How to Sanitize Dishes Efficiently

According to the U.S Food Code, sanitization is any method used to reduce the presence of microorganism on a surface by 99.999 percent. It’s the process of reducing microbiological contamination to a level that is acceptable to local health regulations.

Sanitizer Definition

Sanitizer is an agent (substance) used to reduce the microbiological contamination to a level that confirming the local health regulations. It will kill and reduce the number of bacteria and spores. It’s a chemical used after detergents. It’s not an option to use either a detergent or sanitizer, both must be used.

Food business must ensure that any sanitizer used is “food grade” – safe for food contact surfaces.

Dish Sanitizer

Dish Sanitizer has used in manual or low-temperature appliances. A high-temperature commercial dishwasher doesn’t require sanitizer due to the extremely hot water efficiency sanitizes dishes. It’s an adequate agent for kitchen in restaurants, hotels, health-care facilities, and food businesses.

Suitable and easy to use, it’s an excellent solution for sanitizing your dishes. This product finishes your washing process after rinsing dishes and make them clean and safe to use. This solution destroys bacteria and germs on your cookware, plates, serving utensils or other dishes. Also, disinfect and deodorize cutting boards, trays and any other surfaces that often come into touch with food.

Sanitizer solution instead of thermal option saves you money on your utility costs.

How to Sanitize Dishes

Sanitization is vital food safety process that follows a cleaning operation. When you sanitize, you’re “liquidate” dangerous germs and bacteria with the chemical solution or high heat.

Follow these 2 techniques on how to sanitize dishes:

  • Chlorine bleach solution technique – Soak dishes for about one minute in a sanitizing mixture consists of one tablespoon of unscented chlorine bleach and one gallon of water (hot water blocks bleach from sanitizing). To ensure that your bleach is at the proper concentration, use test strips. Remove dishes and air dry them. Use gloves to remove the dishes from the solution.
  • Hot water technique – Soak dishes fully covered in 170° F water for minimum a half minute. Use a thermometer to control water temperature and time your soak with a watch. Remove the dishes and air dry them. Use gloves and remove dishes from hot water.

Hot Water Sanitization

This method of sanitizing dishes is using water that has heated at a minimum 180° F. In a triple sink this is performed with a circulating water heater. It’s merely to check the water temperature since the sink is open and can approach by thermometers. On the other hand, in a dishwasher, controlling the temperature of the sanitizing rinse is a bit harder.

If you want to check the temperature of the water, you need a temperature strip. These are designed to stick to the inside of the warewasher where the water will heat it. Each strip contains a colored stripe that will disappear when it reaches a certain temperature. Test strips are available for testing 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can check wash, rinse and sanitizing temperatures.

Another technique of checking the temperature of the water in a warewasher is to use a thermometer. This method will only function with a thermostat made and certified for this purpose since it designed to record and save the highest temperature during a wash process. Other types of thermometers won’t provide an adequate reading, and in many situations won’t work correctly after going through warewasher.

Chemical vs. Hot Water Sanitizing

Both types of sanitizing method are using in sanitizing dishes. Here we will present you their advantages and disadvantages.

Chem Mark Chemical SanitizingChemical Sanitizing

The benefit of chemical sanitizing appliances is that the temperature, can be set at a lower setting (120° F), and your energy bills will be less expensive. A chemical agent commonly contains chlorine that has injected into the washing device after the cleaning process and during the final rinsing operation.

The expenses of the chemicals you chose to use is generally the biggest investment besides the dishwashers. The FDA also requires that you provide test strips on the site regularly maintain and verify that your device is using an adequate amount of chemicals for proper sanitizing. Too weak or too strong chemical sanitizer in your appliances can produce undesired results such as unsafe dishes or strong chemical flavorings.

To avoid stress while mixing water and sanitizer in order to achieve perfect balance you can try Swing Mark. This sanitizer valve automatically controls portion of detergent and sanitizer and that way sanitizing solution is always at the optimal level.

