Food for thought in chemical dosing
09 June 2017
Controlling the use of detergents and disinfectants is as important within the food service and hospitality sector as any other - both ensuring a hygienic environment as well as the high standards of appearance which are crucial in a hugely competitive service industry. Darren Saunders from Holchem provides an overview of how cleaning and disinfection regimes for kitchens are determined and the options for dosing of chemicals using wall mounted units
In the food service and hospitality sector both equipment and surfaces become contaminated with food residues, foreign bodies and microbial contamination. The removal of these contaminants is the process of cleaning and disinfection. Cleaning should always be considered an essential and integral part of the day to day operations of the kitchen environment.
When evaluating the cleaning and disinfection methods required in a kitchen, the following aspects need to be considered:
- Standards required
- Types of cleans required (interim, daily, non-daily cleans)
- Type of soiling, including consideration of allergens and species
- Water chemistry
- Water temperature
- Water pressure
- Materials of construction
- Hygienic design
- Equipment sensitivity to cleaning (e.g. is it susceptible to water damage)
- Product or environmental sensitivity to water (need for dry cleaning)
- Available cleaning time
- Available human resource
- Available equipment (chemical dosing/application, rinsing, cleaning)
- Cross contamination risk during cleaning
- Historical or current issues
- Operator safety
It is vitally important that there is significant involvement and advice from the chemical supplier, especially with regards to how chemicals should be:
- Rinsed/removed from surfaces.
These five elements form the core of most cleaning and disinfection processes and each one needs to be employed for successful chemical control.
Effective and accurate dosing of chemicals is vital for ensuring that a cleaning and disinfection process delivers the desired result. The use of reliable dosing equipment helps to ensure that these processes are consistent, chemicals are used safely, effectively and costs are controlled.
Chemicals can either be dosed neat or dilute for the cleaning and disinfection process, with numerous equipment options available for each method.
Neat dosing of chemical will typically be used when there may be a lack of a suitable water supply so the use of dilute dosing equipment isn't a viable choice. A wall mounted pump, like the Brightwell ECOMULTI or the HydroPump, are suited to the filling of containers or sprayers.
Dilute chemical dosing requires a wall mounted unit, typically a venturi, being connected directly to a water supply. Venturis work by water passing through the unit, which has a small opening leading to a chemical suction tube situated at the side of it. As the water passes over the opening it causes a vacuum drawing chemical through the suction tube. The volume of chemical that is drawn through the tube can be controlled by inserting orifice plates or metering tips.
However, where water pressure is very low or where it constantly fluctuates, the units may become inaccurate as consistent water pressure is vital for the units to work.
When connecting a venturi to a water supply, local water authority regulations state that no chemical dilution equipment may be connected directly to the mains supply. Therefore, a suitable backflow prevention device should be installed.
Once a suitable method of dosing has been determined for the kitchen, chemicals can then be dispensed for cleaning and disinfection tasks. These include sink cleaning, wiping surfaces over, mopping floors, foaming, spraying, etc.
Consideration should also be given to dosing of chemicals that are used for other kitchen environment cleaning and disinfection applications, such as dishwashing and floor scrubbers.