Ready Set Go to Kindergarten

I have to wait after sanitizing the table?

Nicolle Bellmore Pierse - Friday, February 15,2013

It is an easy mistake to make.  You are in a hurry to get the tables cleaned up so the kids can move on to their next activity.  You spray the table and immediately wipe the sanitizer off with a paper towel.  Unfortunately, this is not doing enough.  You have to wait after spraying the sanitizer and wiping it off!  The Child Care Resource Center provided the following steps from All About the ITERS-R (2004) for properly sanitizing hard surfaces. 

How to Properly Sanitize a Hard Surface

1. First remove solid soil (aka the crumbs left behind with the milk dribbles) from the table (or highchair tray) with a soap-water solution and wipe dry with a disposable paper towel. 

2. To sanitize the eating surface, spray the table/tray with bleach-water solution.

3. Wait at least 10 seconds before wiping with a disposable towel or allow to air dry.

4. It should be noted that the recommended practice is to wait for two minutes to allow the solution to kill germs.  However, if you wait more than 10 seconds before the solution is wiped from the surface, this is considered adaquate.  It is not ok to spray the surface and immediately wipe the solution off! 


Additional Points to Consider

  • Sponges should not be used for sanitizing tables because they soak bacteria away from the surface of the sponge, which then cannot be easily reached in the interior of the sponge by the sanitizing agent. 
  • If wet cloths are used, a separate cloth is required for each table or tray, and cloths cannot be returned to soak in a bleach-water solution.
  • Food should not be put directly on the table or highchair tray because eating surfaces are more likely to be contaminated than disposable plates or washed and sanitized dishes. 
  • If highchair trays are used as eating surfaces, the trays should be washed and sanitized in the same way as plates and other food service utensils.
  • If children rotate through snack, each place must be cleaned and sanitized by different children.  Sanitizing solution should not be sprayed while children are at the table. 

It has been a very germy winter, properly sanitizing surfaces is one step you can take to keep the children in your care (and you!) healthy!    

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