Do your sanitising procedures reflect best practice?
The Food Standards Code requires that food contact surfaces in food premises be cleaned and sanitised. Cleaning and sanitising are 2 different processes.
Cleaning removes the grime and food scraps from a surface. You may use detergent or a cleaning spray as part of the cleaning process.
Sanitising involves the use of steam, hot water above 77 degrees or a food grade chemical sanitiser to reduce the amount of potentially harmful bacteria on a surface.
You must clean before you sanitise and you must sanitise all food contact surfaces.
Food contact surfaces include:
- Plates and cutlery
- Food preparation benches
- Chopping boards and knives
- Serving utensils
- Dining tables
We often see early years services making 3 common mistakes when it comes to sanitising.
Common mistake 1:
Using a cleaning product instead of a food grade chemical sanitiser.
You must use a food grade chemical sanitiser on all food contact surfaces. Most will require at least 30 seconds contact with the surface to be effective. Usually, you can purchase food grade chemical sanitiser from your usual chemical supplier or from major foodservice suppliers.
Common mistake 2:
Not sanitising dishes and cutlery that are hand washed instead of going through the dishwasher.
You can sanitise hand washed dishes by either soaking the cleaned dishes in hot water above 77 degrees or soaking them in properly diluted food grade chemical sanitiser.
Common mistake 3:
Not sanitising dining tables.
All dining tables must be cleaned and sanitised before a meal. After cleaning the table, use a food grade chemical sanitiser to sanitise the table. Spray the sanitiser into a paper towel or clean cloth (not the same cloth you have just used for cleaning the table) and wipe over table. Read the instructions on your sanitiser to determine if you need to wipe it off and how long you have to leave it on the surface before you wipe it off.
More questions about food safety?
Our newly updated and improved Safe Food Handling Workshops are perfect for Early Years services. Our workshops are linked to the National Quality Standard and provide opportunities for interaction and discussion about centre specific challenges.
- Safe Food Handling when providing a menu
- Safe Food Handling with lunchboxes
- Safe Food Handling when working with external caterers
Contact us for more information and a quote, email – firstname.lastname@example.org.