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Dishwashing Practice and

Effectiveness (Swab-rinse Test)
in a Large city as Revealed
by a Survey of 1,000 Restaurants*
PH.D., F.A.P.H.A.
Bureaus of Food and Drugs and Laboratories, Department of Health,
New York, N. Y.

HE purpose of this survey was to maximum interval of 4 hours between

obtain a representative picture of sampling and plating recommended by
dishwashing practice and effectiveness the U.S.P.H.S. was adhered to in most
in New York City. This, as far as is instances, but in a few unavoidable in-
known, is the first large-scale study car- stances the interval was extended to 5
ried out in a large city. It was hoped hours.
that analysis of the findings obtained Although every effort was made to
might indicate a program for the im- obtain freshly washed utensils for
provement of eating-utensil sanitation in swabbing, this was not always possible,
this city. particularly when samples were taken
during rush periods. As a result,
TECHNIC utensils tested were frequently selected
A total of 1,005 restaurants were from those ready for service and no
studied and 3,657 swab samples of information was available as to the
utensils were secured in the years 1944 elapsed time between washing and
and 1945. This was prior to the present sampling. In studies now being carried
clean-up program of the Health Depart- on in this laboratory it has been clearly
ment. The first 196 restaurants ex- shown that there is a marked reduction
amined were chosen by locality or to in the number of recoverable bacteria
check a given type of establishment or while utensils are drying, and that the
process. The remainder were chosen by death rate is maintained at a reduced
selection of every 20th card from an but appreciable level for a number of
alphabetical card index file of approxi- hours after the utensils have dried.2 If
mately 20,000 restaurants in New York it had been possible to secure uniformly
City. freshly dried utensils for sampling, a
Dishwashing efficiency was deter- more accurate picture of dishwashing
mined by means of the swab-rinse test. effectiveness might have been obtained.
The technic of swabbing of utensils fol- The procedure for the examination of
lowed the procedure recommended by the swab samples in the laboratory
the U. S. Public Health Service.' The followed that of the proposed method
Presented before the Engineering Section of the of the A.P.H.A.3 The major deviation
American Public Health Association at the Seventy- from this technic was that metal swabs
fourth Annual Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, Novem-
ber 12, 1946. were used instead of wooden ones. This
* 13791
technic fails to reveal the presence of DISHWASHING
as many organisms as does the use of The two main types of dishwashing
the wooden swab.2 operations found were hand washing
and machine washing. The washing of
DESCRIPTION OF TYPES OF RESTAURANTS glasses and crockery was carried out in
AND WASHING EQUIPMENT one of the following ways:
The restaurants visited during the Hand Wash-The usual type of
survey are arbitrarily sorted for descrip- washing equipment consists of a two
tion and analysis of the data obtained compartment sink. One compartment
into five categories: cafeteria, waiter is designed as a wash sink and the other
service, bar, luncheonette, and open as a rinse sink. This latter is usually
stand. equipped with a gas burner underneath,
Cafeterias - These restaurants are the function of which is to maintain the
usually large and of the self-service water in the sink, at a temperature of
type, i.e., ones in which patrons select 1800 F. and with a wire basket for
silverware from an open tray, glasses holding. dishes in this scalding water.
from racks at a drinking fountain, and Another type of sink used has three
food from a counter. Cups are the only compartments. The functions of the
utensils sampled which are distributed three compartments are those of wash-
individually by the cafeteria personnel. ing, rinsing, and scalding.
