All equipment, utensils, and food contact surfaces must be properly washed and then sanitized to minimize food contamination. Washing is the removal of food residue or soil from surfaces. Sanitization is the application of heat or chemicals on cleaned surfaces that results in a 99.999% reduction of disease-causing microorganisms.
There are many different types of sanitizers that can be used in food establishments. The most common include: hot water between 165-180°F, chlorine mixed at a concentration of 50 ppm, quaternary ammonia mixed at a concentration of 200 ppm, and iodine mixed at a concentration of 12.5 ppm.
A. Sanitization Rinse: Manual
When equipment and utensils are washed and sanitized by hand, a three-basin sink is required. The first basin is filled with hot soapy water. The second is filled with clean rinse water, and the third is filled with water containing sanitizer. Equipment and utensils are washed in the first basin to remove all food residue. They are then rinsed free of detergents in the second compartment, and they are then placed in the third compartment where they are sanitized. The equipment and utensils must remain in the sanitizing solution for at least one minute to allow the sanitizer enough contact time to effectively kill any disease-causing microorganisms that may be left on the surfaces after washing and rinsing.
B. Sanitization Rinse: Mechanical
If a dish machine is provided in a food establishment, it must be a commercial type that has been shown to effectively sanitize. Most commercial dish machines sanitize equipment and utensils by the accumulation of heat from contact with 180oF hot water or by contact with chemical sanitizers such as 50 ppm chlorine.
C. Sanitization Rinse: In-place
Establishments will often have equipment that needs to be washed and sanitized, but is too large to fit into ware washing sinks or dish machines or not designed to be submerged in water. This equipment must be washed and sanitized “in place.” Surfaces must be washed with a detergent solution to remove food residue, then rinsed free of detergents with clean water, and then sanitized with an approved sanitizer.