A new standard that requires caterers to ensure products put through the dishwasher are hygienically cleaned could be set to force the warewashing industry to raise its game.
Meiko said its manufacturing facility in Germany had recently received notice from DIN, the German Institute for Standardisation, which helps to set ISO standards, that a new standard (DIN SPEC 10534) will be introduced requiring that caterers ‘test’ for the hygienic operation of their dishwashers.
In the UK, the Food Standards Agency is also looking to increase standards of hygiene by caterers to combat the threat of E-coli 0157. The mandatory introduction of thermal label testing on commercial dishwashers is viewed as one of the most effective methods of combating E. coli bugs.
Although the new DIN standard is not in practice yet, it will be introduced over the next few years and effectively requires caterers to undertake thermal label or similar testing to prove and record that all items washed in commercial dishwashers have reached the minimum temperature and time to kill bugs such as E. coli 0157.
Meiko’s UK office says it is now offering thermo label testing across all premium series utensil washing machines, both front-loading and pass-through, and on all rack and flight models.
“With concern over food-borne pathogens such as E. coli 0157 increasing, caterers choosing Meiko ware washing equipment can be assured that the washing results provide the highest level of hygiene,” said Meiko’s UK boss Bill Downie.
Thermo label testing provides catering management with a visual assurance that a sanitising contact temperature of 71°C has been achieved on the surface of the products being processed.
This is made possible by the affixing of a wax embedded temperature testing label onto the surface of a plate or tray that is to be washed through the machine on a routine washing cycle.
When the 71°C contact temperature has been achieved, the wax label changes from the original clear substance to black, identifying that the machine has ensured effective sanitising of the products being washed in line with the guidelines set for thermo-label testing.
“Every Meiko warewashing machine constructed for thermo label testing offers a consistent final rinse temperature at the boiler of minimum 82°C and a surface contact temperature of 71°C guaranteed on washed product, which for kitchens that handle mixed food products and fresh meat produce side by side provides a very high level of hygiene security,” added Downie.