Waiter Service-This category in- Machine Wash-Four distinct types
cludes restaurants where food is served of machine washing operations were
by a waiter to patrons seated at tables, observed.
as distinguished from cafeterias where Counter Tvpe Machine-This ma-
patrons serve themselves, and luncheon- chine is a simple rinse spray and has
ettes where they usually are served at a no recirculating tank. Water is sprayed
counter. Included in this group are the from nozzles connected directly to a
most expensive restaurants in the city. city water line without auxiliary pump-
Waiter service establishments may have ing. Some machines have a device for
bars, and if so, bar glasses were sampled. mixing hot and cold water and others
Bars-The serving of liquor is the a device for mixing detergent with the
main business in this type of restaurant, rinse water.
while the serving of food is incidental. Single Tank Machine-This machine,
Frequently knives, forks, and cups which may be either of the " push
which may not have been used for a through " or " closed door " variety, has
long time were sampled at these estab- a wash tank, which should contain water
lishments. Glasses, on the other hand, and a detergent, and a separate rinse
were often sampled from the drain board spray. The wash tank water is recirculated
immediately after the washing process. and sprayed on the utensils by a pump.
Luncheonettes-Most of the patrons Thus, the same water is re-used for
in this type of establishment sit at a variable periods of time on succeeding
counter although some may be served batches of utensils. Rinse water is
at tables. These are usually small sprayed directly from a city water line
establishments and include the so-called without additional pump pressure. The
diners (dining cars). rinse water drains into the wash tank
Open Stands-This type of establish- thus constantly diluting its content of
ment usually has no seats and the both soil and detergent.
patron is served, from an open counter Double Tank AMachine-This machine
facing the street, with coffee, sand- has a wash tank and a rinse tank and a
wiches, frankfurters, cold drinks, etc. final so-called curtain rinse spray.,

Water from each tank is recirculated mitted to dry the utensils. This last
separately by force pumps and sprayed step is automatically timed.
onto the utensils. The final rinse comes A number of establishments which
directly from a city water line and wash by hand or machine also burnish
drains into the rinse tank. their silverware at intervals with a
Triple Tank Machine-This machine special machine. This technic also
has three tanks with a pump for each. promotes better bacteriological cleanli-
The first is a wash tank and the others ness of silverware.
are rinse tanks. There is also a final
curtain rinse. RESULTS
Silverware was found to be washed All the swab-rinse data are sum-
by hand or machine in one of the fol- marized briefly in Table 1 where they
lowing ways: are listed under the categories of hand
Hand Wash-The soiled utensils are washing and machine washing. The
usually first dropped into a wooden tub number of samples of the several types
containing water and allowed to soak. of utensils studied which meet the
They are then placed in a wire basket, standard of no more than 100 bacteria
plunged into soap solution, and rinsed per utensil are listed as such and are
in hot running water. A superior hand also expressed as percentages of the total
washing technic makes use of a series of number of samples. Percentages based
two cylindrical sinks, each of which is on a standard of 1,000 bacteria per
heated by means of a steam jet, steam utensil are presented in the same table.
jacket or gas burner. The utensils, Perhaps the most important finding is
which are handled in wire baskets, are that in only one of the eight groups of
plunged into and shaken in a strong utensils, glasses washed by machine, do
soap solution in the first sink and then the samples which meet the 100 stand-
rinsed in steaming hot water in the ard exceed 50 per cent of the total num-
second sink. After rinsing they are ber studied. It is further noticed in the
emptied on cloths and are then usually table that the machine washing of
dried with a towel. glasses and cups yields results which are
Machine Wash-Silverware may be far superior to those obtained by hand
washed mechanically by either of the washing of the same utensils, the dif-
following methods: (a) spread in a ference in each instance being highly
single layer in shallow metal trays and significant. There is, on the other hand,
passed through a standard spray type no significant difference in the apparent
washing machine, or (b) washed in a effectiveness of machine and hand oper-
special silverware washing machine. ations with either spoons or forks.
