Conference for Food Protection

2018 Biennial Meeting

Issue View | Council III | 2018 Scribe Packet

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Issue Number: Council III 028

Issue History

This is a brand new Issue.


Amend Food Code - Mechanical Warewashing Temp per Manufacturer's Label

Issue you would like the Conference to consider

To allow the use of an alternative to 49°C /120°F temperature for wash solution in mechanical warewashing equipment based on the manufacturer's label instructions. This change would standardize the language used in the FDA Food Code, Section 4-501.19 "Manual Warewashing Equipment, Wash Solution Temperature", where the use of alternative temperature of not less than 43°C (110°F) is permitted, based on the cleaning and sanitizing agent manufacturer's label instructions. It also will allow use of chemistries developed that meet performance criteria at lower water temperatures.

Public Health Significance

CDC 2015 Surveillance for Foodborne Disease Outbreaks annual report showed that 19.9% of the factors contributing to foodborne illness are associated with contaminated equipment and environment. (

Use of mechanical vs. manual warewashing could provide compliance improvement and add efficiency to the process. Due to some limitations in ability to provide consistent and reliable hot water supply, new detergent chemistries effective at lower temperatures are being developed by industry.

The wash solution temperature, water pressure, quality of a detergent, type and concentration of a sanitizer used in mechanical warewashing equipment are critical to proper operation and microbial reduction. If chemicals used are designed to adequately perform their function in lower than 49°C (120°F), the temperature specified by manufacturer's instructions could be followed.

"Wash solution temperature in mechanical warewashing equipment is critical to proper operation. The chemicals used may not adequately perform their function if the temperature is too low." (Annex of the Food Code Section 4-501.110). Therefore, it is important to develop and demonstrate efficacy of new chemicals at a lower temperatures and therefore protecting public health.

Recommended Solution: The Conference recommends...

that a letter be sent to the FDA requesting that Section 4-501.110 of the most current published version of the Food Code be amended as follows (with new language identified by underlines):

§ 4-501.110 Mechanical Warewashing Equipment, Wash Solution Temperature.

(A) The temperature of the wash solution in spray type warewashers that use hot water to SANITIZE may not be less than:

(1) For a stationary rack, single temperature machine, 74°C (165°F); Pf

(2) For a stationary rack, dual temperature machine, 66°C (150°F); Pf

(3) For a single tank, conveyor, dual temperature machine, 71°C (160°F); Pf or

(4) For a multitank, conveyor, multitemperature machine, 66°C (150°F). Pf

(B) The temperature of the wash solution in spray-type warewashers that use chemicals to SANITIZE may not be less than 49°C (120°F), or the temperature specified on the cleaning and sanitizing agents manufacturer's label instructions and marked on the equipment NSF data plate. Pf

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