Cross-Contamination in kitchens can happen in three ways—food to food, equipment to food, or people to food. The job of the dishwasher becomes extremely important to the safety and health of the kitchen in the case of equipment to food contamination.
Kitchen equipment is in constant contact with raw food, and this increases the chances of microorganisms interacting with food. If microorganisms have any contact with ready-to-eat food, that food will be cross-contaminated.
In order to prevent cross contamination, we advise all of our dishwashers to keep restaurant equipment clean, rinsed, and sanitized often especially between being used with different foods.
The best practice to avoid cross-contamination between raw food and ready-to-eat food is for kitchen to have color coded utensils and cutting boards for raw foods and ready-to-eat food. In the event that such a system does not exist for your kitchen, it is imperative that cooking surfaces are washed between uses.
Equipment Care To help prevent equipment cross-contamination:
- Keep sanitizing solution in a properly labeled bottle or bucket near all work stations, mixed to the proper strength.
- Keep wiping cloths in a sanitizing solution to prevent bacteria growth on cloth.
- Replace cutting surfaces if they have crevices, cracks, or open seams. Damaged surfaces are harder to clean and to get rid of harmful microorganisms.
- Meat slicers come into contact with food and must be taken apart and thoroughly cleaned and sanitized after use. Be sure to clean the equipment throughout the day to remove bacteria from cutting surfaces if the slicer is used several times a day.
- Remind cooks to change utensils throughout the day. If a utensil drops, send it to the dishwasher and replace it with a clean one.
- Can opener blades enter the can and touch the food. They must be cleaned regularly.
Learn all that you can about properly cleaning methods and dishwashing technique in order to maintain high standards of the restaurant industry.
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