What is the safest way to sanitize in a commercial kitchen? There are many products on the market today, and they all claim to be the best solutions. How can you ensure you are using the best sanitizing practices for a commercial kitchen?
Here’s what you need to know.
Two common sanitizers
For commercial restaurants, one of two common sanitizers is typically used. Each has benefits and drawbacks that makes them appropriate for different applications:
- Chlorine-based sanitizers: This type of sanitizer is good for dish machines. It is one of the best sanitizing practices for a commercial kitchen because it kills germs instantly; however, it loses its potency quickly. In as little as 15 minutes after the solution is mixed, it may drop to below the limits required by the health department. It can also cause equipment to rust and is harsh on the skin, which means it’s not always the safest way to sanitize in a commercial kitchen. This makes chlorine-based sanitizers best for dish machine applications but not for other uses.
- Quat-based sanitizers: These products are based on quaternary ammonium cations. These solutions must be in contact with germs for at least 10 seconds to kill them; however, they don’t lose their potency over time as chlorine-based sanitizers do. Plus, they are not harsh on surfaces or the skin, and they have a very light odor. These qualities make quat-based sanitizers the safest way to sanitize in a commercial kitchen. They are used in all areas other than dish machines.
Concentrations are key
For the best sanitizing practices for a commercial kitchen, you must choose products with the right concentration. If you use a solution that is too diluted, it will not be effective at sanitizing; however, if you use too much sanitizer, you may leave too much residue on surfaces, which also fails to meet health standards.
It is best to work with a commercial vendor who can provide solutions in the best concentrations for safety and sanitizing. Partner with experts who specialize in the best sanitizing practices for a commercial kitchen.
Testing is essential
Commercial kitchen operators must test sanitizers daily. Test strips are available for this process. If quat-based sanitizers are used, these do not need to be tested. It is best to consult with a chemical specialist to determine if the products you use should be tested regularly for effectiveness.
Washing is crucial
Always wash items before sanitizing them. Sanitizers kill bacteria and viruses, but washing cleans the item. Everything in a restaurant—from utensils to dishes—should be both washed and sanitized.
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