Workers in food service are constantly wiping down tables. Often, these workers are given a clean cloth each day and are told to use a spray bottle with disinfectant and a small pail with cleaner in it. I want to do a good job, one worker asked for some advice.

I appreciate your desire to do a good job and have a few suggestions based on information we shared. We discussed a better way of using the one microfiber cloth so that you are avoiding cross contamination from an overloaded cloth. If possible, consider using paper towels for wiping the seating areas so that the one cloth you have is dedicated to touch points and surfaces. We also discussed the reality that by definition you are sanitizing, not disinfecting most of these surfaces. The disinfectant label clearly notes that the surface must remain wet for ten minutes to be effective.

As to safety, I highly recommend you use the appropriate PPE's (personal protective equipment) consistently. I noted that you did not always wear gloves which is a concern with you are exposing bare skin to chemicals on a sustained basis. I also noted you have a couple of small cuts on your hands which should be kept washed and when possible, wearing a band aid along with the gloves to minimize possible exposure to disease.

The final suggestion may seem odd but I also recommend you periodically use clean water rather than disinfectant on surfaces that have already been cleaned. This step can help reduce the chance of chemical buildup on surfaces that could be touched by children's hands. We observed children rubbing their food on the table before placing it in their mouth.

One final tip is to include the salt/pepper shakers and any condiments in your sanitizing process so that the risk of passing on a disease is at least reduced.

Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or