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Training Tip: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Many managers hold monthly, weekly, or even daily training sessions to make sure that employees remember essential food safety principles. Try using our training tips to improve food safety at your establishment.

Cleaning and sanitizing

If an establishment’s dishes, utensils, countertops, and equipment haven’t been properly cleaned and sanitized, they can spread dangerous pathogens to every food item they touch.

Review the importance of cleaning and sanitizing with these simple questions:

  • What is the difference between cleaning and sanitizing?
    Cleaning removes dirt, grime, and pathogens with soap and water. Sanitizing kills bacteria that remain after cleaning.
  • What are the five steps for washing dishes and utensils in a three-compartment sink?
    1. Scrape away leftover food on the dishes and utensils.
    2. Clean the dishes and utensils in the first sink with soap and warm water.
    3. Rinse the dishes and utensils in the second sink with clear, clean water.
    4. Sanitize the dishes and utensils in a chemical solution or very hot water (at least 171°F) in the third sink.
    5. Allow the dishes and utensils to air-dry.
  • How often should you clean and sanitize food contact surfaces?
    Clean and sanitize a food contact surface after working with raw meat, when switching from one food to another, when switching tasks, after taking a break, and after four hours of constant use.

To promote proper cleaning and sanitizing, consider implementing the following ideas in your establishment:

  • Teach employees to touch silverware only by the handle and to carry cups and glasses only by their bases, stems, or handles. Otherwise, employees could accidentally contaminate clean dishes.
  • Demonstrate how to mix sanitizing solution and how to check for proper sanitizer levels. If a mixture is too weak, it won’t kill bacteria. Train employees to use a test strip to make sure the sanitizer is mixed correctly.
  • Train your employees to avoid spraying chemicals in areas where food is being prepared. When chemicals are sprayed, they can become airborne and can settle on nearby surfaces and food.

One of the best ways to make sure your employees understand food safety is to provide careful and regular training for them. While StateFoodSafety’s online courses utilize the most effective teaching techniques, it is also important that you continue to educate your employees on food safety after they have completed our courses.

Katie Heil

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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