How to Make Sure Your Food Processing Plant as Clean as It Looks

A standard food manufacturing plant features a polished and immaculate-looking production line prepared for the day's operations. The standard of the food processing industry is cleaned, shining, and optimized machinery and surfaces, ready to produce consumer-safe products every day.

But appearances can be deceiving. In many food processing plants, microorganisms, biofilms, and chemical residues can persist even after sanitization if cleaning protocols have not been adequately implemented. If you own, operate, or manage a food processing facility, it’s vital that your sanitation procedures successfully eliminate all potentially hazardous microorganisms and other foodborne impurities that aren't immediately apparent.

As an authority on food processing plant cleaning, MWAC is here to provide you with some advice on ensuring perfect cleanliness and sanitation in your facility. Read on to learn more!

Why Is Sanitization Testing Critical in Your Food Plant?

Implementing a comprehensive program for monitoring and testing environmental hygiene is crucial to ensuring your processing plant’s cleanliness.

Besides ensuring the effectiveness of cleaning procedures, sanitation testing provides valuable insights for operations and production departments. This data can aid in appropriately scheduling cleaning activities and establishing a budget to enable sufficient cleaning and maximize production time.

Investing in a strong sanitation program is crucial to avoid costly consequences such as:

  • Production shutdowns
  • Product recalls
  • Legal action
  • Employee illness
  • …and more

Verifying sanitation effectiveness is necessary to ensure food safety and safeguard your investment. It’s essential to remember that your sanitation department's ability to properly complete such inspections is limited by the time allocated for the team. If the cleaning activities or assessments are rushed, it compromises the plant's cleanliness and safety, making it unsuitable for production.

Establishing Strategic Sampling Procedures

Executing pre-operational monitoring is essential to create a solid plan for keeping a food processing plant clean and safe. During pre-op checks, your cleaners can identify the hotspots in the plant, figure out the best cleaning and sanitizing agents to use, decide how often and what type of sampling to do, and set up sanitation schedules that will make sure all food product production remains safe and healthy.

It's essential to plan out the environmental sampling strategically. Your cleaning crew should always be on the lookout for places where germs like to hang out so they can get rid of them before they have a chance to spread. Then, they can continually ensure that spot checks or sampling will have a favorable result.

Can You Take Advantage of Rapid Sample Testing Techniques?

New and improved methods for testing environmental hygiene have been developed for sampling equipment surfaces. These methods can be implemented at your facility to monitor how well the sanitation procedures in the plant are working.

New rapid tests can give almost immediate results, are very sensitive, and can easily reproduce results. Using these rapid methods can help processing plants save time, money, and effort and improve the accuracy of the results. They can also reduce the amount of training needed to do the tests.

There are several quick and commonly used methods for checking the presence of microbial contaminants on surfaces during environmental screening and monitoring. These include:

  • ATP bioluminescence
  • Surface contact plates
  • Paddle method
  • Petrifilm contact method
  • Protein or carbohydrate analysis

Once you’ve tested all your environmental samples, you can share the results with a specialized company tasked with cleaning procedures.

How Does a Professional Cleaning Service Help Your Plant?

So, you’ve established your sampling procedure and implemented the best testing method, what next? Now you need a professional commercial cleaning team to ensure your facility performs well on its testing every time.

A professional cleaning service is a necessary part of plant operations. They offer a broad range of benefits, including the following:

Keeping Contaminants at Bay

When your team is busy working on the line, food, grease, and other debris will inevitably end up on various surfaces, floors, and drains. If these aren’t cleaned up properly, you could end up with slip hazards, unpleasant smells, unwanted pests, and serious cross-contamination.

That's why hiring a professional cleaning service with access to various effective cleaning, degreasing, and disinfecting solutions is vital. These solutions can eliminate harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, while leaving your facility looking and smelling fresh.

Offering Improved Drainage

Hiring a professional cleaning company specializing in food processing plants can prevent drain-related problems and avoid expensive repairs.

Aside from eliminating contaminants, a cleaning service can ensure that your sewage pipes, lift stations, grease traps, and drains are free from dirt and grime. This can save you from paying hefty fines for not complying with government regulations and significantly elongate the lifespan of your equipment.

Customizing Cleaning Services

Maintenance supervisors, operations personnel, and plant managers are tasked with managing large budgets and proper facility maintenance. However, even if they know what needs to be done, they may not know how to do it properly. This is where the expertise of professional cleaning services comes in.

By working together and assessing your specific needs, a cleaning company can develop a customized, cost-effective solution that will meet your requirements and ease your worries. Moreover, many cleaning companies are developing environmentally friendly, human-safe, green-certified products to stay ahead of the competition.

Avoiding Plant Shutdowns

Whether for scheduled maintenance or an emergency, a food processing plant being shut down is less than ideal. Getting back up and running quickly is essential to avoid profit loss, and that's where specialized cleaning companies come in.

They understand the importance of minimizing downtime while ensuring effective cleaning. These companies typically succeed in keeping your equipment clean and operating smoothly in record time so you can get back to full production as soon as possible.

Food for Thought

To ensure that food plants maintain safe and hygienic facilities, they must regularly monitor the effectiveness of their cleaning and sanitizing efforts. Merely looking at the surfaces and equipment won't be enough to ensure they're free from harmful microorganisms and allergens. Besides monitoring high-risk areas, it's also important to occasionally check unexpected places for contamination.

The success of the food industry heavily relies on sanitation and cleaning procedures. At MWAC, we have the advanced technology, experience, and knowledge to tackle any facility cleaning challenges you may face. Our industrial cleaning procedures are designed to decrease downtime and increase productivity, ensuring that your operations remain efficient.

Call us at (905) 846-7796 for a comprehensive cleaning solution to help your plant pass sanitation testing with flying colours.