The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has compiled a collection of internationally recognized standards, codes of practice and other recommendations relating to food, food production and food safety: Codex Alimentarius . They state that: “People have the right to expect the food they eat to be safe and suitable for consumption. Effective hygiene control, therefore, is vital to avoid the adverse human health and economic consequences of foodborne illness.”
It is a fact that manual washing cannot reach the same (constant) level of cleanliness as a commercial dishwasher. Brushes, pads, cloths (even tea towels) are all a potential source of infection. When manually washing, items would have to be immersed in CLEAN water at 70oC minimum, to achieve any possible level of sanitation. The average person cannot put their hands in water over 50oC. Obviously there could be a potential hazard in poor sanitation practices.
Therefore it is not a question of whether washing by hand is cheaper or not. Food hygiene has so many aspects, that being able to put a tick against hygienically clean reusable equipment removes another risk and potential headache.