The latter machine consists of two main When the 1,000 standard is used as a
parts. One is a cast iron cylinder, with basis of comparison, the results are very
perforations and a removable end, in similar. It is noted that the combined
which silverware is placed together with samples for machine washed spoons
a detergent. The other is a horizontal and forks which pass (74.9 per cent)
tank into which the cylinder is placed. are just significantly greater than the
The tank is closed and the cylinder combined samples of the same utensils
rotated by gears connected with a motor. washed by hand (68.6 per cent). As
A slow stream of hot water mixes with a matter of fact, the combined passing
the detergent and washes the utensils. average for all silverware (spoons and
When the water valve is opened fully, forks) washed by hand is greater by far
the utensils are automatically rinsed. than that of glasses and cups washed by
Finally, hot air under pressure is ad- hand. This difference is at least
Comparison of Swab-rinse Findings of Utensils Washed by Hand and by Machine
(All Samples)
Hand Washing,
877 Establishments
Machine Washing,
175 Establishments
No More than No More than
100 Bacteria 100 Bacteria
per Utensil per Utensil
No. of A No. of { - Diff.
Utensils Samples No. Per cent Samples No. Per cent D(c%) S.E.diff. S.E'dift.
Glasses 1,046 113 10.8 131 68 51.9 41.1 3.35 * 12.27
Cups 629 63 10.0 179 59 33.0 23.0 3.04 7.56
Spoons 733 258 35.2 137 55 40.1 4.9 4.47 1.09
Forks 688 251 36.5 114 34 29.8 6.7 4.83 1.40
No More than No More than
1,000 Bacteria 1,000 Bacteria
per Utensil per Utensil
Glasses 1,046 245 23.5 131 93 71.0 47.5 4.18 11.36
Cups 629 243 38.7 179 102 56.9 18.2 4.21 4.32
Spoons 733 497 67.8 137 103 75.2 7.4 4.28 1.73
Forks 688 478 69.5 114 85 74.6 5.1 4.64 1.09
The calculation of the standard error of the difference in percentages (S.E.diff.) is illustrated as follows
15.4 X 84.6 15.4 X 84.6
for glasses: S.E.di.=f +_ = 3.35% where 15.4% is the total per cent passing,
1046 131
namely (113 + 68) . (1046+ 131) and 84.6% is the total per cent fail:ng, namely 100/G 15.4%. A ratio
of Difference/S.E.dff of 2 or more is generally regarded as statistically significant.

partially due to the special treatment cause the number of samples was too
which silverware received. It is of in- small to be statistically significant.
terest that in another study the machine When the machine and hand washing
washing of glasses was also revealed to processes for glasses and cups in the first
be superior to hand washing of the same three types of establishments are com-
utensil, but that the bacterial quality pared, it is noted that significant dif-
of spoons and dishes washed by ma- ferences again exist. The degree of
chine was found to be no better than significance, as noted in the final
that of those washed by hand.4 In column, is less for each type of estab-
summarizing the data in Table 1, apart lishment, as would be expected, than
from the generally poor conditions dis- for all establishments combined (Table
closed, it is obvious that machine wash- 1), and also differs among the several
ing of glasses and cups yields results types of establishments. The differences
definitely superior to hand washing. for both waiter service and luncheonette
No such clear-cut difference appears for restaurants are both of clear-cut sta-
spoons and forks. The data on spoons tistical significance, whereas those for
and forks will be examined in greater cafeterias are just significant. The
detail subsequently. results of the washing of silverware by
A comparison of hand and machine the two methods show the lack of sig-
washing is made in Table 2 on the basis nificant differences previously indicated
of the standard of no more than 100 in Table 1, with the exception that in
bacteria, with the data further broken luncheonettes, machine washing appar-
down according to the types of establish- ently did produce a significantly higher
ment sampled. The findings include passing percentage of spoons than did
those from cafeteries, waiter service hand washing. When the quality of
restaurants, luncheonettes, and bars. hand washing of the several types of
Those from open stands are omitted be- utensils in each of the four types of

Comparison by Types of Establishments of Swab-rinse Findings on Utensils Washed by
Hand and by Machine
Hand Wash Machine Wash
No More than No More than
100 Bacteria 100 Bacteria
per Utensil per Utensil
No. of No. of A Diff.
Utensils Samples No. Per cent Samples No. Per cent D(%l) S.E.diff. S-E'dffl.
