• Always wash your hands before handling clean dishes as dirty hands may contaminate and spread pathogens onto dishes.
  • Always throw out damaged items as cracks or chips in dishes and cups can cause physical harm.
  • Always store clean dishes at least six inches off the ground in a clean area that is away from garbage.
  • Always air dry your dishes as hand towels may not be clean and could contaminate your dishes.

How to Wash Dishes

  1. Scrape or rinse off leftover food
  2. Apply friction and warm water and detergent when scrubbing leftover food and grease
  3. Rinse with hot water to remove soap and food bits.
  4. Submerge dishes in sanitizer for at least 45 seconds.
  5. Let items air dry on corrosion-resistant racks.

Time and Temperature Matter

For manual dishwashing, while rinsing the water must be 43 C (110 F) or hotter. If sanitizing with hot water, it must be 77 C (170 F) or higher and you must sanitize for a minimum of 45 seconds. With chemical sanitizer, the water must reach 24 C (75 F) or higher and also be sanitized at least 45 seconds.

When using a dishwasher, the water temperature must be between 60 and 71 C. If you are using a hot sanitizer rinse method, the water must reach 82 C (180 F) or higher and sanitize for at least 10 seconds. With a chemical sanitizer, the water must be 24 C (75 F) or more and sanitize for a minimum of 45 seconds.

If your dishwasher has a NSF badge on it that means that a third-party company is ensuring that it is safe to use. As a result, the wash, rinse and sanitize rules mentioned earlier do not apply to these dishwashers.

A Word on Drying Dishes with Cloths

While air drying is the recommended method, cloths may be used to dry dishes provided they are clean and used for no other purpose.

Dishwashing Setups

Depending on the type of food premises you work in, it may have either a manual dishwashing setup such as in a 2-sink setup or a 3-sink setup. It could also have a mechanical dishwasher. The following is a breakdown of the differences:

2-sink setup – This setup is permitted at food premises that use only disposable service items. An example of this would be a pizzeria that only uses disposable tableware and Styrofoam or cardboard boxes. In this setup, washing and rinsing is done in one sink, while sanitizing is done in the second sink.

3-sink setup – This setup is mandatory for food premises that reuse their cutlery and dishware. The 3-sink setup allows one sink for each task of washing, rinsing and sanitizing.

Mechanical dishwasher – Often found at high-volume food premises, a mechanical dishwasher can be used at any type of food premise. There are two types of dishwashers: hot water and chemical sanitizer. Always maintain and clean the dishwasher properly. Don’t overcrowd your machine and make sure bowls, cups and glasses are placed upside down in the dishwasher. Finally, mix cutlery up to prevent nesting.

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