How to Serve Safely with Reusables

We’ve all learned to do a lot of things differently over the past two years. Some of those things—like washing our hands more frequently and thoroughly—are positive. But some of those things—like using tons more disposables—are not.

Single-use containers were recommended early in the pandemic because at the time, they were considered to be the most convenient, sanitary option. After almost two years, the waste and cost have been massive, while the convenience factor has faded.

Disposable containers constantly need to be replenished and can be hard to get your hands on with current supply chain disruptions. They consume large amounts of storage space, rack up hefty disposal fees when used on-premise, and are a turn-off to environmentally-conscious consumers.

The good news is that it’s been proven that proper handling of reusables is just as safe as disposables, so current guidance from federal and local agencies now reflects this.

Here’s how you can feel confident returning to serving on reusable ware.

Wash in HOT Water

The National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) has determined that 180°F water effectively cleans and destroys dangerous germs found on dirty dishes, utensils, and other kitchen wares.

Does your dishwasher provide 180° water? You’d be surprised how many high temperature dishwashers don’t get hot enough to fully sanitize wares, which is why Hatco has so many satisfied water heater booster customers.

Hatco dishwasher water heater boosters connect to your low or high temp dishwasher and boost its water temperature to the all-important sanitizing temperature of 180°F. 

Hatco boosters come in 18 different sizes to supply appropriate amounts of high temperature hot water for nearly any make, model, or size of dish machine.

If you don’t have a dishwasher or yours is on its last legs, look to Champion for NSF- compliant dish machines to suit your operation and space requirements, from undercounter, to hood, rack conveyor, and flight machines. 

Champion even offers ventless options that are easier to install, more energy efficient, and more comfortable for employees to work around since they keep heat and humidity in the machine where they belong.

Use the Correct Type of Warewashing Rack

For tumblers and stemware, Camrack Glass Racks by Cambro feature open compartments and closed side walls. 

This combination allows hot water and chemicals to thoroughly circulate within the rack while keeping glassware safely separated and protected from outside contaminants during storage (more on that later).

For cups and mugsCamrack Cup Racks work similarly to glass racks, but they have a built-in tilt feature that lifts once side of the cup that helps water drain from its base.

For plates, platters, specialty serve ware, and bowlsCamrack Peg and Tray Racks  support and separate ware for through washing and drying. 

The 5 x 9 peg rack PR59314 holds shallow plates and trays in one direction and deeper baskets, trays, containers, and plate covers in the other.

For oversized items such as serving and compartment trays, sheet pans, full-sized pan covers, and cutting boards, the Open End Tray Rack by Cambro has one open side for larger items to safely extend outside the rack during washing. This handy rack is also a great fit for washing Camshelving shelf plates, an easy way to help keep storage areas more hygienic.

For reusable silverware and cutlery, the 8 Compartment Flatware Rack by Cambro holds flatware pieces vertically and helps keep them separated to provide thorough circulation of hot water and chemicals. 

A heavy-duty mesh patterned base promotes water circulation while keeping sharp or pointed objects from poking through.

Use an open Camrack base rack for larger, irregular shaped items like pots, pans, bowls, and utensils that don’t fit into compartment or peg racks.

Store in a Sanitary Location

For glassware, stemware, cups, mugs and small bowls, Camracks transform into a mobile and sanitary storage closet when stacked on a dolly with a solid Camrack cover placed on top. 

This ingenious system protects contents from outside contaminants such as airborne virus and bacteria particles, dust, insects, and mop water.

For plates, platters, and some types of specialty serve warethe Compact Adjustable Dish Caddy by Cambro provides compact, mobile storage for plates sized from 4 5/8″ to 12″. 

To keep plates protected while not in use, the caddy comes with its own custom vinyl cover. 

For trays or a combination of trays and plates, the Adjustable Tray and Dish Cart safely packs a lot into a portable cart that also comes with its own sanitary cover.

For flat, oversized items like serving and compartment trays, sheet pans, full-sized pan covers, and cutting boards, the Camshelving Premium Series Vertical Drying Rack by Cambro uses vertical space for hygienic air drying.

The Camshelving Premium Series Angled Drying Rack securely and hygienically holds a variety of pans, pots, and kitchen wares. 
Both of these mobile racks–vertical and angled–come with a lifetime warranty against rust and corrosion.

Wondering how much you could save by switching to permanent ware? We found a handy online calculator you can use to see if the switch makes sense for your operation:

Still have questions? From reusable OZZI takeout containers and plastic Cambro tumblers, to durable dinnerware by TableCraftTuxton, and BauscherHepp, we can help you find the right commercial-grade ware to help your operation serve safely with style.

Contact us.