Effective factory hygiene and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

Effective factory hygiene and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19)

Whether it’s for prevention or dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak, ensuring that your factory and premises are clean and hygienic requires a comprehensive approach. Here’s a quick checklist of actions and tips to guard against SARS-CoV-2…

Actions to consider:

  1. HACCP plans will need to be reviewed – if they haven’t already, they should be!
  2. Ventilation systems and air conditioning – seek advice from engineers
  3. Deep cleaning - what should you do?
    1. Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning
    2. Plan your deep clean carefully - it should be for an entire area not just the equipment, and needs to be carried out thoroughly
    3. Staffing - ensure the correct level of trained staff are available; extra untrained labour is a hindrance not a help
    4. Should I change my detergent? Normally you don’t need to change detergent or disinfectant for a deep clean, but with SARS-CoV-2 it is advisable to consult with your chemical supply company. We can also check their effectiveness for you with our cleaning test specifically developed for COVID-19
    5. Work top down – systematically clean from high levels down to floor level
    6. Equipment cleaning - this needs to be carried out to standards above and beyond a normal daily clean and will involve:
      • Removing motor guards on drive mechanisms and thoroughly cleaning the cabinets and contents
      • Cleaning inside control panels
      • Removing conveyor belts, where possible and cleaning running rails and drive cogs
      • Where chains are used – e.g. on flow wrappers, these need to be removed and cleaned
      • All equipment needs to be fully stripped down with components and bodies thoroughly cleaned
      • All framework surfaces must be cleaned – above and below eye level
    7. Drains - drains, drain covers and floors need to be cleaned thoroughly and disinfected post washing
    8. Walls, ceilings and wall fittings need to be cleaned
  4. Reinforce hand hygiene policy – this hand washing video is our most popular; feel free to circulate to your teams
  5. PPE policies – these may need to be reviewed
  6. Waste collections – you’ll probably need to increase their frequency
  7. Locker rooms - review locker room policy, including cleaning frequency
  8. High frequency touch points - enhance cleaning of touch points and equipment from door handles to forklift and pallet trucks

The above guidance will address the key areas you need to consider, for hygienic design and cleaning. They apply to aspects of factory hygiene, however COVID-19 has made them even more critical. Do get in touch for advice and guidance on your factory hygiene concerns.

What if you’re bringing equipment and facilities back in to use?

If you’re ramping up production or bringing back machinery and facilities into service which have temporarily mothballed, you must look closely at your environmental monitoring.

Clause 4.11.8 of BRCGS Issue 8, on environmental monitoring states that: “Risk-based environmental monitoring programmes shall be in place for pathogens or spoilage organisms. At a minimum, these shall include all production areas with open and ready-to-eat products.”

Critical here is a sub-clause ( which states that environmental monitoring programmes must be reviewed annually or when there have been “changes in processing conditions, process flow or equipment”. If you’ve had to shut things down or limit production, an increase in environmental contaminants, both bacterial and fungal during closure is a distinct possibility, hence your environmental monitoring programme (EMP) will need to be reviewed.

The clause and the need to revisit your EMP also applies to “new developments in scientific information” - in th is case the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. So, even if you haven’t changed your manufacturing capacity, you’ll need to revisit your programme.

Testing regimes for work in progress (WIP), finished products and raw materials in line with clauses: and of BRCGS Issue 8 may need to be reviewed and made more robust during this period along with those for outsourced components, in clause

Campden BRI can help you review your EMP. If you need support, feel free to contact Nigel or Richard for information and prices.

Nigel Blitz
+44(0)1386 842080

Nigel Blitz

About Nigel Blitz

Nigel Blitz joined Campden BRI as a food management systems specialist in 2019 following more than 20 years’ experience as a food, hygiene and quality manager across a broad range of food and beverage manufacturing environments. Read more...


Richard Leathers
+44(0)1386 842105

Richard Leathers

About Richard Leathers

Richard Leathers joined Campden BRI in September 2011, working in the area of Food Manufacturing Technology - HACCP and Quality Management Systems. Read more...

For further information or prices please contact us:

support@campdenbri.co.uk +44(0)1386 842000 online form

Where we refer to UKAS Accreditation

The Campden BRI group companies listed below are both accredited in accordance with the recognised International Standard ISO17025:2017 by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS). The accreditation demonstrates technical competence for a defined scope of methods, specific to each site, as detailed in the schedules of accreditation bearing the testing laboratory number. The schedules may be revised from time to time and reissued by UKAS. The most recent issue of the schedules are available from the UKAS website www.ukas.com

Campden BRI (Chipping Campden) Limited is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1079 Campden BRI (Nutfield) is a UKAS accredited testing laboratory No. 1207