Food Safety – Cleaning
Safety Management System 2007
SMS ST012 2007
Proper Cleaning and Sanitizing for a Food Service Operation
Cleaning and sanitizing play a very important part in the prevention of cross-contamination and the spread of foodborne infection for any food service operation.
Always wear rubber gloves to protect the hands when cleaning!
The physical removal of soil and food matter from a surface. It takes place when a cleaning agent (detergent) contacts a soiled surface under sufficient pressure like that exerted by a brush, mop, scrubbing pad or water spray, and for a long enough time to penetrate the soil and loosen it so that it may be easily removed by rinsing.
Cleaning involves three steps: (1) removing soil and food matter from surface, (2) washing with a detergent solution, and (3) rinsing with water.
Factors that influence cleaning
- Soil type: protein base (blood, egg); grease or oil (margarine, animal fat); water mixed (dissolved in water- flour, starches, drink stains); acid or alkaline (tea, dust, wine, fruit juice).
- Soil condition: fresh, soft, ground-in, dried or baked.
- Water hardness
- Water temperature: the hotter the water, the quicker the detergent dissolves and the better it cleans.
- Type of surface being cleaned: different cleaners and methods for different surfaces.
- Type of cleaning agent: appropriate for the item.
- Agitation or pressure: scouring action needed to loosen soil.
- Length of treatment: the longer the agent touches the surface, the better the cleaning.
- Detergents: contain substances to lessen surface tension between the detergent and the soiled surface so the detergent can penetrate and loosen soil. Most detergents also use alkaline to break up soil. Mild alkaline detergents are used to remove fresh soil from walls, floors, ceilings, and most equipment and utensils. Strong alkaline detergents are used to cut through wax, grease, and aged, baked or burnt-on soil.
- Solvent cleaners: often called de-greasers, are alkaline detergents including a grease-dissolving agent. They work on grill back splashes, oven surfaces, and even grease stains on driveways (for home use). These cleaners lose strength when diluted and are too costly to be used over a large area.
- Acid cleaners: use when regular alkaline cleaners do not work such as on rust stains in bathrooms and tarnish on copper or brass. They must be used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Abrasive cleaners: they contain scouring agents that can be rubbed or scrubbed on hard-to-remove soils on floors, or baked on or burnt pans. They may scratch surfaces such as plastic, Plexiglas, and even stainless steel.
Sanitizing is defined as the reduction of the number of microorganisms, such as bacteria, to safe, acceptable levels on tableware, flatware, equipment, and any food-contact surface. It is never a substitute for cleaning and is only effective after items are already cleaned. Sanitizing is a step beyond cleaning (absence of soil) and a step below sterile (absence of all living microorganisms).
Sanitizing can be accomplished in two ways:
- Heat: by immersion in water of at least 170 degrees F, or
- Chemicals: by immersion in a sanitizing solution for one minute, or by rinsing, swabbing or spraying with a sanitizing solution.
Sanitizing takes two forms:
This method can be used on tableware, utensils, and detachable equipment parts in a three-compartment sink system:
- Clean and sanitize all sinks and work surfaces before washing dishes.
- Flush, scrape, or soak items before washing.
- Wash items in the first sink in detergent solution at least at 110 degrees F use a cloth or brush to loosen soil.
- Rinse in the second sink using clear water at least at 120 degrees F Remove all traces of food and detergent.
- Sanitize in the third sink, by submerging items in:
- Hot water at least at 170 degrees F To prevent burns use tongs, rack or a basket to lower items into water for at least 30 seconds.
- A chemical solution at least 75 degrees F, or follow manufacturer’s instructions.
- Another sanitizing solution is bleach, mixed with water 1:4, bleach to water.
- Air-dry all items.
Note: When suds disappear in first sink, soap suds remain in the second sink, and the water temperature cools or water becomes cloudy or dirty in the third, empty the compartments and refill them for proper cleaning and sanitizing to take place.
Wood surfaces, such as cutting boards or, wood handles, and baker’s tables, need special care. Scour them with a detergent solution, with a stiff-bristle nylon brush, rinse in clear water and sanitize after each use. Never submerge wooden cutting boards in detergent or sanitizing solution.
Dishwashing machines are reliable for the removing of soil and bacteria from tableware and kitchen implements. They come in two forms:
- Hot water: they rely on hot water (180 degrees F) to clean and sanitize.
- Chemical-sanitizing: They require water temperatures from 120 degrees F to 140 degrees F The sanitizing solution is automatically dispensed into the final rinse water.
- General procedures for machine use:
- Check the cleanliness of and clean each machine as often as needed, at least daily. Wash and rinse tanks should fill with clear water. Detergent trays and nozzles on spray arms should be clear.
- Flush, scrape, or soak items before washing. Pre-soak items with dried on food.
- Correctly load the dishwasher racks, never overload them.
- Check temperatures.
- Check all items as they are removed. Run soiled dishes through again.
- Air-dry all items.
- Report any machine problems to supervisor.