The 3-compartment sink battle

Rumor has it that the culinary school down the street doesn't require their students to wash their own dishes. We're not so lucky at Valencia. If we dirty a pan or dish, we are responsible for washing, rinsing, sanitizing, drying and putting it back from where it came. It’s humbling, and good practice in sanitation and time management since we have to time our dish runs between cooking in order to keep our stations clean.

We've never actually been taught how to use the dish room or equipment, except for a quick book lesson in sanitation class during our very first semester. For some, that was almost 2 years ago, and many have clearly forgotten how the cycle works or were just never taught to begin with. Today, for example, there were lovely, fluffy islands of egg foam floating in the sudsy sink - the sink I had just filled with clean soapy water.

I go through this routine at least three of four times during a single class: I find butter cream or batter floating in the sink when I need to wash my pan, and then have to drain, clean and refill the sink. Today I was so fed up that I reminded the baking class, with a soap box-style speech, to rinse before dumping their mixing bowls in the sink. I’m not in baking class, but we always battle over the dish room. Previous semesters, I've pulled their dirty mixing bowls out of the sink and put them on the rolling bench as evidence. Thankfully we didn't have to go that far today.

If you're not required to wash your own dishes, or if it's been a while since you had a "lesson," here's a refresher for the three-compartment sink:
1. Scrape any food particles into the garbage and then rinse your dishes with the hose BEFORE putting them into the three-compartment sink. The three-compartment sink isn't for your soaking pleasure. Soak your dishes off to the side or in another sink that is not being used for sanitary dish washing.
2. Wash your dishes in sink 1
3. Rinse your dishes in sink 2
4. Sanitize your dishes in sink 3
5. Immediately dry your dishes and put them away

Don't think I won't come and find you if you leave butter cream in the sink again.

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