113 Establishments 57 Establishments
Glasses 120 6 5.0 22 7 31.8 26.8 6.68 4.01
Cups 71 2 2.8 58 11 19.0 16.2 5.33 3.04
Spoons 93 17 18.3 37 12 32.4 14.1 8.08 1.74
Forks 91 22 24.2 32 8 25.0 0.8 8.82 0.09
208 Establishments 63 Establishments
Waiter Service
Glasses 228 22 9.6 65 37 56.8 47.2 5.63 8.38
Cups 157 13 8.2 68 22 32.4 24.2 5.26 4.60
Spoons 179 65 36.4 56 21 37.5 1.1 7.39 0.1S
Forks 173 63 36.4 S0 15 30.0 6.4 7.66 0.84
260 Establishments 47 Establishments
Glasses 285 29 10.2 34 17 50.0 39.8 6.46 6.16
Cups 259 21 8.1 45 21 46.7 38.6 5.57 6.93
Spoons 264 72 27.3 42 22 52.4 25.1 7.66 3.28
Forks 246 62 25.3 29 11 38.0 13.7 8.66 1.58
275 Establishments
Glasses 388 50 12.9 + 1.70*
Cups 126 23 18.2 + 3.22
Spoons 181 98 54.1 + 3.71
Forks 173 102 59.0+3.74
1.70 is the Standard Error of the value 12.9% computed as (12.9) X (87.1)/388. In general the tru, {X
may be regarded as falling somewhere within 2 S.E. of the obtained value.

establishments listed is compared, the tained with silverware in the other types
major differences in Table 1 are again of establishments. It should be made
noted; i.e., in each instance, samples of clear, however, that the superior
spoons and forks passed more frequently cleanliness of silverware and cups in
than did those of glasses and cups. bars probably is due to circumstances
It is also observed from the table that unrelated to dishwashing practice. It is
the overall picture of cafeterias is the the fortuitous coincidence of (1) a state
poorest while that of bars apparently is law which compels all establishments
the best of those establishments which serving liquor at retail to serve food as
wash by hand. Thus the standard of well, and (2) the technic used in our sur-
excellence of cups in bars is somewhat vey. Bars, as a result of the law, carry a
higher than that in any of the other stock of eating utensils even though
types of restaurants, even though the most of them serve food only infre-
total percentage of passed samples for quently. This fact was not considered
bars is under 20. Likewise, the relative in the survey and as a result utensils
cleanliness of the silverware sampled in were sampled which probably had not
bars is, at first glance, surprising; both been used for some time. Such a pro-
spoon and fork samples passed more cedure, as has been mentioned earlier,
times than they failed. These results, gives a misleadingly low estimate of the
54 per cent and 59 per cent respectively, number of micro6rganisms present when
are superior by far to any of those ob- the, utensils were freshly dry. The
above conclusion is confirmed by the washing. The hand wash data (spoons
fact that the status of the bar glass, the and forks combined) were divided into
commonly used bar utensil, is no better two groups; in one were placed the
than that of the waiter service or findings obtained in restaurants which
luncheonette restaurant, being superior washed in baskets and rinsed in very
only to that of the cafeteria. hot water, and in the other those which
When findings for hand washed used neither baskets nor an adequate
utensils in cafeterias, waiter service sterilization technic. The correspond-
restaurants, and luncheonettes are com- ing machine wash data were broken
pared it is seen that, although the pass- down into three groups, one for single
ing percentage of both glasses and cups tank machines, another for double tank
from cafeterias are lower than those of machines, and the third for the special
the other two types of restaurants, these silverware machine previously described
differences are not significant. When under Technic. Too few samples of
the results with glasses and cups in each silverware for adequate analysis were
of these three types of restaurants are obtained from counter type machines,
consolidated, however, that of cafeterias which were found in only 12 luncheon-
is found to be just significantly poorer ettes and open stands. It is of interest,
than those of either of the other two. however, that 21 of 29 (72 per cent)
The passing percentages of spoons and samples of glasses and cups from these
forks from waiter service establishments machines did pass. Likewise, triple
seem to be just significantly better than tank machines which were found only
those of the other two types but when in six waiter service establishments also
the findings for spoons and forks are yielded too few silverware samples to
pooled the differences become definitely record, although here too glasses and
significant. cups combined yielded a fair passing
It is of interest when the findings for percentage, 14 of 26 (56 per cent). A
machine washed utensils are compared, comparison of the findings is contained
that cafeterias generally still occupy the in Table 3.
