Your sanitizer solution is one of the key elements in ensuring food safety and preventing food-borne illness. This week, we’d like to discuss how to be certain that you’re mixing and using your sanitizer solution properly for maximum effectiveness.
Food Manager Certification MN Guide to Sanitizer Solutions
The following are the three types of sanitizer solutions that the Minnesota Food Code approves of for use in food preparation outlets.
- Bleach or Chlorine solution at 50 ppm for 10 seconds
- Iodine solution at 12.4 – 25 ppm for 30 seconds
- Quaternary ammonia solution at 200 – 400 ppm for 30 seconds
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these three solutions. Bleach and quaternary ammonia solutions are currently the two most popular choices. While bleach is generally more affordable, it is easy to over mix creating the potential that it will remain on the surface of your utensils and surfaces creating a chemical contamination hazard. Quaternary ammonia solutions may be a little more costly, but their safe concentration range is much broader and may not be as harsh on employee’s skin as chlorine solutions. If you have any questions as to which solution may be best for your facility, you’re local health department will usually be more than happy to recommend one to you and explain the advantages of each product.
Properly Mixing Your Solution
The most accurate way to mix your solution is to have a service install a pump at a water source. These pumps will mix the solution into the water for you, creating a proper concentration. There are many companies that provide this service, and your health department should be able to direct you to one that is certified in your jurisdiction.
If you choose to manually mix your sanitizer solutions, we strongly recommend that you use the proper test strip each
time you mix your solution. Using a paper test strip will ensure that you have not over or under mixed your chemicals solution.
When dealing with sanitizers, it is important to make sure that you change your solution often during heavy use to ensure that it is still potent, store it below food preparation areas and make sure that your surfaces have air dried before continuing work.
We feel that you should train your entire staff on how to properly sanitize their work stations and make an effort to regularly test your solutions to ensure that you are mixing your chemicals safely. Proper use of sanitizers is an important element to serving and preparing safe-to-eat foods and well worth a review even after you have gained your food manager certification in MN.
What is your prospective? How do you assure proper workstation sanitation at your workplace?