Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Procedures

Procedures for cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting will vary from restaurant to restaurant. Your procedures must reference the chemicals used in your establishment (chemicals will have different directions for use) and your procedures.  Are you cleaning dishes and equipment in a three bay sink or are you using a warewashing machine?  If you’re using a ware washing machine, is it a “high-temp” machine or a “low-temp” machine? In the current COVID-19 era, you will have to increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing of your food contact surfaces. If you were cleaning and sanitizing prep tables, slicers and other food-contact surfaces once a shift or every four hours, you may need to double the frequency to twice a shift or every two hours.

Keep in mind, sanitizing and disinfecting are NOT the same thing. 

Sanitizing is the process of killing 99.9% of the bacteria.  This is a process used in retail food establishments to reduce bacteria to safe levels on food-contact surfaces.  Disinfecting is using chemical products to kill 100% of bacteria and viruses in healthcare settings.  This is now being required for frequently touched surfaces in all public settings including your restaurant.

Her is a video on the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting.

Frequent touch areas include door handles/push plates, electronic devices including credit card readers and POS systems, phones, restroom doors, faucets, soap dispensers, railings, refrigerator door handles, etc. These frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected routinely throughout the day.

There are numerous products that are effective disinfectants against the coronavirus.  See if your disinfectants are on the EPA list.

If you use EcoLab products, the Peroxide Multi Surface Cleaner and Disinfectant and Mikro-Quat are on the EPA list of disinfectants against the coronavirus.  In addition, many of the Clorox products are on the approved list as well.  

Remember, the proper concentration and contact time for your disinfectant is required to kill the coronavirus.   Most of the disinfectants may NOT be used on food-contact surfaces.  (Make sure to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions).

Alcohol based disinfectants may be better for use on electronic devices as theyevaporate quickly. Alcohol probe wipes work well for these devices. Make sure to confirm the alcohol content is between 60-95%.

*There can be chemical interactions when chemicals are mixed that are deadly so make sure to review the Safety Data Sheets (SDS).  Call your chemical supply company if necessary.