You probably said yes to the first two question, but cleanup is probably not your favourite part of the activity.
Now, would you prepare this food using dirty utensils or pans? You probably answered no.
Food manufacturing facilities operate under the same idea. They produce high quality food that they sell to their customers. However, they must ensure that their equipment is more than just clean, it needs to be sanitized to the highest levels to avoid food-bourne illnesses causing sickness and or death.
At MWAC when we say “Cleaning is important, really important” we mean it.
The issue however is that cleaning sometimes falls lower on the priority list, because of the grind of daily operations. And, because sometimes food plants don’t see the direct value of having a properly sanitized facility.
However, if the plant is not properly sanitized and becomes embroiled in a food recall, it will be at that moment the management will recognize the value of proper sanitation.
Dairy production plants tend to ensure that the highest degree of attention to sanitary cleaning is performed. Most of these facilities recognize that dairy, cultures and other organisms can easily contaminate other products in the facility. Without proper sanitation their products would spoil and not last day to day.
While, most production plants recognize that cleaning is important, they are discouraged by the amount of time it takes, and when running a very busy production plant, something has to give. Only about 20% of food and beverage plants spend time cleaning their equipment. This is because they worry about down time, and lost costs for products. However, consider what would happen if this plant becomes contaminated? How much down time would they now have?
So, how can your business have a sanitized facility without having a complete shut-down for cleanup daily?
One way would be to hire a company such as MWAC that can work around your schedule and clean while you sleep. The process starts with a proper sanitation strategy, that will work and ensure that your plant is clean avoiding longer shut downs; or more detrimental a lawsuit for contaminated products.
How to integrate regular cleaning into your facility’s processing
- Start each process with a clean system—Just like you would never cook for your family with a greasy pot, you shouldn’t produce product on dirty equipment. The same holds true in your food plant. Starting processing with clean equipment will make it that much easier to clean.
- Have a clear definition of “clean”—one facility’s “spotless” might be another’s “spotty.” Have a plant-wide understanding of clean standards.
- Establish a cleaning schedule—integrating regular cleaning into your plant’s schedule will ultimately make your life easier. Plus, routine cleaning will shorten cleaning times in the long run. Having a record of these processes is also a crucial reference during facility inspections or in the event of a contamination crisis.
Unfortunately, there are many examples of what can happen when proper attention is not paid to food safety. The lack of a cleaning plan will always cost someone something sometime down the road.
MWAC has been in the business of providing food plant sanitation for over 25 years. Combined the owners have over 50 years of experience. They service the Toronto, GTA, Burlington and now California USA area.