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Commercial dish machines are a great alternative to manually washing and sanitizing the wares your facility uses. Read this article to learn about the different types of commercial dish machines and how to choose the best one for your facility.
If one thing is guaranteed to make customers unhappy, it is being given dirty wares like spotty glasses, smudged silverware, and unclean plates during their dining experience.
Whether you own a small business, run a restaurant, manage a cafeteria, or any other foodservice establishment, providing your customers with spotless wares is key to keeping guests satisfied.
Unfortunately, this can be challenging especially if your facility still manually cleans wares after use or doesn’t have the best commercial dishwasher for your needs.
Without the right commercial dish machine, you run the risk of having to deal with customer complaints and more time-consuming cleaning processes.
Commercial kitchens are busy with staff constantly moving around to prepare and serve food that is satisfactory to your customers.
Adding the right commercial dish machine to your kitchen can help boost your staff productivity without sacrificing cleanliness.
A commercial dish machine replaces manual dishwashing and sanitizing dirty dishes, pots, pans, and glassware in your facility.
There are many different types of commercial dish machines, which can make it difficult to find the right one for your business. The best dish machine for your facility will depend on the specific needs of your establishment. The goal is to find the best machine and ensure you’re getting spotless wares in one wash cycle.
You’ll also want to be sure that you choose a dish machine that can handle the volume of dishes produced by your commercial kitchen and that the dishwasher is capable of cleaning the various types of wares your patrons use in your facility.
In this article, we will review the different types of commercial dish machines and the available features to help you choose the best option for your facility.
How Does A Dish Machine Work?
You may think this is a silly question and that all dish machines work the same. In short, all dish machines use dish detergent to wash, sanitize, and dry the dishes used in your commercial kitchen.
However, there are two major types of commercial dish machines:
- High Temp Dish Machines
- Low Temp Dish Machines
Low and high temp dish machines perform differently. The temperature of the machine determines how much dish detergent is needed and affects how your wares are sanitized. Some commercial dish machines will also require external equipment to maintain the temperatures needed to complete the wash cycles.
High Temp Dish Machines Vs Low Temp Dish Machines
High Temp Dish Machines
A high temp commercial dish machine washes dishes at 140-160+ °F and rinses them at 180-195 °F.
The temperature of the superheated water allows for the dish cycle to sanitize the wares without using a chemical dish sanitizer and achieve faster drying times.
High temp dish machines can also clean visibly soiled dishes that are coated in fat, grease, and tough soils. This means that though your dishes should always be rinsed before being loaded into the dish machine, the high heat can tackle any leftover soils on your wares.
One thing to note about high temp dish machines is that most of them require both an external booster heater to maintain the heated water temperatures and a condensate hood.
The booster heater helps ensure the machine maintains its high temperatures.
A condensate hood is used to capture heat or condensate from non-grease producing appliances, like a dish machine.
Some dish machines can be ventless, which uses an internal vent system to eliminate the need for a condensate hood. These ventless machines can also reduce the amount your business spends on energy expenses.
Low Temp Dish Machines
A low-temp dish machine washes and sanitizes dishes at a temperature of 120-140 °F degrees.
Since these machines don’t use high temperatures, a chemical sanitizer is needed to sanitize and kill germs on the dishes.
Before dishes are loaded into the dish machine, they should be thoroughly scrubbed and pre-rinsed. A low temp dish machine isn’t able to handle grease on dishes, so your staff should be extra careful to remove any and all visible soil.
It’s also important to note that low-temp machines generally take longer to clean dishes.
The lower temperature machines don’t require a booster heater or a condensate hood.
What to Consider When Choosing a Dish Machine
There are three main features you should consider when determining whether a dish machine will be right for your kitchen:
- High Temp Vs Low Temp Dish Machine
- Dishwasher Footprint
- Cleaning Capacity
High Temp Vs Low Temp Dish Machine
How to Choose Between a High Temp and Low Temp Dish Machine
When deciding between a high temp and a low temp commercial dish machine, you will need to consider what kind of food your facility serves.
High temp machines are better for establishments that have greasier foods, like barbeque, while low temp machines can clean non-greasy soils like salads or pasta.
You will also need to consider the electrical capabilities of your building. High temp dish machines require higher voltage outlets, so if you have concerns about your facility’s energy usage a low temp machine will probably be best.
The footprint of your dishwashing machine is simply the amount of space that the equipment takes up in your facility.
If you have a commercial dish machine that is both vertically and horizontally large, it will require a lot of space and affect the way your staff moves in your kitchen.
Commercial kitchens with ample space, like a cafeteria, hospital, or other high-volume facilities can use a machine with a large footprint.
