Learning all you can about using bleach? Everyone has become more aware of disinfecting with the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cleaning supplies running out throughout grocery stores. Cleaning your home, a section of a restaurant, or an entire facility is definitely a serious responsibility and can get overwhelming with all the information out there. Food handlers who have taken our online course and implement our food safety practices, however, have no need to panic because they already know how to best keep things clean inside-out, and coronavirus free.
Before you run out to buy industrial-grade bleach, you should know that cleaning with soap and warm water can be just as effective while being more practical. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that soap disables the outer oily-like layer of the 2019-novel coronavirus, effectively killing it. This is especially important for dishes and other food utensils, which come into contact with people’s mouths as they eat. The steps of manual or mechanical dishwashing are also included in our course. Proper handwashing with soap is another essential step for protecting yourself and others.
As for sanitizing or disinfecting, you use cleaning products to reduce the presence of micro-organisms, coronaviruses being one of them. Cleaning products to use on surfaces would be common household cleaners that are essentially diluted quaternary ammonia, chlorine or bleach solutions. The required concentrations for these approved sanitizers vary province to province and are detailed in our course.
Sanitizing is especially important for frequent contact surfaces such as handles, tabletops and counters – and in restaurants, cash registers. The Public Health Agency of Canada also suggests using 70% alcohol wipes for electronic devices if they can handle the solution. Alcohol-based sanitizers work in very much the same way soap does and disables the virus.
Those who take our food handler course also learn how cleaning and sanitizing work together: you should never combine soap with a sanitizer like bleach, because this just weakens the sanitizer instead. Instead, rinse the item completely from the soap and use the sanitizer once no soap remains.
How often do you need to do all of this? Multi-service articles and work surfaces should be cleaned and sanitized after each use. The specifics might depend from location to location. The Public Health Agency states that your regular cleaning and sanitizing plan should suffice in general – and make sure to develop one if you find yours lacking in any of the above points. To learn all the details for cleaning and sanitizing procedures, be sure to sign up for our online food handler certification course!