Dishwashing: How To Sanitize Dishes

Foodborne Illness
Updated: 11/18/2022
You know how to wash dishes, but do you know how to sanitize them? No matter how thoroughly you clean pots, pans, utensils, and the like, they will still need to be disinfected to ensure protection from germs. This quick guide will be helpful to you as you prepare to earn your food handler card.

Sanitizing with Solution
The keys to proper disinfecting are using an approved sanitizing solution and following manufacturer specifications for the correct concentration. Here are the specs for the three most commonly used sanitizers:
  • Chlorine - Correct concentration of 50-100 parts per million. A white test strip should turn medium blue.
  • Quaternary Ammonia - Correct concentration of 200-400 parts per million. Follow directions for temperature and testing.
  • Iodine - Correct concentration of 12.5-25 parts per million. Follow directions for temperature and testing.
  • Clean and sanitize food prep areas and utensils often

Sanitizing with Hot Water

You can also use very hot water to sanitize dishes. When washing by hand, a sanitizing sink must contain water at least 170 degrees Fahrenheit. For dishwashers, the temperature should be between 180-195 degrees Fahrenheit.
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