In larger foodservice facilities, you can benefit from a dish machine that is built for efficient ware washing in a busy facility. These machines, called conveyor dish machines, are large but have faster cycle times than smaller commercial dish machines.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your commercial kitchen, you will likely have to settle for a smaller dish machine that’s able to clean and sanitize your dishes quickly. Undercounter dish machines can be tucked away beneath counters to make the most of the space you have available in your kitchen.
Another feature you should consider when trying to find the right dish machine for your facility is the cleaning capacity.
There are a variety of different sized dish machines that can be used to clean soiled dishes in your kitchen.
Some dish machines are capable of cleaning a high number of dishes throughout the day while others may be smaller and clean fewer dish racks.
In a commercial foodservice facility, you will want a dish machine that makes it easy to quickly turn around dishes and wares for use.
For smaller facilities, like a cafe or a compact commercial kitchen, you’ll likely benefit from a machine that can clean up to 35 racks an hour. Larger commercial kitchens, like cafeterias or banquet halls, will likely need a dish machine that can process more than 150 racks an hour.
Types Of Dish Machines
Dish machines come in various types, sizes, temperatures, and operations for cleaning the dishes in your facility.
Each type of commercial dish machine comes in either high or low temp, depending on the specific make and model of the machine you’re looking at.
Below, we’ll cover the four most popular types of commercial dish machines that you can use in your facility:
- Under Counter Dish Machine
- Upright Dish Machine
- Conveyor Dish Machine
- Glassware Dish Machine
Under Counter Dish Machine
An under-counter dish machine is the most compact type of dish machine.
Undercounter dish machines are about the same size as a household dishwasher but they have a quicker cleaning cycle.
The small size of the machine allows it to sit either in the Back Of House (BOH) or in the Front Of House (FOH). The compact dishwasher can be tucked under a counter in your facility.
In facilities that don’t have a lot of space, an under-counter dish machine may be the best option.
An under-counter commercial dishwashing machine can clean about 20-30 racks per hour.
These dish machines are a great choice for small restaurants, hotels, or in foodservice businesses where the commercial kitchen is cleaned as you go.
Upright Dish Machine
An upright type dish machine is a larger commercial dish machine that can clean a larger number of racks in an hour.
This type of dish machine is perfect for facilities with large dishware. For a restaurant or foodservice business that produces a lot of kitchenware, like pots, pans, and baking ware, you will benefit from having an upright dish machine.
An upright dish machine will take up more vertical space than an under-counter dishwasher.
This allows your staff to stack pots and pans in the dish machine.
The vertical footprint also allows the machines to sit out of the way in the back of the house. They are designed to sit out of the way of traffic in your commercial kitchen.
Upright dish machines can clean between 35 and 60 dish racks each hour.
These machines are perfect for medium-sized food service facilities, like diners.
Conveyor Dish Machine
A conveyor dish machine is the largest type of dish machine and cleans dishes the fastest.
Kitchens that need to turn over a lot of tableware during operating hours and have plenty of space can benefit from using this high-capacity, heavy-duty machine.
Not only are these machines large vertically, but they also require a lot of horizontal space.
A conveyor dish machine has a loading area, where your staff places the dish rack to fill the basket with dirty dishes. Then, the rack is pulled into the wash/rinse tank for the cleaning cycle to begin. Once completed, the dishes are then moved into the unloading area for your staff to remove the clean dishes for use.
A conveyor dish machine is a perfect choice for a commercial kitchen that has a lot of space and requires quick turn around times for dishes.
These conveyor dish machines can clean 150-200 dish racks an hour.
Commercial conveyor dish machines are perfect for large, busy facilities, like cafeterias, hospitals, and other high-volume businesses.
Glassware Dish Machine
Businesses, like busy bars or lounges, that use a lot of glasses or particularly fragile types of drinkware will benefit from using a glassware dish machine.
Unlike the other types of machines, glassware dish machines produce reduced water pressure and power to safely clean your glassware with as little breakage as possible.
In facilities, like bars and restaurants, cleaning glassware quickly and accurately is important to provide your patrons with a steady stream of beverages.
Your staff will have access to clean, spotless glassware for each customer’s beverage needs.
Glassware dish machines come in either under-counter, upright, or in-sink models.
In-sink glassware cleaners use a combination of water and brushes to clean glassware. These machines usually clean one glass at a time, so in facilities that use a larger amount of drinking glasses, you will benefit from either an under-counter or upright dish machine.
Depending on the size of the specific machine, a glassware dish machine can clean up to 1,000 glasses per hour.