poorest position. The first point of interest in Table 3 is
Further analyses were made of hand that only about 5 per cent (53 of 1,030)
and machine washing of silverware in of samples of hand washed utensils were
an attempt to ascertain causes for the obtained from restaurants which had
apparent lack of superiority of machine clearly complied with the present New
Comparison of the Washing of Forks and Spoons by Several Hand and
Machine Technics
Samples with Count
ANo More than 100
Total No.
of Samples No. Per cent
Hand Wash
(High Temperature Water and Basket) 53 25 47
Hand Wash t
(Low Temperature Water and No Basket) 977 293 30
Machine Wash
(Special) 28 19 68
Machine Wash
(Single Tank) 123 44 36
Machine Wash
(Double Tank) 50 8 16
* Includes all types of establishments.
t Includes only cafeterias, luncheonettes and. waiter service establishments.
York City Sanitary Code. These few ing a button and the utensils are auto-
establishments use an approved rinsing matically washed for 2 minutes and
technic and water at high enough tem- rinsed for 15 seconds. The machine
perature. It is also worthy of note that automatically stops when this operation
this small group of samples met the is completed and the door may then be
standard of 100 more frequently (47 opened. Silverware is soaked or pre-
per cent) than did the remaining large rinsed in a shallow well of water with
group (30 per cent). This difference is detergent before it is placed in the ma-
statistically just significant. The high chine. It should be noted that there is
temperature hand wash results are also no automatic control of hot water tem-
definitely superior to those of the double perature nor automatic addition of
tank machine. detergent. An adequate supply of hot
The most interesting finding in the water, however, is furnished by a local
machine data is the indicated marked steam company. It should be men-
superiority of the special silverware ma- tioned in fairness to the dishwashing
chine, as shown by the high passing problems of other establishments that
percentage (68), over the single tank the menu in this chain is limited to
machine (36 per cent) and the double sandwiches, soups, frankfurters, pies,
tank machine (16 per cent). The re- cakes, fruit juices, coffee, and milk.
sults with the special silverware ma- A special swab-rinse study of some
chine are also superior to those of the ten restaurants of this chain was made
great majority of establishments which to determine what a well ordered
wash by hand but are not statistically process could accomplish. Fifty-three
better than those of the relatively few swab-rinse samples of glasses, cups, and
samples from establishments which wash spoons were obtained. Counts of these
by hand and rinse with water in the samples in all instances were under 100
proper temperature range. with some showing very few bacteria.
A machine in one of these restaurants
AN EXAMPLE OF SATISFACTORY was used by us for some special tests
MACHINE OPERATION in which the water temperature was
Some 79 establishments which use lowered. It was found that all the
single tank machines, the most common samples of cups, glasses, forks, and
type, were studied. The general spoons rinsed at temperatures ranging
average of results obtained from this from 840 to 1400 F. complied with the
type of machine was raised by the find- bacterial standard. It might be con-
ings obtained in a chain of luncheon- cluded from this that water tempera-
ettes. This organization, which sells ture is not a very critical item if the
food at very moderate prices, has de- detergent and the duration of wash and
veloped an exceptional -technic not only rinse are adequate. Findings similar to
in dishwashing practice but also in the these have been reported by Tiedeman,5
general sanitary operation of its estab- by Ward and Dack,6 and by others.
