With so many recalls and cross-contamination issues amidst the food processing industry, it's important to improve the focus on sanitation efforts. If you've recently taken on a food processing sanitation role, there are some key elements that you should think about. Here are some of the things you need to consider as you establish your plans and processes.
Establishing A Team For Daily Sanitation
Sanitation practices must be implemented consistently to ensure safety in your food processing facility. Take time to not only define the sanitation processes for the detailed daily treatment, but also to ensure that you have a dedicated staff to handle it. That way, you don't risk issues with busy schedules, slow production, or similar problems preventing your team from handling the necessary sanitation. You should also ensure that there's time between each shift changeover to allow for thorough sanitation of all work surfaces and processing equipment.
Maintain Strict Standard Operating Procedures
Especially where food processing is concerned, sanitation procedures must be clearly defined and precise. That means establishing detailed standard procedures for everyone who works on the processing line, including not only the staff that handles the routine sanitation but also the workers who handle production. Gloves, protective gear, sanitizing wipes, and any other mitigation methods need to be clearly illustrated with defined mandates that are enforced across the board to ensure consistency and safety.
Ensure Consistency To Reduce Exposure Risks
Over time, complacency can lead to missteps in sanitation practices, which will frequently cause cross-contamination or outbreaks of things such as E. coli. It is essential that you conduct random monitoring cycles where camera footage is reviewed from the processing lines and observations are made to ensure that gloves are changed as they should be, sanitation practices are followed correctly, and food production is being kept safe.
Provide Rewards For Meeting Standards
You might think that staff shouldn't be rewarded for meeting the standards defined for them because that's the bare minimum required of their job. The fact is that, when you establish a reward program, your staff is more likely to put in the effort to meet those standards, thus ensuring safer food production and less risk of contamination.
These are a few of the many things that you should consider when it comes to ensuring adequate food processing sanitation. Don't let your facility be one that's caught with contaminants leading to recalls, because that can be costly and devastating to your operation. Consider these tips as you establish your new food sanitation protocols.