Dish machines will help you and your foodservice business increase the productivity of your workers and create a healthier environment. Instead of having to manually clean the dishware in your facility, your staff can run the dishes through a commercial dish machine to achieve clean wares in less time.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to commercial dish machines. Deciding which is the best fit for your facility can be difficult.
If you have a small foodservice business that doesn’t need to clean a lot of dishes throughout the day, an under-counter dish machine will likely be best for your facility.
Larger establishments with greater space will benefit from either an upright or conveyor dish machine, which can clean more dishes per hour.
Imperial Dade can help you select the best commercial dish machines for washing and sanitizing dishes, whether you’re located in the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Caribbean.
Have a question about the best dish machines for your foodservice business? Contact an Imperial Dade Specialist today for more information on choosing the best dish machine to achieve your food service goals.
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Preventing the spread of foodborne illnesses, like Salmonella, Listeria, and E. Coli, is important to maintaining the health and safety of your customers. Read this article to learn three practices your food processing facility can use to avoid spreading illness-causing pathogens.
by John Thomas, Director of Health & Wellness at Imperial Dade
Did you know that every year, 1 in 6 Americans get sick from foodborne illnesses? Foodborne illnesses can be spread in several ways, including through food prepared at a food processing facility. No matter the size of your food processing operation, it’s important that you’re taking the cleanliness and safety of your facility seriously to avoid spreading foodborne illnesses.
To maintain a clean food processing facility, you and your staff should have a good understanding of what food sanitation is and how to use the appropriate products and procedures. Food sanitation refers to the practice of maintaining a high level of cleanliness throughout the food processing establishment using certain cleaning and sanitization processes and procedures.
Failing to achieve a high level of sanitation can lead to product contamination that affects your food product quality, taste, and most importantly, consumer health. Foodborne illnesses not only lead to sick guests but also product recalls, which may damage the reputation and brand image of your facility and even lead to lost future sales. In addition to lost sales, you might also face fines due to failure to comply with food sanitation rules.
Organizations like the USDA and the FDA have created regulations to help you stay compliant with food sanitation guidelines and avoid the spread of foodborne illnesses. Compliance is key to avoiding fines and maintaining a clean, sanitary food processing facility.
In this article, we’re going to review how to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses in your food processing facility to protect your customers and remain compliant with food sanitation guidelines.
A foodborne illness is a sickness caused by bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are present in food. Toxins and chemicals that are harmful when ingested can also cause foodborne illnesses. If a consumer has a foodborne illness, they may experience discomfort and other, more serious symptoms like:
- Stomach Cramps
Removing illness-causing bacteria from food contact surfaces is key to protecting the food being processed and reducing the chance of a food recall.
Public food recalls are initiated to remove contaminated foods from the marketplace to protect consumers from buying and eating foods that have been contaminated by illness-causing bacteria. In the year 2021, there were 47 recalls initiated by the Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS). The total volume of food being recalled annually is usually tens of millions of pounds.
All these recalls and the related health consequences can translate to a damaged brand image and have a negative impact on your bottom line. If your food processing facility is responsible for food that causes foodborne illness for customers, your business could experience a loss in sales and extra costs. Proper sanitation can save your business money on avoidable expenses.
The need to protect your customers, and your brand, requires that your operation implement effective and documented cleaning and sanitizing processes within your facility.
Below, we’ll provide three practices that you can use in your cleaning program to prevent the spread of foodborne illnesses to your customers.
Whether your food processing operation is a large meatpacking plant or a small producer of specialty items, it’s important to implement these processes and procedures to manage the operation’s food safety and sanitation programs.
To avoid the spread of foodborne illness, your food processing establishment can implement practices like:
- Developing and Implementing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
- Using the Right Chemicals
- Cleaning Before Sanitizing
Guidance from the USDA and the FDA stresses the importance of having a written food safety plan and established standard operating procedures (SOPs) for your sanitation program.
Standard operating procedures, or SOPs, are a set of written instructions that give your staff step-by-step instructions to perform routine cleaning. With SOPs, your cleaning staff will have the correct information to know the right way to clean and be able to achieve consistent results. SOPs outline the tools, products, and procedures that your staff should use to clean areas in your facility. By following thoroughly created SOPs, your janitorial team will know how and when to complete cleaning.
For example, a meat packaging establishment may create and implement SOPs that outline how their equipment should be cleaned and sanitized. The steps for completing that task may include:
- Disassemble the equipment
- Remove all product debris from equipment
- Rinse equipment with water to remove remaining debris
- Use a food-grade cleaner on the equipment
- Reassemble the equipment
- Sanitize the equipment with a food-grade sanitizer. Rinse with water, if necessary
Implementing written SOPs will also help support your efforts to stay compliant with the FDA’S Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA), Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), and the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI).
