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Revisiting the right way to clean a food factory

Cleaning a food facility is complex. Well-known SA food safety/QMS expert, Linda Jackson of Food Focus asserts it’s one thing to make the audit finding on errant cleaning procedures, another thing completely to take the corrective action. Here she shares some advice as well as a compendium of useful articles on the topic.

1. Cleaning 101

It is a basic PRP so its fundamental to understand why cleaning is done and the basics of the physics and chemistry behind it. click here to read

2. Alternative cleaning methods

Cleaning is NOT just hosing down equipment. Some processes are very sensitive to water due to the potential survival of Salmonella even in dry powders. click here to read

3. The right tools for the job

Every food safety professional know the dangers of rags and scourers. Having tried a whole barrage of brushware I found myself reaching for a scourer! The wrong brushes are used – use smaller brushes and make sure they have hard bristles. Get your equipment supplier involved in the process BEFORE you buy. And test the brushes with your staff – they actually know how.

Dosing equipment is a must. Wielding a 25litre drum and trying to measure out into a jug requires superhuman dexterity – make it easier and therefore more effective. But involve your staff, they have to use it so they should choose it.

And a note to maintenance and engineering – please think about cleaning it when you design it. Don’t set up for failure!

4. Validate the processes

Detailed cleaning procedures are essential. Broad statements leave too much to interpretation and discretion. Rather write a very detail procedure for training of staff to make sure nothing is left out.

Also ensure in your procedure you highlight the key pain points– niche areas, difficult to clean parts and inspection points.

Remember that hosing down a floor IS not cleaning. A detergent must be used and also in the drains.

Use ATP analysis and swabbing to ascertain what level of cleanliness you can achieve. click here to read click here to read click here to read

5. Supervise your processes

It’s hard work cleaning and so it is easy to take short cuts and miss important areas that perhaps are not swabbed. Take the time to supervise the process and watch and learn. Review cleaning procedures regularly on the job.

You will need daily cleaning, scheduled cleaning and deep cleaning processes. Make sure you know exactly how these are done by observing them. Why not pick up a brush and help! Your staff will respect you for it.

6. More tips from the experts click here to read Visit this great website and resource for all matters relating to food safety, compliance, risk management, QMS etc.

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