Though similar, these different cleaning techniques keep a professional kitchen clean and safe.
The club kitchen staff is just as responsible for serving a fine meal as they are for keeping members and guests safe. Proper sanitation protects both chefs and members against food-borne illnesses and the spread of viruses. For this reason, chefs receive in-depth training in sanitation guidelines to achieve certification.
But what is the difference between the term sanitize and disinfect? These terms may be used interchangeably in passing, but in places like a professional kitchen, it’s important to know the difference.
What Does Sanitize Mean?
According to the CDC, the term sanitize is the act of removing enough bacteria, fungi, and viruses to what is deemed to be a safe level. The cleaning solution, in this case, must be able to remove 99.99% of harmful contaminants within 30 seconds.
In a kitchen, all surfaces that come in contact with food should be sanitized to avoid cross-contamination. The process typically begins by cleaning the surface first—removing food and debris—before spraying and wiping down the surface with a commercial sanitizing solution. Sanitation also occurs frequently throughout the front of the house where members come and go.
What Does Disinfect Mean?
Disinfect takes the sanitation process a step further, killing even closer to 100% of these dangerous materials. It also eliminates a wider range of viruses than sanitation. Disinfectants will typically include higher percentages of bleach, hydrogen peroxide, chlorine, or other similar powerful compounds.
Disinfection is more commonly used in a kitchen on frequently touched surfaces like door knobs, faucets, handles, and light switches. While food surfaces are sanitized between each use, disinfection occurs less frequently unless there are health concerns such as a virus outbreak or during flu season.
Kitchen management sets a daily routine to ensure that each item is cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected whenever necessary. The staff is typically trained on proper standards from day one, ensuring that everyone is on the same page about cleanliness and safety.