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The Cleaning Process and the Use of Chlorine in the Food Service & Restaurant Industry

Written by Janice M on . Posted in Hygiene & Quality Control

Cleaning and sanitizing are vital functions in a food service or restaurant kitchen – an infectious outbreak can swiftly kill a hard-earned reputation. Infectious germs can spread quickly when food is not prepared and stored safely. Dilute mixtures of chlorine bleach and water are a common and cost-effective method for sanitizing equipment in food processing operations. Also, washing hands often and thoroughly could eliminate half the cases of foodborne illness. To gain background knowledge on the general properties and usage of chlorine, it is recommended that you read this article before continuing:

The Cleaning Process:

  • For effective sanitization in the kitchen, first wash everything thoroughly with hot, soapy water to remove visible dirt.
  • Secondly, rinse off the soap.
  • Thirdly, sanitize.


  • Sanitizing treatment is especially recommended for cutting boards, countertops and cooking surfaces.
  • Cloths and sponges should be soaked frequently in a stronger disinfecting solution with detergent.
  • Equipment or articles sanitized with the solution must be allowed to drain properly before contact with food.
  • Solutions of 100 ppm will kill bacteria on dishes, glasses and other eating utensils. (Before treatment, they must be thoroughly cleaned.)
  • Solutions used for sanitizing equipment should not exceed 200 mg/l available chlorine.
  • If higher concentrations are used, the surface must be rinsed with potable water before using.
  • Porous surfaces (such as wood, rubber and soft plastics) need to be sanitized with a higher concentration of 600 ppm, left wet for two minutes, then rinsed and air dried.
  • Contact times of one – five minutes are generally sufficient for a thorough kill.
  • Storage containers that are used for food transportation should be sanitized after washing
  • Ice used to chill food during transport should be made from potable, chlorinated water to safeguard against external contamination.

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