heat to penetrate your dishware and utensils. It will also rinse away the sanitizing solution.
When you don’t have a third sink, or when the process takes longer than 2-3 minutes—for example, if you’re cleaning commercial plates or dishes with large volume—you can use a different option: Instead of spraying, dip utensils into (but not touching) chlorine bleach in the second sink. Then transfer to the third sink containing rinse water.
Use disposable gloves if handling poultry, raw meats and seafoods as well as other potentially contaminated foodstuffs like dried foods and gummy bears. Change gloves often and wash them regularly.
Cleaning first allows you to remove soil so that it doesn’t contaminate your fresh dishware. Rinsing in clean water, meanwhile, washes off those soil particles you just removed from your dishes or utensils. And rinsing in a sanitizing solution will help kill bacteria that is left on the surface of utensils.
Third sinks are one of the most important tools in keeping kitchens and food service areas neat and safe for customers—which should keep them coming back again and again to keep your business booming! If you don’t have a third sink, contact us today to find out how we can help you install one (or more).