Cleaning Compliance In Food Processing Facilities

To meet strict regulatory requirements, food processing facilities must be cleaned according to well-defined standards. Preventing contamination, properly removing harmful pathogens, and documenting cleaning processes are all critical to maintaining the safety of products.

Training for Safety – of Products and People

Training in food processing facilities is complex due to the unique dynamics of these environments. Proper sanitation is critical to maintaining the safety of food products. And sanitors need to be trained to prevent accidents in an environment with more safety hazards than non-production environments. Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines should form the basis for food safety training programs. Employee safety training should include common elements, like safety awareness and emergency response, in addition to quickly addressing hazards like slippery floors and working around equipment.

Focus on Flooring

Food manufacturers have a two-fold problem when it comes to their floors: they need flooring that’s resilient to the fats, acids, and other food byproducts it comes in contact with, as well as industrial strength chemicals that are required to maintain hygienic standards. Floor care should also protect floors from long-term damage. Cracks in flooring can harbor harmful bacteria and require additional time and resources to clean.

Proactively Prevent Contamination

Billions of tons of food are thrown out every year due to mold contamination. Because they can survive in many environments, sanitation protocols should call for extra vigilance in removing them. Following GMPs will help prevent mold from entering and growing in the production environment. To check for mold, a sanitation program should call for routine sampling for molds, yeast, and bacteria.

Use Expertise to Your Advantage

Because of the complexity of food sanitation, it’s important that sanitation programs are designed by an expert. Whether services are outsourced or performed in-house, a food sanitation expert should oversee the planning, implementation, and ongoing execution of the sanitation program to ensure compliance.

Rocco Santopietro is a Vice President of Operations, Food & Beverage, ABM Industries. Learn more about ABM’s specialized cleaning programs for food processing environments here.