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Richard Kilgore

Kitchen Cleanup: sponges and alternatives

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This may be of interest to some.

Via Dr. O. Peter Snyder's website.

THE MICROBIOLOGY OF DISHCLOTHS IN THE HOME KITCHEN

 

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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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On 8/20/2017 at 8:20 AM, DiggingDogFarm said:

This may be of interest to some.

Via Dr. O. Peter Snyder's website.

THE MICROBIOLOGY OF DISHCLOTHS IN THE HOME KITCHEN

 

It is indeed of interest, and I think this thread is very Important, but I am confused by the final statement:

 

Quote

Among other answers to this problem is the FDA food code recommendation: "Keep the cleaning cloths in the sanitizer bucket." This practice does not prevent the microbial population from increasing, because after an hour or so, the organic material obtained from cleaning neutralizes the sanitizer and the microorganisms begin to multiply. 

 

My first reaction is to ask why keep the cloths in the sanitizer bucket if it does NOT prevent the microbial population from increasing. Am I missing something?

 

I may have missed it, but I didn't notice any statement in the thread about whether keeping a cloth or sponge constantly submerged in sanitizer solution (such as bleach and water) takes care of things.

 

 


Edited by Jim D. (log)

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1 hour ago, Jim D. said:

It is indeed of interest, and I think this thread is very mportant, but I am confused by the final statement:

 

 

My first reaction is to ask why keep the cloths in the sanitizer bucket if it does NOT prevent the microbial population from increasing. Am I missing something?

 

I may have missed it, but I didn't notice any statement in the thread about whether keeping a cloth or sponge constantly submerged in sanitizer solution (such as bleach and water) takes care of things.

 

 

 

That would be a good question for Dr. Snyder, but, unfortunately, he's now retired.

Maybe there's something more to be found somewhere on his website.


~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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" "Keep the cleaning cloths in the sanitizer bucket." This practice does not prevent the microbial population from increasing, because after an hour or so, the organic material obtained from cleaning neutralizes the sanitizer and the microorganisms begin to multiply. "

 

I am having a problem with this statement since it runs counter to California's standard practice of keeping "sanitizing solution with a rag in it" for santizing surfaces. When the health inspectors come to the facility that my wife works in seasonly, the inspectors check to make sure the sanitizer solution in the bucket with a cloth are prepared and ready for use. I can't find any entry in CURFFL stating that it has to be dumped and prepared fresh again every hour.

 

Edited for clarity.


Edited by Porthos (log)

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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It may have been an old FDA food code recommendation. And the exact context, in terms of the code, isn't clear.

 


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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I don't have any idea what code is, but It would depend on what the sanitizer is, I think.

 

Some eg chlorine  are volatile and eventually will lose their zip. Detergents are less-so, but will be inactivated by too much biologic material in solution.  I cannot imagine a sanitizer that is active forever.

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@gfweb Agreed.

 

Over the past several years I have asked various small kitchen operators here in California what they use for their sanitizer. Every last one has used bleach. Bleach is cheap, can be purchased just about anywhere and requires less contact time than other sanitizers save water that has been raised to a sanitizing temperature and I've only seen that in machines.

 

I keep a supply of chlorine test strips (retail operations that use bleach are required to have them) and test my sanitizer when made up and after that as circumstances warrant. I don't keep a perfect kitchen at home but I do take care with food contact surfaces. My DW has a weakened immune system and I don't care to cause her harm.

 

Each one of us has to choose what they deem the best. Bleach water sanitizer is my personal choice.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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There are many types of sponges, including natural sponges.

Interesting to read about natural sponges from WiKi:

 

"-------------------------------

Antibiotic compounds

Sponges have medicinal potential due to the presence in sponges themselves or their microbial symbionts of chemicals that may be used to control viruses, bacteria, tumors and fungi.[89][90]

Other biologically active compounds 

Lacking any protective shell or means of escape, sponges have evolved to synthesize a variety of unusual compounds. One such class is the oxidized fatty acid derivatives called oxylipins. Members of this family have been found to have anti-cancer, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. One example isolated from the Okinawan plakortis sponges, plakoridine A, has shown potential as a cytotoxin to murine lymphoma cells ----------------"

 dcarch

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47 minutes ago, Porthos said:

@gfweb Agreed.

 

Over the past several years I have asked various small kitchen operators here in California what they use for their sanitizer. Every last one has used bleach. Bleach is cheap, can be purchased just about anywhere and requires less contact time than other sanitizers save water that has been raised to a sanitizing temperature and I've only seen that in machines.

 

I keep a supply of chlorine test strips (retail operations that use bleach are required to have them) and test my sanitizer when made up and after that as circumstances warrant. I don't keep a perfect kitchen at home but I do take care with food contact surfaces. My DW has a weakened immune system and I don't care to cause her harm.

 

Each one of us has to choose what they deem the best. Bleach water sanitizer is my personal choice.

So how long does your bleach soln last?

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I did a poor job of expressing myself by mixing faire kitchen and home kitchen items. Truly my bad.

 

At home if I choose bleach solution instead of using Clorox Anywhere once I am done with the sanitizing I dump the bleach water and use Clorox Anywhere for spot sanitizing as I go while cooking.

 

I would have to ask my wife about how long it lasts them in the commercial kitchen operation that I mentioned above.

 

In my faire kitchen we use bleach water for sanitizing at the dish-washing station and disposable cleaning/sanitizing wipes from Costco for counters and such. I do a bleach water wipe down of all the counters when I first open the kitchen on Friday evenings but dump the solution when I am done.

 

Next month I will try monitoring the sanitizing solution while my DW is working.  I normally steer clear of that operation. 

 

Rotten answers, I know. Best I can do at the moment. 

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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4 hours ago, gfweb said:

I don't have any idea what code is

 

The 'official' government code of regulations and such.

They can be found somewhere on their website—it's been a long time since I've researched them and the website and such has changed a lot. https://www.fda.gov/Food/default.htm

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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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At the dairy farm(s) we used a LOT of bleach!!!

I don't use much at home—a container lasts a year or so.


~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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4 hours ago, Porthos said:

I did a poor job of expressing myself by mixing faire kitchen and home kitchen items. Truly my bad.

 

At home if I choose bleach solution instead of using Clorox Anywhere once I am done with the sanitizing I dump the bleach water and use Clorox Anywhere for spot sanitizing as I go while cooking.

 

I would have to ask my wife about how long it lasts them in the commercial kitchen operation that I mentioned above.

 

In my faire kitchen we use bleach water for sanitizing at the dish-washing station and disposable cleaning/sanitizing wipes from Costco for counters and such. I do a bleach water wipe down of all the counters when I first open the kitchen on Friday evenings but dump the solution when I am done.

 

Next month I will try monitoring the sanitizing solution while my DW is working.  I normally steer clear of that operation. 

 

Rotten answers, I know. Best I can do at the moment. 

Here in my neck of the woods, the rule is that you make up a fresh batch of bleach sanitizer each day. I used quaternary ammonia sanitizer at my restaurant and mixed a fresh batch...um...monthly, IIRC. 


"The only questions that really matter are the ones you ask yourself."

Ursula K. Le Guin

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

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DH came home from shopping today and said "Look what I found".  Scotch-Brite Stay Clean Scrub Sponges.  Complete with Use and Care instructions.  Clean in the dishwasher or by boiling.  Not in the microwave.  And not for aquarium use.  How do they rate for nasty colonies of baddies?

 


Darienne

learn, learn, learn...

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I wish the NPR article had looked at sanitizing with bleach. I don't have a microwave. I also wish someone would look at the green scrubby thing, the thin kind without a sponge attached. They dry out fairly easily, at least here in AZ, and should be less of a problem.

 

I am now a couple of weeks in on an experiment. I purchased 36 bar mop towels. I am washing them by themselves in the clothes washer on all the hot settings with bleach. They get dried on high heat. I keep clean ones in a couple of plastic drawers I purchased that fit next to my sink. I use them pretty much just like a restaurant: in a red sani-bucket with water and a little bleach. I put soap on the dishes and wash with the towel. For counters, I just wipe with the sanitizer solution. I also have one of those flat plastic squares for scraping pans. I drain the bucket and wring out the towel to dry at the end of the evening. In the morning, I toss the mostly dry towel into a tiny flexible mesh hamper under the sink.

 

It's tough to get started sometimes, when all I really want is to grab a sponge and wipe something quickly. It is starting to feel a bit more natural than it did a couple weeks ago. I am probably going to bring back some form of thin scrubby sponge, like the green ones, just because I am having trouble scrubbing a few things that the plastic square doesn't get to very well.

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I use the Scotch-Brite green and blue (non-scratch) thin scrubbies all the time and I don't sanitize them.

 

24 minutes ago, Lisa Shock said:

I purchased 36 bar mop towels. I am washing them by themselves in the clothes washer on all the hot settings with bleach.

 

I think that bleach significantly shortens the life of my bar mops. :wacko:


Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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 I do pretty much what @Lisa Shock does. When my bar towels (actually mine are the automotive towels from Cosco as they are cheaper) finally begin to look too ratty I collect them up and I hand them over to the Humane Society where they become useful as cleaning rags.  I use dish brushes from IKEA and they go through the dishwasher.  I also have a couple of scrapers including a very useful one from Lodge  which I think is designed for  cast iron. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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8 minutes ago, Anna N said:

I also have a couple of scrapers including a very useful one from Lodge which I think is designed for cast iron.

 

I think I'm going to get one of those scrapers and give it a try.

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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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