Food Standards Agency

On the 4th July 2013 the Food Standards Agency commissioned some work to examine the operation of dishwashers in relation to the requirements of the E. coli O157 control of cross-contamination guidance.

Following is an extract from their letter to the commercial dishwashing industry and its customers.

“This work will examine the time/temperature combinations that can produce an adequately sanitised product, as well as the contribution to decontamination made by the chemicals within the wash cycle. Once the research is complete we intend to provide guidelines on the time/temperature combinations required for dishwashers in catering establishments and the methods that can be used to validate these.

Until this work is complete the Agency is not requiring a specific temperature for dishwashers and the advice we provide to businesses and local authorities is stated in Q44 of the Q&A document: ‘food businesses should ensure that any dishwasher is maintained in good working order, fit for purpose and at the appropriate setting’.”

  1. The industry has yet to be notified that the research has been completed and so the bottom line is this.
  2. Commercial dishwashers manufactured by reputable commercial dishwashing manufacturers and to the appropriate standards are fit for purpose.
  3. The commercial dishwashers must be maintained and good working order. If they are, then they are fit for purpose.
  4. The commercial dishwasher must be set at the setting prescribed by the manufacturer. If it is then it is fit for purpose.

 And that’s it!

Occasionally we encounter customers, who are subject to the whims of poorly advised Environmental Health Officers who want them use commercial dishwashing machines that are massively and completely unnecessarily over-specified – with the attendant costs.

If any caterers out there who have ‘challenging’ EHO’s then just contact us on and we will provide them with a copy of the original letter from the FSA.


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