By Manichaya Permpoon, Srinakharinwirot University
November 18, 2016
Bacteria can thrive in the water below 65 degrees Celsius.
Many germs and bacteria are found in rice cookers and electric kettles used for dipping utensils in the food courts because the water temperature is not high enough to totally kill bacteria causing it to grow faster.
Dipping utensils in rice cooker or electric kettle cannot kill bacteria
Blanching utensils is very popular in food courts in Thailand. Food stalls often provide hot water for the customers to dip utensils to eliminate the bacteria. Although it always has steam, bacteria still remains and spreads more.
If the water is below 65 degrees Celsius, do not dip utensils.
Bacteria numbers on utensils can reduce in the water temperature higher than 65 degrees Celsius. (Raweewan Sritong, Paradee Chuaybamroon: 2014) However, it depends on the period of dipping utensils, water temperature and changing water in the pot. But most of the temperatures of rice cooker or electric kettle are not high enough. Therefore, the best way is not to dip anything in hot water that has low temperature.
Dipping utensils into hot water might trick us into thinking that utensils are without germ and bacteria. Providing hot water for dipping utensils may make the customers feel relieved about the hygiene of the restaurant and want to eat. Nevertheless, things that food sellers should focus on are to maintain the hygiene of the container and utensils. It is an awareness to protect consumers in the right way.
Raweewan Sritong, Paradee Chuaybamroong. (2014, January-March). Total bacteria numbers on eating utensils dipped in hot water and bacterial contamination from hot water to eating utensils. Thammasat Medical Journal. (Online)