Date of Award

Spring 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Hospitality and Tourism Management

First Advisor

Barbara A. Almanza

Committee Member 1

Carl A. Behnke

Committee Member 2

Doug Nelson


Improperly cleaned and sanitized chef knives may present a potential contamination risk and thus be a risk for foodborne illness. Therefore, ensuring effective cleaning and sanitization of knife surfaces may help prevent the spread of foodborne pathogens. The primary objective of this research was to compare the efficacies of two different cleaning methods (three-compartment manual dishwashing and sanitizer wiping) at removing food soils from contaminated chef knives using procedures that are typical of restaurant kitchens. Knife wiping and washing procedures were determined and standardized according to an observation of knife cleaning behavior in a kitchen. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence was used to measure the organic soil on knife surfaces after sanitization. This study indicates that the three-compartment manual dishwashing method is more effective at removing food soils from knife surfaces than the sanitizer wiping method (P<0.0001). This study also assessed the influence of other factors on the soil removal efficacies of the two cleaning methods. No significant difference was found between the knife segments (P=0.1856), handle texture (P=0.3486), and type of product cut (P=0.7599) at the 0.05 level.