Choosing the Best Food Contact Surfaces: A Complete Guide to Durability, Cleanability and Cost

Importance of Food Contact Surfaces

As we delve deeper into our exploration of food contact surfaces, or a lack thereof, we can’t stress enough the significance they hold in the safe handling of our food. These surfaces, often overlooked in our daily routines, come into direct contact with our food – a key player in its overall safety.

A food contact surface includes any surface that touches our food, such as cookware, kitchen utensils, cutting boards, and more. Misunderstanding what constitutes a food contact surface may lead to unwanted results, primarily in the form of foodborne illnesses.

  • Food contact surfaces can harbor harmful bacteria
  • Poor sanitization practices for these surfaces can cause cross-contamination

Handling these surfaces properly does more than just prevent foodborne illnesses — it ensures the quality of our meals. Sanitized surfaces can also positively impact the food’s overall taste and texture, making meals more enjoyable.

Let’s not forget, handling food contact surfaces with care takes us one step closer to achieving safe and healthy food practices. If something doesn’t have a food contact surface, it doesn’t negate its importance in the preparation process. However, it may slightly shift our approach towards cleanliness and reduce the likelihood of cross-contamination.

As we’ll explain in the next sections, items without a regular food contact surface often require a different kind of attention during food handling. Don’t worry, we’ll take you through it one step at a time. Stay tuned for some eye-opening findings in our continuous exploration of food safety.

Which Item Does not Have a Food Contact Surface Servsafe

Understanding food contact surfaces isn’t just about knowing what’s gracing our dining tables – it’s a crucial aspect of maintaining a safe and sanitary kitchen. Let’s discuss some of the most commonly used materials in food production and preparation: stainless steel, glass, and plastic. These materials handle our food every day, so we need to be aware of how to maintain them effectively and efficiently.

Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel is one of the most popular food contact surfaces used in both commercial and home kitchens. It’s a favorite amongst professional chefs and food handlers for various reasons. First off, stainless steel is non-reactive and does not change the taste or smell of the food. Next, it’s incredibly durable and resistant to normal wear and tear, ensuring it lasts for several years. However, while stainless steel is a sturdy material, it does require regular maintenance. So, remember to clean and sanitize stainless steel equipment regularly to prevent bacterial contamination and ensure a safer food preparation environment.


Transitioning from the metallic sheen of stainless steel, let’s explore another common food contact surface: Glass. Glass is popular primarily because it’s non-toxic, and does not leach any harmful chemicals into the food it comes in contact with, thus ensuring the original taste and aroma of the food. Also, it’s easy to clean and sterilize, making it a healthy choice for food contact. Although glass is a reliable and safe food contact surface, we must handle it with care as it is breakable and can cause injuries when shattered.


Last on our list but not any less significant is Plastic. Plastic is widely used in food-processing industries and our homes due to its versatility, range of shapes and sizes, and affordability. Not all types of plastics are safe for food contact, though. Always look for plastics that are labeled as ‘food-grade’ or ‘BPA-free’ as these are generally recognized as safe for direct food contact. Similar to the aforementioned materials, plastic also requires proper cleaning and storage to maintain its safety profile and usability.

We’ve explored the key considerations – durability, cleanability, resistance to temperatures, chemical resistance, and cost – that guide our choices when selecting these surfaces. We’ve seen how these factors apply to stainless steel, glass, and plastic, the most prevalent materials in food production and preparation.

We hope to have equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions that balance food safety and budget constraints. It’s our hope that this understanding will lead to healthier, safer kitchens and ultimately, better food for all. Remember, it’s not just about what you cook, but also where you cook.