lishments. A single tank machine whose
operation is uniform is used in each DISCUSSION
restaurant. The operation is as fol- The state of dishwashing practice and
lows: A trayful of dishes is inserted accomplishment as found in this survey
into the machine, a tablespoonful of is, on the whole, dismal. These swab-
trisodium phosphate is spread over the rinse results, however, are apparently
dishes manually and a sliding door is not much worse than those which were
closed, automatically locking the ma- found in surveys carried out in several
chine. The process is started by press- sections of the United States during a
A pril., 1947

corresponding period (1944 and 1945) ture controls or the alteration of certain
by mobile laboratories of the U. S. Pub- small parts. Operational technic can be
lic Health Service.7 Thus, while we improved by the educational efforts of
found that 303 of 1,985 (15.3 per cent) properly trained inspectors. Some de-
samples of cups and glasses passed the fects noted in the operation of counter
100 bacteria per utensil standard, the type and single tank machines are
U.S.P.H.S. found that only 3,894 of listed.
14,664 (26.5 per cent) samples of the Counter Type Machine-Three com-
same utensils were satisfactory by the mon defects were found in the operation
same standard. Likewise, we found that of this type of machine. The rinse
598 of 1,672 (35.7 per cent) samples water rarely reached 180° F., the city
of forks and spoons met the standard water pressure was often inadequate,
and the U.S.P.H.S. found that 2,423 and the application of detergent was
of 7,086 (34.3 per cent) samples of irregular. It was found that operators
spoons passed in its surveys. It seems, were reluctant to use very hot water
therefore, that much must be done to even if it were obtainable because of
improve the status of utensil washing in the fear that they might burn their
restaurants. There is good reason to hands. Although most machines are
believe that such improvement is en- equipped with-semi-automatic detergent
tirely feasible. I dispensers, it was noted that operation of
these dispensers was often deficient and
AN ESTIMATE OF THE FUTURE USEFUL- as a result the detergent well overflowed.
NESS OF THE SWAB-RINSE TEST IN The feeding of detergent was inconstant
NEW YORK CITY for this and other reasons. It should be
Our findings seem to indicate that in reiterated that -despite these deficiencies
the presence of an effective dishwashing the swab-rinse findings from the twelve
technic, the swab-rinse test usually establishments which used counter
yields a result which is in compliance types machines indicated* fairly good
with the standard of no more than 100 operation.
bacteria per utensil as advocated by the Single Tank Machine-Poor results
A.P.H.A. It can be stated generally from this type of machine are usually
that, when the dishwashing operation is caused by haphazard timing of the wash
visually satisfactory to an experienced and rinse operation and the irregular ad-
inspector, the swab-rinse test usually dition of detergent. The operator of a
yields a satisfactory count; when the single tank machine frequently deter-
practice is questionable, on the other mines the duration of the wash and rinse
hand, a satisfactory count may or may periods by manipulating a handle. Ob-
not be obtained; finally, when the prac- viously at that time of the day when
tice is obviously poor, the count usu- clean dishes are at a premium, the oper-
ally fails to meet with the standard. ation will be rushed.
The main defects in machines are in The following are the chief defects
original design and in operation. De- observed in operation or construction of
fects in design are difficult to rectify in machines during the survey:
existing models in which the funda-
mental design is inadequate. The 1. Dishes are not scraped or prerinsed.
2. The time of washing and rinsing is in-
effects of poor design, however, may be sufficient to clean or sterilize the utensils.
ameliorated if all that is needed is the 3. Water pressure is insufficient in the ab-
addition of timing devices or tempera- sence of auxiliary pumping.
4. The rate of dilution of water in the wash poor condition. Frequently, one of the
tank compartment by waste rinse water is two sink compartments is used to store
often too great in single tank machines so
that the detergent may be dissipated. The bottled soda and ice cubes while the
rate is insufficient in multiple tank machines remaining one is used to wash glasses
so that too great an increase of bacteria and by merely plunging them into water,
other organic material may occur. usually in the absence of soap or other
5. The wash and rinse tanks in multiple detergent. Occasionally, an inverted
tank machines are sometimes constructed so
as to permit a flow of water from the wash brush is used. Detergent is usually em-
tank to the rinse tank with consequent con- ployed once or twice a day after the
tamination of the rinse water. glasses have become obviously dirty and
6. Nozzles are often clogged with food and sticky. This condition applies to the
are not regularly cleaned. In certain sections so-called better type as well as to the
of the city, where hard water is used, lime
deposit also reduces nozzle efficiency. run-of-the-mill establishment.
