It’s no secret that when the basic elements of good sanitation practices in the food manufacturing environment are consistently, even habitually, applied over time, all of the company’s food safety programs are enhanced. The cleaner the facility and equipment at the outset of every product run, the better the assurance that potential food safety hazards are mitigated or eliminated every time a shift begins and throughout the entire production cycle.
The key to good sanitation practices is to provide training to a wide base of plant employees, which may include personnel outside of the sanitation department.
It is important for supporting functions to understand how they enable effective sanitation— for example, timely disassembly of equipment by maintenance staff, end of production housekeeping, and quality inspections all impact sanitation effectiveness—to foster a better understanding of—and therefore, consistent companywide adherence to—the sanitation protocols suited to each plant’s operational and food safety requirements.
This cross-departmental knowledge transfer, coupled with continuous monitoring, follow up and reinforcement of best practices within the plant sanitation department, creates a corporate culture of hygiene that can significantly increase the overall effectiveness of the sanitation program.
It is not enough to have an educated and dedicated sanitation crew: Their daily efforts to ensure the hygiene of the plant will be to no avail if maintenance personnel are unaware that they should not take tools from raw materials areas into finished product areas, for example, or if plant engineers do not understand the cleaning challenges posed by placement of equipment or drains.