Suggested Food Sanitation Tips- How to Sanitize?

  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water for 20 seconds before handling food or utensils.  Wash hands after each visit to the restroom, eating, touching the face or other body parts, blowing the nose (these also apply to children).
  • Wash hands and sanitize utensils, cutting boards, and work surfaces thoroughly after each contact with raw eggs, fish, meats, and poultry.  Sanitize between use for raw and cooked, or use separate plates or equipment
  • Thoroughly rinse with water all fresh fruits and vegetables before cooking or serving.  Do not use soap, as it can leave residue.
  • Properly clean and sanitize serving and cooking utensils, and equipment.
  • Handle serving utensils and plates without touching the eating surface.
  • Use disposable plastic gloves, as required by local health codes.  Use gloves for only one task and throw away – for example, if you touch other equipment, or handle money, etc.
  • Keep hands off face and hair.  Wash hands if touched.
  • Wear clean uniforms and hair restraints.
  • Food service staff with open cuts, sores, colds, or other communicable diseases should not prepare or serve food.
  • Properly clean and sanitize all food preparation and service areas; wipe up spilled food immediately.
  • Empty garbage cans daily.  They should be kept tightly covered and thoroughly cleaned.  Use plastic or paper liners.
  • Meet health standards set by your State and local health department.


Give careful attention to cleanup procedures following food preparation and service.  If you use disposable ware (dishes, trays, utensils, glasses, etc.), promptly and carefully remove the disposable items from the site.  If you use permanent ware, you must make sure to wash and sanitize them after each use.

Dishwashing Procedures

Whether washing dishes by hand or by machine, minimum procedures  include the following:

  • Scrape and pre-rinse before washing.
  • Wash with detergent solution in hot water.
  • If washing by hand, temperature should not be less than 110 °F or the temperature specified on the cleaning agent manufacturer’s label.
  • If washing by machine, temperature should be between 150-165 °F, depending on the type of machine.
  • Rinse with clear, hot water between 120 °F to 139 °F.
  • Sanitize with a final rinse of at least 171 °F for 30 seconds or a final rinse containing a chemical sanitizing agent.
  • Air dry on a clean rack.
  • Store in a clean area, protected from contamination.

Cleaning and Sanitizing

In addition to the cleanup of disposable or permanent ware, you  must properly clean and sanitize food preparation and service areas (equipment, floors, etc.).  A cleaning schedule should be part of the overall work schedule to assure that the site is cleaned regularly.  If serving meals outdoors, clean picnic tables, serving tables, or cover with disposable table cloths.

What’s the difference between cleaning and sanitizing? Cleaning is removing food, grease, sauces, dirt and dust, etc., from a surface generally with a detergent and water.  Sanitizing is the reduction of bacteria and viruses that may be on a surface with a special solution.  Household bleach is a sanitizer that is inexpensive and is approved by your local health department.  Make sure to sanitize food preparation areas, tables, countertops, cutting boards, drying racks, and sinks.

How to Sanitize

  1. Mix 1.5 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon (do not exceed 1 tablespoon) of bleach to one gallon of warm water.  Label mixture in a spray bottle.  For maximum effectiveness, mix fresh bleach solution every day.  Any leftover solution should be discarded at the end of the day.
  1. Clean surface with warm soapy water.
  1. Rinse with water.
  1. Spray with sanitizing solution and wipe with paper towel(s).
  1. Air dry (no need to rinse off the sanitizing solution).