In the Talking Point article introducing this series, we argued that dishwashing is a strategic asset for the busy UAE restaurant. With tableware being reused multiple times a day, food premise operators have a duty of care to customers, ensuring that the plates, cups, glasses and cutlery used are germ free, safe and clean.
Regardless of machine type, proper procedures should be followed to ensure efficient machine use and that tableware emerges from the wash process germ free.
Two of the key issues here are temperature and water pressure control for the wash and rinse process. When hot water is used to sanitise, the water temperature should reach 180 F (88.2 C). Water pressure should be 20 psi.
If the water temperature used is too low, the sanitiser will not be effective in sanitising the dishware. Proper monitoring and quality standards need to be followed to ensure proper disinfection of wares and prevention of cross contamination. Temperature gauges should be checked before each use. The correct temperature of each cycle, according to manufacturer specifications, should be maintained at all times.
A mechanical dishwasher cleans by spraying hot (55-65 degrees Celsius) water on the dishes to remove soiling. At first, detergent-added to water (in the tank) is used for cleaning purposes, followed by the use of clean water to remove the detergent residue. When chemicals are used to sanitise, test strips must be available to check the proper concentration (e.g. Chlorine 50-200 ppm). Automatic dosing can ensure that proper concentration levels are being used.
The majority of our customers have detergent and rinse aid products automatically dosed into the dishwasher by electronic equipment. This is not always the case elsewhere in the industry where many dishwashers are still ‘hand fed’ with chemical into the machine.
There are many problems associated with manual dosing of cleaning and rinsing agent. It can be dangerous as users may come into direct contact with the neat chemicals being used; it is difficult to judge the exact amount of the product being used; using too much product can lead to higher costs; using too little product can lead to poor results, more re-washing and increased labour costs. Finally, in a busy restaurant, staff can forget to dose the machine.
Automatic dosing resolves these problems. Instead of relying on busy staff ‘doing it right’, the food premise operator has the comfort of knowing that the automatic dosing equipment, checked and serviced by a reputable cleaning chemical supplier, will consistently deliver the correct amount of detergent and rinse additive to clean the tableware; thereby ensuring the accuracy of disinfectant solutions by using concentrates combined with controlled dispensing. As a consequence, good results are delivered at all times.
Controlled dilution and the use of chemical concentrates also ensures better control of cleaning costs and is more eco-friendly compared to reliance on end-user free-hand pouring or environmentally unsound ready-to-use pre-packed cleaning products.By adding water at the point of use rather than at the manufacturing stage, packaging waste and the adverse environmental impact of transporting bulky chemicals (with high, unnecessary water content) are significantly reduced. Dilution systems also provide much better control over the amount of chemical used thereby improving the end-user's carbon footprint.
With chemicals being automatically dosed, there is significantly less likelihood of human error or risk of accidental by coming into contact with potentially hazardous chemical products, thereby delivering health and safety benefits.