Three-Compartment Sink Rules Every Bartender Should Follow

Posted - October 9, 2022
Three-Compartment Sink Rules Every Bartender Should Follow

Two dragons walk into a bar. One says, “It’s really hot in here.” 

The other says, “Shut your mouth.” 

Get it? Everyone loves a good bar joke.

What people don’t appreciate, however, are poor food and beverage safety practices. If you’re a bartender and you (or your employer) isn’t following three-compartment sink rules, it’s time to reevaluate the way you do things.

What Is the Three-Sink Method?

According to WebstaurantStore, “the three sink method is the manual procedure for cleaning and sanitizing dishes in commercial settings. Rather than providing additional workspace to perform the same function, the three compartments allow kitchen staff to wash, rinse, and sanitize dishes. Each step has its own set of rules and requirements.” The three-sink method (wash, rinse, sanitize) is ultimately efficient, more effective and convenient for restaurants. But there are certain rules associated with it. 

Three-Sink Rules Bartenders Should Follow

As more and more bartenders these days are asked to serve or handle food, it brings up the importance of food safety and dishwashing practices. Whether this applies to you or not, there are some three-sink rules that can benefit you by giving your patrons peace of mind about the safety of the food and drinks they consume from your establishment. These include:

  • Wash, rinse and sanitize—in that order
  • Use a minimum water temperature of 110 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Only remove food and scrub food particles in the “wash” compartment
  • Use clean water for the “rinse” compartment
  • Soak dishes in appropriate chemicals for at least 30 seconds in the “sanitize” compartment
  • Air-dry dishes to prevent contamination from towels and hands

How a Certification Can Help

Another rule you can follow is to get a food handler or TABC certification. The latter is especially valuable for bartenders, as this state-approved course is only two hours and covers a variety of safety issues related to serving and selling alcohol. The food handlers course, on the other hand, can be a great benefit if your responsibilities include anything food-related. You’ll learn how to prevent cross-contamination, good personal hygiene and other proper cleaning and sanitizing techniques. Interested in both? Consider a food handler course with TABC certification. American Course Academy is proud to offer all of these options.

A commitment to hygiene and safety can be a big benefit for bartenders, servers and other restaurant staff. If you’re ready to stand out with your food and beverage handling knowledge, enroll in a course today!