I would assume that if you have a food service in the facility that they
are subject to city or county sanitarian inspection on a regular basis.
There should be a license hanging up somewhere stating that you have
been inspected. I believe that some sort of sanitizer is necessary in
the water, and the dishwasher or water needs to be a certain
temperature. Our city publishes our sanitarian inspections in the paper,
and I know they cite facilities/restaurants for not having proper
sanitizer or proper dishwasher temperatures.
Crud on dishes harbors bacteria - no doubt about it. Do you not have a
food service director that you can appeal to here? After all, since you
are a volunteer, I would assume that there is someone in charge.
Just realize that "rocking the boat" or threatening to call in the
health department probably will mean the demise of your volunteering
there [they'll do it indirectly if you are a pot stirrer]. Tread
lightly, ask about these things in a non-threatening, innocent fashion
way. Perhaps the food service director doesn't realize that the pots
aren't getting clean. Perhaps the whole system needs to be checked. That
is what they're paid to do.
Yes, people that are in hospices many times are cancer patients whose
immune systems cannot stand a bacterial assault by substandardly
prepared food. A little diarrhea for you or me can cause them to be back
in the hospital or hasten death if they would get, say, a Salmonella
infection from undercooked food.
To answer your question about boiling - yes, temperatures over 140
degrees F (boiling is 212 degrees F) will kill food pathogens like
Salmonella, Shigella, Campylobacter (enteric pathogens, i.e. diarrhea
producers) and viruses like hepatitis. Crud on pans, however, is
esthetically nasty. When you get a dirty fork/knife/spoon at a
restaurant with dried crud on it do you want to eat with it? I wouldn't
want to cook with a dirty pan, either.
Hope this helps.
Judy Dilworth, M.T. (ASCP)
"barb28" <barb28 at rock.com> wrote in message
news:9a3d5e23.0405171902.1e28c093 at posting.google.com...
> I have a "how to wash pots" question.
>> This may seem trivial, but I am volunteering to work
> in a hospice (i.e. home for people about to die), and will
> be washing dishes.