In this time of COVID-19, sanitation is a top priority. Companies and businesses try to open and cope up with the situation.
The industries of hospitality, food and beverages, restaurants have put in place stricter measures in place to help ensure safety amongst the employees and customers. These include better safety protocols for all the staff, regular sanitation, and the right equipment.
Business owners and employees should all be educated on the importance of strict sanitation. Especially this time, a review of all the processes should be done by companies. Review should be able to understand better the past processes and how it can be improved moving forward to adhere to stricter implementation of safety measures.
Need to Sanitize
The act of sanitizing is to destroy the micro-organisms, like pathogens. This is done through the use of chemicals or heat.
Sanitizing is very important in the above-mentioned industries. This is all the more highlighted now in the time of coronavirus. Food service industry should not undermine the need to sanitize. Managers should ensure no shortcuts are done.
Improving this factor and not overlooking this goes a long way to help protect both the employees and the customers. This is good for the business in the long run to protect their reputation and credibility.
Right Dishwashing Equipment
This pandemic time is a very crucial time. The right equipment should be considered and form part of the safety protocols of the business.
These food businesses should find the right dishwasher that suits the time. The dishwashing equipment should be a reputable and credible brand. It should be a quality brand that is trust-worthy. There are a wide variety of commercial dishwashers so you have a lot of choice.
The dishwashing equipment should be NSF certified. It means NSF standards should be followed.
What is NSF?
NSF is the abbreviation for National Sanitation Foundation. It was founded way back in 1944.
The main objective of NSF is to ensure world standards for food safety and sanitation to promote public health.
NSF International is a non-governmental organization that is the authority in giving out product certifications fit for public health.
NSF is the world leader in this type of product certification. Its main focus is on food safety, inclusive of food, water, indoor air, and the environment.
Getting an NSF Certification
Reputable brands and products get NSF Certified. That is why the quality brands of dishwashing equipment get NSF certification.
How is NSF certification done? What are the processes involved?
NSF normally conducts a rigorous and thorough testing and analysis. NSF conducts product testing and material analyses. This is done through unannounced plant inspections and other tests.
Every step of the product development or manufacturing is checked and carefully evaluated.
Below are the normal steps in getting an NSF certification.
- Application and information submission
- Product evaluation
- Product testing in lab
- Manufacturing facility inspection, production confirmation and product sampling
- Test results review and acceptance
- Contract signed and products listed
- Annual plant inspection and retesting
Commercial Dishwashing Equipment and the need to be NSF-Certified
Did you know that in a 2011 germ study by NSF, the most number of germs is found in the kitchen?
Hence, it is of utmost importance to regularly clean and sanitize the commercial kitchens like the countertops and sinks, dishes, and cookware used to prepare and serve food.
To effectively clean and sanitize the dishes, make sure the dishwasher is NSF-certified. To pass, a sanitizing or high-temp setting must be able to reduce the bacteria of the dishes by 99.9999%, and water should be able to reach a temperature of 150F.
Expounding more on the process, it means that after the application of cumulative heat or chemicals, there should be a reduction of 5 logs or 99.9999% of the disease-causing microorganisms.
Other Measures to Apply
After looking into the equipment, employees should take extra steps to further safety standards.
Frequent and thorough hand washing should be done by all. Reminders can be stamped in different places of the work area to remind employees. It is better if these reminders can contain illustrations or visuals on the proper handwashing technique. Hand washing should be done before and after food preparation and serving. Hands should be washed also before and after dishwashing.
Another important method to be taken is to ensure the cleaning and sanitizing of all surfaces. This includes both the kitchen and the dining area. This should also be properly done. This means following the correct steps of wiping off the food and left-overs. Then sanitize with the right chemical and allow it to be dried. Make sure that the employee follows correctly the instruction on the products to be used for sanitizing.
Unlike before where cleaners are normally just wearing gloves, it is advised now that clearers who disinfect wear PPE (protective personal equipment). This can be protective clothing, face mask, face shield, and protective eyewear.
These days of COVID-19, the food service industry should carefully review its process and apply stringent measures to ensure the safety of employees and customers.
Proper equipment should be used. This includes using the right dishwashing equipment that is NSF-certified. It is important to look for equipment that is NSF-certified to help ensure that 99.9999% of disease-causing germs are removed.
Other steps to follow are frequent and thorough hand washing, regular sanitizing of surfaces, dishware, and equipment. Wearing of PPE is also strongly advised for cleaners.
By following these safety advisories, the food service industry can be better protected, most especially in this pandemic time.