The Role of Chemical Sanitisers in Food Preparation Areas

We are fortunate to have stringent food standards that restaurants and other businesses serving food are required to follow. While we still have outbreaks of diseases such as salmonella, which are caused by food being exposed to bacteria, they are rare. All causes are investigated by the relevant authorities and are usually the result of a lapse in procedures by a staff member rather than a deliberate act.

Correct Cleaning and Sanitising Protects Food Services Patrons

Correct cleaning and sanitising reduces the levels of bacteria in workplaces serving food. This reduces the risk of contamination and prevents the growth of bacteria on food preparation surfaces, cooking equipment, utensils and the plates and glasses used to serve the customers. Most restaurants and food service businesses use commercial dishwashers for their efficiency and rely on the sanitising process these machines produce to protect their customers.

NLE Commercial services commercial dishwashers so we are in an excellent position to comment on the benefits of using sanitisers to kill bacteria. Our trained technicians are often asked by our clients for information and advice on the attributes of various brands. What they find, however, is while many kitchen workers know they should be using sanitisers, they don’t understand the role they play in the cleaning process.

The Difference between Cleaning and Sanitising

The first thing to realise is that cleaning and sanitising are two different processes. Cleaning with detergent removes food, dirt and grease from plates and utensils, but it does not kill the pathogens that cause food poisoning. Sanitising uses steam, hot water over 80ºC or a chemical sanitiser. Chemical sanitisers in commercial kitchens are generally used to kill bacteria on floors, walls and bench surfaces.

Commercial Dishwashers Effective at Killing Bacteria

Generally, commercial dishwashers using hot water at or over 80ºC during a rinse cycle that runs for one minute will effectively sanitise the contents without any need for chemicals. The heat and steam produced during that process will kill bacteria, provided the dishwasher is working correctly, has no scale build-up and has been stacked properly. However, if the manufacturer recommends using chemical sanitisers, and stipulates a brand, we support that recommendation.

Care Needed to Keep Dishwashers Clean

Dishwashers also need to have the filters cleaned at the end of each shift and be run through a cleaning cycle at the end of each day. They should also be inspected at the end of each week to check that all parts are in working order and that there is no build-up of scale or dirt in hard-to-reach places.

Good Chemical Handling Advice

We also like to remind our clients to take care with chemicals, to use gloves and safety glasses when handling or diluting them, and train their staff to check the safety data sheets for use and handling instructions, including first aid.