Food Safety – Cleaning

& Sanitizing

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

Cleaning agents


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:

Sanitizing takes two forms:

This method can be used on tableware, utensils, and detachable equipment parts in a three-compartment sink system:


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: