Q: How do I know if I need a 1, 2 or 3 compartment sink? And what is the difference between the non-NSF and NSF sinks?
A: If you are opening a new restaurant or kitchen of any kind, chances are you need all 3 types of sink!
General health code regulations require you to have a hand sink, a prep sink, and a 3 compartment sink. All three types of sinks are available in many sizes and configurations.
The style of sink you get depends on your intended use; but typically sinks for washing dishes should be 3 compartment, hand sinks are usually one compartment, and prep sinks are one or two compartments with or without a drainboard or two.
Pictured above is a 3 compartment sink with 2 drainboards. It's perfect for 3 compartment dish washing, and making your health inspector happy.
NSF certification requires that a unit be easy to clean. The main difference between NSF sinks and non-NSF sinks is rounded corners inside the sink basins and on other parts of sinks. These rounded, or 'coved' corners make it easier to clean the sink and much harder for dirt and other contaminants to hide.
Non-NSF sinks are a lot cheaper to manufacture because they have square corners in the basins. Sharp corners can trap food particles and are difficult to clean. It is important to get the correct sink for your application, or you may have trouble with your health inspector. The rule of thumb is that any sink used to wash food or wash anything that touches food needs to be NSF.
I hope that helps to answer your questions. Please note, there are exceptions to every rule and ultimately you need to check with your local health inspector about what you will need in your food business to comply with local codes.
If you have more questions you can ask them here on REA and you can always call or send us an e-mail, 1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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