Each of these food safety programs and laws provides guidelines on how to minimize contamination and keep your food processing facility safe through proper sanitation practices.
The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) was signed into law in order to ensure that food is safe by preventing contamination. This act requires facilities to create a plan and retain documentation on their food safety and sanitation practices.
Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HAACP) is a management system that addresses food safety through the control of hazards in food processing facilities.
The Global Food Safety Initiative (GSFI) helps reduce cleaning inefficiencies through certification and provides auditing benchmarks.
Imperial Dade has had success with providing Spartan training programs to food processing customers. Spartan offers food processing sanitation training that will teach your cleaning team how to eliminate food pathogens.
Practices that will help your facility remain compliant with the FDA regulations include:
- Establishing Written SOPs
- Identifying Procedures
- Specifying Cleaning and Sanitation Frequencies
- Provide and Document Necessary Education and Training
Spartan is prepared to deliver the employee training and program documentation you need with products like their 9 step sanitation training program, their CleanCheck® Training Program, and CompuClean® Sanitation Management Software.
These programs will train your cleaning staff and equip them with the knowledge of how to remain compliant in the workplace. During training, they will learn exactly what to do, how often to do it, and the best products to use.
Food-safe sanitizers should be used to reduce the presence of bacteria on the surfaces in your food processing facility. It’s important to note that sanitizers and disinfectants are not the same. Disinfectants are not typically used for food contact surfaces because they can leave behind harmful residues. Sanitizers that are food-grade effectively kill germs and are safe for contact with food without contaminating it.
Each sanitizer can remove up to 99.99% of the germs listed on the product label. The best sanitizing chemicals for your facility will be able to kill illness-causing germs and remove bacteria from surfaces.
Imperial Dade offers food production sanitation solutions including a line from Spartan Chemical.
Their Sani-T-Plus food equipment surface sanitizer is specially formulated to be effective against illness-causing bacteria like Salmonella, Listeria, and E.Coli. Imperial Dade also carries Spartan’s PAA Sanitizer, which is a peroxyacetic acid-based sanitizer that can be used on hard, non-porous food-contact surfaces in your food processing facility. This product is so safe, it can even be used as a fruit and vegetable water treatment.
For surfaces that don’t come into contact with food, Spartan’s Metaquat is an option for removing germs from the surfaces in your facility. This product can effectively kill bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses and can spread to food contact surfaces.
Any surfaces in your food processing facility that come into contact with food products should be cleaned and sanitized. Pathogens can easily spread on surfaces that aren’t being sanitized properly. Before using a food-safe sanitizer, you should always clean your surfaces. A dirty surface cannot be sanitized effectively. Surfaces like counters and prep tables should be clean and sanitized often to prevent the spread of foodborne illness-causing bacteria.
These surfaces should be cleaned:
- Before each use
- Between uses when preparing RTE (ready-to-eat) foods and raw food
- Any time there’s a risk of contamination
Cleaning surfaces removes any soils and prepares the surfaces for sanitizing. Sanitizing surfaces reduces the number of harmful bacteria present to levels that are acceptable by the EPA.
Whether you’re cleaning surfaces that are covered in grease or stubborn soils, Imperial Dade carries products that will help you achieve clean surfaces and equipment. The High-Performance Alkaline FP is a highly concentrated alkaline cleaning solution used to effectively remove sugars, proteins, and other soils found in food processing facilities. Spartan Chlorinated Degreaser will quickly cleans soils from equipment in your facility.
Avoiding foodborne illnesses in your food processing facility is an important way to keep your customers safe. Properly cleaning and sanitizing the surfaces in your building will kill illness-causing bacteria before they can infect food that touches the surface.
Imperial Dade has a wide range of food-grade sanitizing products and programs. Spartan Chemical is one of the premier chemical lines we provide which helps your janitorial team create a clean, safe environment in your facility. Spartan provides economical cleaning and sanitizing products that meet all regulatory requirements.
Whether you need sanitizing products or programs to help you create SOPs and thorough cleaning practices, Imperial Dade can help match you to the perfect products for your business.
Check out the food sanitation products that Imperial Dade carries from Spartan to help reduce the spread of foodborne illnesses in your facility:
- Chlorinated Degreaser
- High Performance Alkaline FP
- PAA Sanitizer
- Consume LIQ
- And more…
Contact an Imperial Dade Specialist for help deciding which sanitation products are right for your facility. We will conduct a review of your sanitation program and suggest the best products, training, and processes for you and your cleaning staff. Visit our website for a location near you and call today.