HOW TO DEFEAT BACTERIA AND VIRUS ON YOUR WASH WARE.
Hygiene, bacteria and viruses have probably never been more top of mind than now, and around the globe we’re all talking about the virus with the big C – Corona (COVID – 19). So, we decided to share our knowledge about foodborne bacteria and viruses, with extra focus on safe and sanitised wash ware.
First, shortly about the Coronavirus. According to the Swedish National Food Agency there is nothing up to this point that is implying that COVID – 19 is contagious when drinking or eating food. COVID – 19 is simply not considered a foodborne infection, but there are a lot of other viruses and bacteria that spreads through food, drinks and unproperly sanitized pans, plates, cutlery, etc. Let’s talk some more about those and what you can do to keep customers safe and healthy.
Our foodborne enemies
Bacteria can be found all around us, and some bacteria are even welcome! We even put some of them in our foods to improve shelf-life, taste or the texture of food. Other bacteria, however, can make us sick.
These harmful bacteria are roughly divided into two groups:
1. Those who cause infections (Campylobacter, Salmonella, Ehec, etc.)
2. Those who cause food poisoning (Staphylococcus, Bacillus cereus, etc.)
How long it takes from ingestion until we get sick varies. Some bacteria make you sick fast, but it could also be a matter of days or even weeks before we notice anything.
Viruses are also present all around us and are about a thousand times smaller than bacteria. They are a common cause of us getting sick from food, but unlike bacteria they cannot reproduce themselves. Instead a virus waits until ingested and reproduces only when reaching living cells - for example a gut cell.
The most common way through which wash ware and food are contaminated with viruses is when being handled by an infected person – a host or spreader. It can also happen through contact with water that is contaminated. Some of the most common foodborne viruses are Norovirus (sometimes referred to as the winter vomiting bug), Hepatitis A and Sapovirus (often called stomach flu).
How to get sanitized wash ware and defeat foodborne infections
Some general tips:
+ Personal hygiene. Make sure that your staff has good personal hygiene and are symptom-free when working. Everybody must know how to properly wash their hands to prevent and avoid contamination of food, cookware, clean and sanitized wash ware and surfaces.
+ Ensure that the restaurant and kitchen are always kept clean and that hygiene standards are met. Inspections should be made regularly.
Secure safe wash ware:
+ Avoid cross-contamination. Keep the incoming line of dirty wares separate from the clean wash ware to prevent cross-contamination.
+ Stop manual pot washing. If you are still washing your pots and pans in a sink – put a stop to it, immediately. It is impossible to obtain a completely sanitized result in a manual pot wash set-up, as the high temperatures needed would be too hot to handle by hand. The wash water temperature in sinks is generally low, often around 40-45 °C, which is not nearly enough for full sanitization. Bacteria and viruses survive in temperatures ranging from -2 to +60 °C. To get safe results, you need a machine that uses high temperatures and alkaline detergent - i.e. a pH of around 11.
+ Drying agent. After sanitizing your pots, be mindful - drying them with paper or a towel will contaminate them all over again. Instead, use a drying agent in the rinse water to get the wash ware dry.
+ Read up on hygiene standards. When investing in a new ware washing solution, make sure that it follows hygiene guidelines: DIN 10512 and/or NSF/ANSI-3 requirements. Then you can be sure that your solution provides high enough temperatures (wash temp around 65 degrees and rinse temp of at least 85 degrees) to neutralise bacteria and virus properly.
Do you need our help to secure your sanitisation process or overlook your options?
Since GRANULDISK started in the late '80s, one of our core missions has been to provide sanitised and clean wash ware to our customers. Having met millions of customers in the commercial kitchen industry world-wide, week after week, year after year, we’ve gathered a lot of knowledge about safe washing results. We'd love to share our knowledge and learnings with you.
We’re always happy and eager to organize local Live Wash demos so that you can see the washing results with your own eyes. Enter your email address below to see what’s available in your area.
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