7. There are insufficient or inadequate hot There are several reasons why this
water facilities and lack of a proper booster improper or non-use of existing hand
heater, on the rinse water particularly. washing facilities is a very difficult prac-
8. Automatic detergent feeding devices fre-
quently do not function properly either be- tice to alter. Perhaps, the most impor-
cause they are not refilled when empty or tant factor is the frequently itinerant
because they have become clogged. status of dishwashing personnel, since
dishwashing is usually not a permanent
Defects similar to these have been profession. Should the proprietor actu-
reported by Andrews.8 ally desire to do a good job, which is
not always the case, he would have great
CAUSES OF POOR HAND WASHING difficulty because of the lack of under-
The inferior quality of results ob- standing of proper dishwashing technic
tained by the hand washing process, by his personnel and their aforementioned
particularly as regards glasses and transient status. Another complicating
crockery, is not at all surprising when factor is the normal occurrence of rush
viewed in the light of field observations. periods in restaurants when often, be-
This, perhaps, can best be illustrated cause of insufficient stock on hand,
by citation of some instances of poor there is a greater demand for than
practice. Thus, it was found that the supply of clean utensils. This condition
common two compartment sink is very frequently gives rise to a quick and
frequently not used in the intended careless cleaning operation with the
manner. It is quite obvious that the occasional by-passing of the rinsing or
second or rinsing and sterilizing com- sterilization operation or both.
partment is either improperly used or Finally, it would appear that a much
not used at - all. In the case of the more extensive inspectorial supervision
three compartment sink, it was often will be needed to police hand washing
found that the third or sterilizing com- operations properly. In fact, the task
partment is not used as such but as a of satisfactorily supervising the hand
pot washing or glass washing sink. It washing process in the approximately
was observed, likewise, that the steri- 15,000 restaurants in New York City
lizing facility of the two compartment which are estimated to be using it ap-
sink with an adjacent sterilizer often is pears to be a well nigh impossible one.
used exclusively for the washing of
silverware. Bars, it was found, usu.ally RECOMMENDATIONS
have a two compartment sink with an It is the considered belief of the
adjacent sterilizer. The sterilizer as a present authors, as a result of the fore-
rule is not used or else appears to be in going observations on hand dishwashing,

that no great improvement in the available and the expected turnover time
quality of washed utensils will be ob- would be determined. This figure would
tained until a large majority of eating indicate the number of eating utensils
establishments have efficient mechani- of the several kinds needed and the
cal or combination manual-mechanical types and capacity of dishwashing
utensil washing devices. equipment required to handle this
It is realized that this conclusion maximum load. Presence of a sufficient
although logical is unquestionably quantity of dishes and silverware and
radical, and also difficult to implement of good dishwashing equipment of ade-
immediately. But as part of a long- quate capacity would eliminate or
range program, it seems both sound and mitigate the rushing of the dishwashing
feasible. operation during busy periods. The
Assuming the validity of this con- capacity of the hot water system, both
clusion that universal mechanical wash- as to temperature and volume, would
ing of dishes is necessary-how may it also be determined as would the type
be implemented? There are two possible of detergent and detergent dispenser to
complementary approaches. be used. Finally the number of persons
One would consist of investigations to needed to operate properly and super-
correct existing defects in mechanical vise the dishwashing equipment would
equipment. In many cases existing be established.
