Food Safety Issues/3 bowl sink set up


Hello Carol,
  This is a follow up question about a three bowl sink set-up that Dan sent in to you. In it he ask about a co-worker using sink 1 to wash, sink 2 to sanitize and sink 3 to rinse. That is NOT the way I set it up in my restaurant/bar years ago. I set it up sink 1 wash, sink 2 rinse and sink three, sanitize. Does this also pertain to a three bowl sink for glass washing at the bar?

  The reason I ask is a friend owns a local bar outside Pittsburgh, Pa. and he sets his up wash, sanitize, and rinse. I suggested that was wrong but he told me it was the way the health dept. told him to set it up. Is this right?

Hi Gary,

The proper way to set up a 3-compartment sink is Wash, Rinse, Sanitize -- in that order.  The sanitizer is not to be rinsed off but air dried immediately after it is removed from the sanitizer.

I have worked with restaurants that have set up their sinks with the middle section being the scrape/wash area since that is where they have the sprayer.  They do rinse in one of the sinks and sanitize in the other.  They still do the 3 steps of wash, rinse and sanitize just not in a straight line order.  No matter what, you don't rinse off the sanitizer.

And yes, the compartment set-up is the same for washing glasses in a bar.  Many times bars use iodine as their sanitizer in the 3rd sink as it does not leave a residue on the glasses like quats or chlorine may do.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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