Compartment sinks are not only convenient in the foodservice industry but are also mandatory in many cases. Most health and sanitation standards require restaurants to have a sink with three or more compartments to manually clean utensils and smaller equipment pieces. But washing smallwares by hand is not as simple as running some soap and water over them. Washing restaurant utensils and equipment is subject to standards just like washing your hands. This three-step process is kinda like the “stop, drop and roll” of warewashing:
- First be sure to rinse, scrape or soak all items that are going to be washed to rid them of any leftover food or residue. Then wash the items in the first compartment of the sink filled with hot water that is at least 110 degrees F (43 degrees C) and a detergent solution. Be sure to drain and refill the sink when water becomes murky or suds are no longer visible.
- After items have been scrubbed clean rinse them in the second compartment with warm water. You can hold items under running water or fill the sink compartment and dip them in and out of the water to remove all traces of detergent. If dipping items be sure to change out rinse water regularly.
- Finally sanitize all items in the third compartment. Soak items in hot water and a sanitizer solution, following the time and temperature requirements of the sanitizer you are using. After the items have soaked for the required amount of time in the solution remove them from the sink and place on a clean dry surface to air dry. A compartment sink with a drain board is often required for this purpose.
And don’t forget that equipment and utensils are only as clean as the unit you wash them in so be sure to clean and sanitize your compartment sink before use.