equipment can produce satisfactory re-
sults-if some alterations are made- SUMMARY
or if it is used intelligently. In this A survey of dishwashing practice and
connection, the existence of adequate performance was carried out in 1,005
hot water facilities for each type of restaurants in New York City. It was
machine is an important factor. It is found that about 88 per cent of estab-
almost needless to add that alert lishments used hand methods either en-
restaurant management is almost always tirely or in part and that 17.5 per cent
ready to cooperate in such endeavors. used machine methods entirely or' in
The second approach would be made part.
via the permit system. Health depart- The quality of washing as measured
ments in most cities require restaurants by the swab-rinse test was found in
to obtain permits in order to operate. general to be very poor. Evidence is
In the great majority of instances no presented which indicates that unsatis-
attempt or only a minimal one is made factory conditions are not peculiar to
to regulate the physical structure or New York but also exist in other sec-
other facilities of the restaurant when tions of the country.
a permit is issued. If this practice were Hand washed glasses and cups met
changed so that plans were submitted the bacterial standard of no more than
before any construction, installation, or 100 colonies per utensil in 10.5 per cent
alterations were undertaken, a health of instances (176 of 1,675 samples),
department could insist upon the pro- whereas the analogous figure for the
vision of sufficient space, ample hot same utensils washed by machine was
water supply, and other adequate facili- 35.8 per cent (509 of 1,421). This dif-
ties for the washing of dishes. ference is a very significant one and in
When a permit is first granted or an favor of machines. Yet it is evident
important alteration is to be made in that, since only about two-fifths of ma-
an eating establishment the number of chine washed samples passed, much
meals that can be served at peak improvement is needed both in the de-
periods based on the number of seats sign and in the operation of machines.
Hand washed spoons and forks were The obvious defects noted in both
found to pass 35.8 per cent of instances hand and machine operations are de-
(509 of 1,421). This percentage is scribed in detail.
higher than that for hand washed cups After evaluation of the present and
and glasses and" is equal to that for possible future status of hand washing,
machine washed spoons and forks, 35.4 the conclusion seems justified that hope
per cent (89 of 251). It was observed for satisfactory dishwashing practice
that only about 5 per cent of silverware lies in conversion to machine or manual-
samples which were washed by hand mechanical practice and the intelligent
came from establishments which actu- operation of this adequate equipment.
ally made a serious attempt to sanitize The broad outlines of a program to im-
these utensils properly. It is note- plement this conclusion are described.
worthy that the findings with this small
group of samples were about 50 per cent I REFERENCES
1. Ordinance and Code-Relating to Eating and
better than those from the remaining Drinking Establishments Recommended by U. S.
96 per cent of samples, which came from Public Health Service. Pub. Health Bull. 280, 1943.
2. Buchbinder, L., and Mazur, S. Unpublished
establishments in which less care is ex- data.
ercised. Another small group of samples 3. Tiedeman, W. D. (Chairman). A Proposed
Method for Control of Food Utensil Sanitation. Re-
which had been washed by a special port of Subcommittee on Standard Methods for the
silverware machine yielded a passing Examination of Dishwashing Devices. A,J.P.H., 34:
255 (Mar.), 1944.
percentage which was about twice as 4. Scott, W. J. Survey of Dishwashing Methods in
good as the general average for machine Restaurants in a Number of Connecticut -Cities and
Towns. Health Bull., Connecticut State Department
washing. of Health, Aug., 1943.
When the three main types of restau- 5. Tiedeman, W. D. Restaurant Hygiene. New
York State J. Med., May 15, 1942.
rants studied were compared, it was 6. Ward, W. E., and Dack, G. M. Bacteriological
noted that both hand and machine Tests on Mechanical Dishwasher for Mome Use.
A.J.P.H., 29:10 (Oct.), 1939.
washing in cafeterias was generally in- 7. Fuchs, A. W. Personal Communication.
ferior to that in waiter service restau- 8. Andrews, J. Methods of Sanitizing Eating and
Drinking Utensils. Pub. Health Rep., 59:34, Aug. 2S,
rants and in luncheonettes. 1944.