Before delving into the different aspects of cleaning and disinfection in the food industry, it is important to understand that these are two separate processes. The definition of cleaning is considered to be the removal of dirt, soils, residues, etc. from any surface. This includes manually removing grease and fats from food processing surfaces using cleaning equipment and tools such as those offered by leading brands Vikan and Dema.
In order to achieve a clean production facility that meets the industry standards, cleaning processes should always be performed before disinfection.
The process of disinfection uses disinfectants and biocides to reduce microorganisms to acceptable industry standards, so they no longer pose a threat to the food products produced and consumed.
Both cleaning and disinfection work together to keep the production facility clean and free from pathogens, which removes the risks associated with an unclean and poorly managed food processing environment, such as product recalls, damage to the company brand, food poisoning fatalities and site closures.
According to the FSA, any company working within the food industry must have food safety management procedures in place. This will be based on the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point). This is a system that has been designed to help facility managers, supervisors, quality managers, and more, with a way to identify potential hazards relating to operations within the workplace. These hazards will include microbiological hazards which involve dealing with harmful bacteria.
With a well-established procedure in place used in accordance with the HACCP principles,your company can be sure hazards relating to the cleaning and disinfection of your facility are removed or reduced to safe working levels.
Before undertaking any cleaning tasks throughout your food processing facility, it is important you have access to the right tools and equipment. This includes industry-regulated and registered cleaning products like cleaning detergents, that are proven to remove all traces of fats and other food residues.
At SOS Hygiene we have a wide range of cleaning products, tools and equipment to provide companies working within the food and beverage industry with everything required to complete a successful hygiene regime. From a complete portfolio of food and beverage cleaning chemicals including open plant cleaning/CIP detergents, disinfectants, sanitising wipes and floorcare products. Also on offer the complete janitorial cleaning range to support the cleaning of offices, toilets and canteens on site. Cleaning equipment such as cleaning tools, foaming units and dosing systems are also offered alongside our chemical packages.
Following the cleaning process, disinfection should be practiced to ensure the effective removal of all microorganisms that could pose a threat to the health and safety of your working environment.
At SOS Hygiene we offer an array of disinfection methods including QAC free surfaces sanitisers, sanitising wipes as well as bespoke ozone technologies including Whole Room Disinfection, low risk to high care Ozone Transfer Chamber and Ozonated Water sanitising systems.
Utilising the ozone gas, bacteria and viruses can be effectively destroyed and managed within the food production environment. As part of our disinfection services, we offer whole room disinfection and our low to high care Ozone Transfer Chamber to mitigate the risk of foodborne disease. These relatively new concepts are being adopted by the food and beverage industry as supplementary systems to traditional chemical disinfection practices and as an adjunct to traditional chemical fogging.
Whole room disinfection uses ozone-based technology to create a vapour that penetrates all areas of the production facility including ceilings and deep in drains and is typically employed as a superior sanitising stage following the traditional chemical clean down and disinfectant stage during the evening hygiene window or at a weekend.
The Low risk to high care Ozone Transfer Chamber is based on the same ozone technology as whole room disinfection system, however the main differences in the two applications are time, ozone levels and the volume of space being treated. The Ozone transfer chamber is a bespoke small cabinet or room dedicated solely as a disinfection pod within the factory, typically used to disinfect goods coming from the low-risk area into the high care area. The time of disinfection is much quicker than the standard whole room disinfection and the levels of ozone are ~3 times higher. The ozone gas is generated and removed within a 20 to 30 minutes sanitising cycle. The Ozone Transfer Chamber typically runs all throughout production to ensure maximum disinfection of all goods entering.
Ozonated Water sanitising systems are also available as part of the SOS disinfection and sanitising applications. Ozonated water can be used to replace traditional disinfection chemicals on open plant clean down as part of a standalone unit or complete ring main system. The most popular applications for ozonated water are bottling rinsing and CIP (clean in place) disinfection systems, typically to replace and remove aggressive oxidising chemicals such as peracetic acid.
Ozone technology is proven to be effective in fighting Listeria, Salmonella, E.coli, fungus, viruses and more.
Once equipped with the right chemicals and tools, the recommended steps to approaching cleaning and sanitising within the food industry include: