Cleaning and Sanitizing Food Contact Surfaces

A food contact surface is any surface that comes in direct contact with food during any part of food production, processing, packaging, or preparation. Food service operators, as well as facilities with kitchens, cafeterias, or any space with food contact surfaces, should be cleaned and sanitized properly.

Food contact areas are just as important to clean as any other part of a facility. Cross contamination, foodborne illness, and the spread of harmful bacteria and pathogens can easily occur if food contact surfaces are not cleaned properly and regularly. However, it can be hard to know the correct way to clean these surfaces, and to know which chemicals and products are food safe. Food contact surfaces such as food containers, counters, dining tables, cooking utensils and dishes, food preparation stations, food-safe gloves, and even your hands should be washed with food safe products to maintain food safety and prevent the spread of bacteria.

The first step to properly cleaning food contact surfaces is to remove debris and food residue from the surface. After removing food particles, the surface(s) should be washed and rinsed with hot water. The surface needs to also be sanitized to kill any bacteria or pathogens that may still be on the surface. Before sanitizing the surface, you will need to check the product label to ensure you are using the right kind of cleaner, such as a food-grade sanitizer. Some cleaning chemicals are designed specifically to clean food contact surfaces, while other chemicals are designed to clean other surfaces such as bathrooms and high-touch surfaces and should not be used around food, which is why it is important to check your product labels. After allowing the sanitizer to sit on the surface for the recommended time (which can be found on the product label) - the surface should be rinsed again and left to air dry as to not re-contaminate the surface.

Properly cleaning food contact surfaces can help to ensure the safety of your staff and patrons, as well as the safety of the food that is being served. Please reach out to your local Sales Representative or visit to learn more about food-grade cleaners and sanitizers.