On first consideration, it seems illogical that soaps and other cleansers can cause food contamination. You use a chemical cleaner to eliminate bacterial on a surface where food is prepared, for example . . . and that must be a good thing to do, correct?

Well, not necessarily. The fact is that the chemicals contained in soaps and other cleansers are not meant to be consumed. If they find their way into the food you serve, your patrons can potentially become very ill.

Here are some safeguards and protocols to observe in your food service business.

Hand Sanitizers

Your food handlers and other personnel should be trained to wash their hands thoroughly after they use liquid hand sanitizers . . . or be trained to avoid using sanitizers altogether. That seems illogical, right? After all, why shouldn’t your workers clean their hands with sanitizers, and then go right back to handling food and utensils? The fact is that hand sanitizers contain strong chemicals that must be kept away from food and surfaces that come into contact with it.

Disinfectants and Surface Cleaners

There are times when it is a very good idea to use strong detergents and disinfectants to clean food-prep surfaces. After all, you want to get those surfaces free of germs that can result in food contamination.

The problem is that some poisonous chemicals found in soaps and disinfectants are not meant to be ingested, or to come into contact with food. What’s the solution? Your food service personnel – especially those who are responsible for cleaning food prep areas – must be trained to correctly rinse those areas with water after they are cleaned with chemicals. Without correct rinsing skills and routines, contamination can occur.

Dish Detergents

Whether your staff hand-washes dishes or washes them in commercial dish washing machines, it is critical to make sure they are thoroughly rinsed to remove all traces of dish detergent. Getting them free of chemicals can be tricky, because small traces of detergents can be difficult to detect with the naked eye. Yet there are simple protocols and procedures that can assure all traces of detergents are removed from dishes and cooking vessels before they are put back into service.

Food Safety of America Institute is proud to offer high-quality food safety training courses. Contact us today to learn more.