If you have a loved one residing in a long term care facility, one of the first things you want to be assured of is that they are residing in facility that is clean and comfortable. When your loved one arrives at their table for a meal, one of the first things they may notice is how clean the china, glassware and silverware appear to be. I emphasize the phrase; appear to be, because it is one thing to notice with the naked eye the appearance of the tableware, but is another thing to really know if the items that you are eating off of are truly clean.
At a long term care residence, clean plates, glassware and silverware are especially critical. If these items are not truly clean it can result in an unwanted illness to a resident. Many residents are especially vulnerable to illness due their age or physical condition. Many occurrences of unclean dishes are a result from not properly ridding dishes of microorganisms, or even residual chemical, which could have been avoided by having the right cleaning and sanitation program and procedures in place.
There are many variables that contribute to good cleaning, as it relates to a commercial dish machine in a long term care facility; and many of those variables are controlled by the individuals who are using the machine. Some preventative measures are listed below:
- Pre-scrapping the wares before loading into machine
- Proper racking, draining and refilling of the wash tank on a regular basis
- Appropriate drying and storing of the wares as controlled by the machine operator controls
- Machine operator must be made aware of the residual proteins, starches, and detergents on wares that often cannot be seen
Having a reputable and reliable warewashing chemical provider will assure the facility of a thorough installation of dispensing equipment, regular preventative maintenance on the machine and dispensing equipment, and on-call emergency service. A good technician is armed with the right knowledge, experience and testing chemicals to be able to measure things like residual alkalinity, and residual starch and protein, both of which can cause illnesses to residents in a long term care environment. The technician can then adjust as necessary the concentration of the chemicals, or the water pressure on the final rinse to correct the situation, and get better results to help ensure clean wares are truly clean.
John Jacobs is the Product Manager for Laundry, Warewashing & Foodservice at the Betco Corporation. When he’s not wearing his laundry and warewashing superhero cape, you will probably find him spending time with his twin daughters, or playing guitar with his band in the Detroit area. Click here to contact John directly.