Scouts-L Mail Archive for April of 1999: FW: dishwashing
Wed, 31 Mar 1999 22:41:20 -0800
Hi L'ers. When i saw this thread get started, i enlisted the help of a
fellow Troop 94 Scouter and former SCOUTS-L member, Dave Conway, that spends
his entire day dealing with this stuff.....
From: Dave Conway [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 1999 9:14 PM
Hello Fellow Scouters,
While I have not been following Scouts-L for awhile now, I beleive I can be
helpful on this matter. I am a Public Health Inspector for the State of
California. Besides inspecting area food facilities I also teach classes in
food safety. Of course proper dishwashing is an important part of food
safety. Whenever possible dishes should be washed using a 3 basin system.
1)wash 2)rinse 3)sanitize then AIR DRY. The air drying prevents
recontamination by dirty towels. Even a clean appearing damp towel can
harbor millions of disease causing bacteria.
1) Wash- dishes should be washed with detergent and HOT water (sorry pine
needle and sand don't qualify)
2) Rinse- dishes should then be rinsed in HOT water.
3) Sanitize- dishes should then be sanitized in a solution of 100 ppm
(Parts per million) chlorine for 30 seconds. This final sanitizing rinse
should be luke warm approx. 70 degree water. As Jim Moss pointed out hot
water causes the chlorine to evaporate. Now how do you get 100 ppm of
chlorine out of 5.25% chlorine bleach you ask? 1 ounce of bleach in 4
gallons of water. There are approx 4 1/4 teaspoons in 1 ounce. You really
need to test the chlorine strength if you let it sit for very long or there
are a lot of dishes being done. Local restaurant suppliers have inexpensive
REMEMBER CHLORINE IS A DANGEROUS CHEMICAL. NEVER MIX IT WITH OTHER
CHEMICALS. MIXED WITH THE WRONG CLEANSERS IT PRODUCES A DEADLY GAS. MIXED
WITH THE WRONG PETROLEUM PRODUCTS IT CAN CAUSE A FIRE. WE ALL HAVE IT IN
OUR HOMES AND MOST OF US ARE PROBABLY STORING IT IN THE SAME CUPBOARD AS
OUR AMMONIA. DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND SEPERATE THEM.
As far as disposal remember we are using 100 ppm chlorine. Most swimming
pools have 1 to 5 ppm chlorine and drinking water is less than 1 ppm
chlorine in most areas. So I disagree with the notion that its close to
drinking water levels. Add hot 212 degree F. water (you know its hot enough
when the water begins to make its own bubbles) to it and let the chlorine
evaporate. Do this away from where people are standing to avoid over
exposing anyone to the vapors.
Another effective sanitizer is Iodine. 25 ppm for 1 min. Unless you have a
source for the Iodine and a good test kit I wouldn't recommend this one.
Besides Iodine stains and has a nasty odor.
Now if you have a big enough pot soaking the dishes in 180 degree F. water
for 30 sec is the best alternative. It also helps with the drying and
provided you don't pour it on some sensitive plant species it won't leave a
Now, why are we sanitizing the dishes?
Is it to prevent food borne illness'?
Is it to prevent disease transmission?
Is it to make sure that they are really clean?
Or is it to make us feel like we are doing the right thing?
To cause a food borne illness the germs have to grow in the food at an
unsafe temperature usually 50 to 130 degrees F. (Those of you that know the
Law to be 41 Degrees to 140 Degrees, think safety factor before you flame
me) for about 4 hours, then the germs or their toxins are eaten and the
person gets sick. I don't know about your scout but the ones I've been
camping with don't let the food sit around anywhere near that long on their
plates. (Sorry for the oversimplification for those of you that already
know this subject matter)
For disease transmission to occur the utensils must be contaminated with a
disease causing germ and a different person than the one with the original
contaminating disease must use them. So if we only use our personal dishes
the chance of transmitting a disease that way is pretty remote.
Thats why pots, pans and other kitchen utensils that don't go into peoples
mouths are not required to be sanitized.
Sure the bleach will help get them cleaner but all your doing is rinsing so
that can't be the right answer.
Now really folks we wouldn't do things like this just because it seems like
the right thing to do, or would we. Of course not, the fact is that the
cross contamination occuring in the dishwashing process, if the same water,
soap and scrub rag are used by all, is enough cause to want to sanitize.
Hope this helps
Oh yea, I almost forgot. Go wash your hands.
TCM T-94 Mariposa CA
Food safety Web Site http://home.yosemite.net/~dlcehs/foodsafety
Character is telling the truth before you get caught.
Character is doing the right thing when no one is watching.
Character is always remembering that, no matter who you are or what you are
doing, there is a kid trying to be just like you, and that your actions are
so loud they can not hear what you are saying!!!