Did you know that one in six people will get sick from eating contaminated food in a restaurant? Ready to use wipes are increasing in popularity because they completely simplify the process. The greatest benefit is convenience and ease of use; the process is the same whether an employee is cleaning the kitchen, restroom, or seating area. Another benefit is that employees don’t need to measure chemicals; the product is at a perfect dilution every single time. Wipes are considered to be equivalent to microfiber and are as effective as traditional cleaners.
However, even wipes have the opportunity to be misused:
1. Check the Instructions: If a restaurant is using the wipes on food contact surfaces, ensure that the product is safe for these areas.
2. Don’t Overuse: The power of a wipe is only going to apply to a limited surface area. As a general rule, 10-15 square feet is approximately the appropriate distance a single wipe will be effective for. If the wipe is dirty or dry, you are simply spreading germs from one surface to another.
3. Seal the Container Properly: The disinfectant liquid will evaporate over time if the container is left open or is not properly sealed. Again, if the wipe is dry, it isn’t doing any good.
4. Pay Attention to Dwell Times: Each wipe has a specific required contact time on the label. You need to apply enough liquid so that the surface stays wet for the entire dwell time.
How often should you wipe? It all depends on the surface being cleaned. Tabletops should be wiped down in between customers, while food contact areas can be wiped down as needed. If you are prepping food for one dish, wipe it down before moving on to something else, etc.
Should you choose sanitizing or disinfecting wipes? For food contact surfaces, sanitizing wipes are the way to go. They are safer because you don’t have to worry about chemical residue if you don’t rinse the surface. Disinfectants are generally not used for food contact surfaces because they can leave behind harmful residues. Food grade sanitizers do not need to be rinsed afterwards, however surfaces do need to be pre-cleaned.
While wipes tend to be slightly more expensive than traditional product, it is important to keep in mind that you’re not purchasing additional chemicals or spray bottles. You also have a product that is safe and easy to use, so you don’t have the worry of chemicals splashing onto employee’s eyes or skin. You are not inhaling particles which were misted into the air. Plus, it’s easy to train people how to use them.