I have finally decided to give my body a break and cut down on the amount of caffeine I consume daily. The problem is that I am not a morning kinda’ guy and when restaurant operators decide to tell me just how much they like me when I visit, I look like Christopher Walken ready to snap. This morning I decided to visit a local mom and pop restaurant to perform a routine inspection. These smaller type of establishments typically use the 3 compartment sink method for dishwashing as commercial dishwashers are not required. I feel that staff are not compelled to wash dishes using this method which includes washing with soap and water, rinsing, sanitizing (i.e. 50 ppm chlorine), and as a final step air drying, especially when the boss isn’t kicking around. A commercial dishwasher equipped with an approved sanitation cycle would be more appropriate. So when I asked the owner how the dishes are washed, he cursed, then gave me the wrong answer.
There seems to be a tendency for operators to mix soap with chlorine in the sanitizing step of the method, that is, in the third sink prior to air drying. In doing so, the sanitizer is not operating at its full potential. Soap is alkaline in nature as it uses sodium and potassium hydroxides to make surfactants. Bleach (chlorine) operates optimally at lower pH’s therefore added soap will decrease the efficacy of the bleach and should not be used.