Hot Water SanitizingHot Water Sanitizing

Opposite to chemical sanitizing, hot water sanitizing needs the use heat to sanitize dishware. Disinfecting water should reach 171 degrees F to achieve suitable levels of disinfecting, and your energy bill will be cheaper.

Test the efficiency of your appliance to make sure that it complies with sanitizing regulations. Food inspectors will typically control the plate temperature, before then water temperature directly, because this can be difficult to perform while the device is running. After the adequate heated rinse cycle, plate temperature should be at 160° F or higher. A dishwashing thermometer or heat tape can be placed during the cycle to check the proper temperature.

Sanitizer Test Strips

A significant part of food businesses is proper sanitizing of equipment. Typically, chlorine (bleach) or quats (quaternary ammonium) are used to destroy harmful bacteria on serving utensils, food-contact surfaces and other items used for preparing food. Sanitizing agents only work if used correctly and that’s why food services are required to have test strips to check sanitizer. Test strips should use in 3-commercial sinks or low- temperature dishwashers. The 3 most common sanitizers are chlorine, quaternary ammonium and iodine. The type of test trip required depends on the type of sanitizer used.

  • Chlorine test strips a ranging from 0 ppm to 200 ppm (parts-per-million).
  • Quaternary ammonia test strips (quats) ranging from 0 ppm to 500 ppm.
  • Iodine test strips ranging from 12.5 ppm to 25 ppm.

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Chlorine Test Strips

Chlorine (bleach) is one of the most frequently chosen sanitization techniques. This product is widely available and cheap, but also contains a distinctive odor that can be unpleasant if it keeps on dishes.

Besides that, bleach loses its sanitizing capacity rapidly as it has exposed to oil and organic materials, which can cause it less effective if the sanitizing sink becomes contaminated. A chlorine sanitizer should have a concentration of 50 to 100 ppm in water between 75° and 100° F, with a needed contact time of about 7 seconds.

Chlorine test strips are adequate to help you to ensure the suitable solution has made. You dip the paper in the water, and you’ll see it becomes a shade gray that can be compared to a scale with the test strips, with most scales ranging from 10 to 200 ppm.

Quaternary Ammonium Test Strips

Quaternary ammonium (quats) sanitizes dishes by using its positively charged cations to link with the negatively charged particles of unwanted pathogens. Quats are often chosen over chlorine chemical since it’s noncorrosive, and it won’t pit stainless steel over time.

Also, ammonium is nonirritating to skin, because it has similar properties as detergents, it can stand more soil than chlorine before it requires to change. Anyway, quats frequently don’t work well in hot water, making testing a necessary part of any quats sanitation process.

Quats test paper measures the concentration of the quats sanitizer in the water, applying a color scale ranging from 0 to 500 ppm. You can find this test paper in pre-cut strips and tear-off rolls. Most quats sanitizers need solutions of 150 to 220 ppm in water that is at minimum 75° F, with the dishes dipped about 30 seconds.

Iodine Test Strips

Although, iodine isn’t common such as chlorine or quats, has some advantages for restaurants that decide to use it. This sanitizer is brown, with the color demonstrating the strength of the solution, which can discolor some items. It isn’t affected by the hardness of your water.

Although iodine isn’t long-lasting as quats, it lasts longer than chlorine in contact with organic compounds. It’s also better for skin than chloride, but not so gentle as quats. This sanitizer solution should be used at 12.5 to 25 ppm in water that is about 75° F, but not more than 120° F.

Iodine test strips are suitable to make sure this solution is kept at an adequate dilution since the color alone isn’t sufficient to determine the level.

Use Chem Mark Products to Properly Sanitize Dishes

For over a 5 decades Chem Mark has been helping food-services and health-care facilities to provide their customers with clean dishes and another kitchen utensils. We can provide with both machine and manual warewashing solutions, as we lease or rent, service and monitor CMA & ADS dish machines, and sell and lease Swing Mark automatic bar sanitation dispenser.

Our products are available in the following area: Los Angeles, Riverside, Oceanside, and San Diego. Give us call now at (714) 784-5522.