An effective warewashing program is an important part of your food safety program.
It ensures that your kitchenware is clean and sanitary, enhances guest satisfaction, and saves money. By understanding the basic principles and following these tips you can keep your program running smoothly.
- Warewashing is the term associated with cleaning and sanitizing any kitchenware used in the preparation, serving, or storing of food. This includes pots and pans, cutlery, glasses, serving pans, and dishes. Warewashing can be done manually or by machinery.
- Cleaning removes food and other debris from the surface of the item. Sanitizing kills the microorganisms and germs on the cleaned surface making it safe for food contact. Both are critical to the warewashing process.
- In a professional kitchen, manual warewashing requires a 3-comparment sink. The process begins with washing the items with a commercial-grade detergent, rinsing, and then sanitizing in cold water that contains 200 parts per million of sanitizer. The sanitizing step is often where problems occur. The water must be cold to ensure the sanitizer level is stable. If not, and an inspection is performed, a violation will be issued.
- Mechanical warewashing is performed by a commercial dish machine. This method is faster and requires less labor, however there are still important procedures to be followed.
- Machine selection is important to ensure the most cost-effective program. There are many sizes and configurations ranging from small under-counter units, which are best suited for bars and small cafés, to large conveyer models used in hotels.
- Dish machines operate at high or low temperatures. Low temperature machines are less expensive and more energy efficient, but require more chemicals compared to high temperature machines. Every situation is unique. This is why partnering with an experienced supplier to make a selection is important.
- Scheduled preventative maintenance is crucial. A technician must change chemical lines, squeeze tubes, and dilution tips to make sure the proper amount of detergent and chemicals are being used by the machine. These parts wear out and, if neglected, can shut down the system.
- Using the correct detergents and chemicals for the machine type is another important factor. The warewashing components must all work together. Substituting or omitting products will cause performance issues and may result in health inspection violations.
Warewashing is more than simply washing dishes. However, when the program is specifically designed for your operation and maintained by a professional supplier partner, it will run smoothly and cost-effectively. This will free up kitchen staff and managers to focus on other important tasks that lead to guest satisfaction.