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Explain how proper food equipment prevents foodborne illness.

Proper maintenance of equipment to manufacturer specifications helps ensure that it will continue to operate as designed. Failure to properly maintain equipment could lead to violations of the associated requirements of the U.S. Food Code that place the health of the consumer at risk. For example, refrigeration units in disrepair may no longer be capable of properly cooling or holding potentially hazardous foods at safe temperatures.  Also, the cutting or piercing parts of can openers may accumulate metal fragments that could lead to food containing foreign objects and, possibly, result in consumer injury.

Adequate cleaning and sanitization of dishes and utensils using a warewashing machine is directly dependent on the exposure time during the wash, rinse, and sanitizing cycles. Failure to meet manufacturer and Food Code requirements for cycle times could result in failure to clean and sanitize. For example, high temperature machines depend on the buildup of heat on the surface of dishes to accomplish sanitization. If the exposure time during any of the cycles is not met, the surface of the items may not reach the time-temperature parameter required for sanitization. Exposure time is also important in warewashing machines that use a chemical sanitizer since the sanitizer must contact the items long enough for sanitization to occur. In addition, a chemical sanitizer will not sanitize a dirty dish; therefore, the cycle times during the wash and rinse phases are critical to sanitization.

SOURCE:  Annex 3:  Public Health Reasons.  U.S. Food Code.