Hygiene: the ultimate prerequisite for safety
In order to ensure that food is safe and of high quality for the consumer, food processing areas have to be hygienically designed, and properly cleaned and maintained. Air movements have to be optimised, and personnel have not only to be trained in hygienic practices, but monitored to ensure that they are carrying out such practices.
Designing and building
It is important to use the correct materials for floors, walls and ceilings, and to put all of the pieces of a complex jigsaw together in the right way. This requires expertise on the hygienic properties of building materials, floors, drains, walls, ceiling and factory finishes and the engineering aspects of air management. Only if this is done correctly will there be any point in designing equipment properly. As well as doing its intended job, food processing equipment must be designed so that it can be easily and effectively cleaned, and so that the cleaning does not compromise its long-term usability.
Cleaning and disinfection
Ensuring that factories are cleaned and disinfected effectively and in a timely fashion involves decisions on when to clean, how to clean and what chemicals to use, in order to remove physical, chemical and microbiological contaminants. Cleaning protocols must be validated in order to provide assurance that they do, in fact, serve their purpose: to clean the surfaces to a level that avoids the possibility of cross-contamination. In food production settings, the main cross-contamination hazards are physical, chemical, biological and allergenic. Depending on the product’s intended consumers, the process and procedure for the control of the hazards may vary significantly*.
We can advise on cleaning methods, cleaning agents and disinfectant selection for wet cleaning, dry cleaning and CIP (cleaning-in-place) systems.
In particular, we can offer assistance with the development and practical implementation of effective housekeeping and cleaning and disinfection schedules, as well as on the disinfection of factory process water systems.
The most effectively designed food processing area and the most hygienically designed food processing equipment can be badly undermined if the personnel working in the area don't follow (or are hindered from following) the correct hygienic procedures and practices, including clothing and footwear, use of changing, sanitary and hand washing facilities, and management of staff flow between low and high risk areas. Recent research has helped us establish best practice with respect to hand washing, hand drying, the assessment of hand washing programmes, and the wearing of gloves.
We can provide tailored training to address your needs in any of the areas mentioned - so get in touch to ensure that you have covered any potential hazards.
*For a free white paper on cleaning validation, send an e-mail to email@example.com with the subject line: send cleaning
Contact: Mariane Hodgkinson