ClickCease Food Cleaning: ISO 22000, HACCP and SQF Experts
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Food Cleaning: ISO 22000, HACCP and SQF Experts

Discover the challenges and techniques of cleaning in the food industry. From removing organic soils to meeting strict food safety standards like ISO 22000, HACCP and SQF, every step of the cleaning process is crucial. From selecting the appropriate detergent to implementing effective disinfection procedures, we guide you through this complex process.

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The crucial role of washing in eliminating allergens

Washing is a decisive step in the fight against food allergens. Indeed, allergens, whether of animal or plant origin, are proteins which often resist food processing processes. Thus, they can remain present on production surfaces and constitute a potential danger for allergy sufferers.

Allergens can be eliminated by thorough cleaning of food contact surfaces. Both wet and dry cleaning methods are effective in removing allergenic proteins. However, it is essential to use specific cleaning products designed to destroy these substances without damaging the equipment.

In addition, rigorous cleaning policies must be implemented in companies in the food industry. These measures include implementing patented cleaning protocols, establishing allergen control plans and adequately training staff on the risks associated with allergens.

Fight against invisible biofilms: a constant challenge

Faced with the invisible threat posed by biofilms in the food industry, the implementation of control strategies is essential. These microscopic cellular clusters, invisible to the naked eye, adhere to surfaces and are highly resistant to conventional cleaning methods. The elimination of these biofilms represents a major public health and product quality issue.

Two main approaches are generally taken to counter biofilms. The first consists of preventing their formation through impeccable hygiene in production sites. This involves regular cleaning and sanitation of surfaces, as well as good management of operations.

The second approach is to eliminate them once formed. For this, the use of enzymatic solutions is recommended because they can destroy the protective matrix of the biofilm and kill the bacteria from the inside. However, their effectiveness may be limited, particularly for biofilms present in pipes.

These strategies must be part of an overall cleaning plan, with specific protocols and the use of suitable products, such as BioDetect and BioDestroy, which prevent the formation of biofilms.

Frequently asked questions about cleaning in the food industry

How important is cleaning in the food industry?

In the food industry, cleaning plays an essential role for several reasons.

Firstly, it helps eliminate dirt or contamination, whether organic (such as fat, blood, proteins) or inorganic (such as mineral salts or carbonization residue). Effective cleaning thus prevents the proliferation of unwanted microorganisms such as bacteria or viruses, guaranteeing food safety.

Second, rigorous cleaning is necessary to meet industry hygiene standards. For example, the HACCP method (Hazard Analysis – Critical Control Points) or ISO standards require a high level of cleanliness in production premises.

Finally, cleaning helps maintain a healthy working environment for employees, preventing the spread of illness and reducing the risk of accidents related to slippery surfaces or exposure to harmful substances.

When and why should you implement a cleaning plan?

Implementing a cleaning plan should be considered as soon as a food establishment opens, and reviewed regularly thereafter.

The main reason for developing such a plan is to ensure food security . It serves to prevent the risks of microbiological, chemical or physical contamination which could compromise the quality of products.

A well-designed cleaning plan also facilitates compliance with regulatory hygiene standards , such as HACCP or ISO 22000.

Finally, a cleaning plan is an essential tool for maintaining a healthy working environment for employees, eliminating the risk of exposure to harmful substances.

What are the key steps to effective cleaning?

To carry out effective cleaning, several steps must be scrupulously followed:

  • Preparation : This involves removing all debris and food residue from surfaces and equipment. To do this, you can use a jet of cold or hot water, depending on the type of dirt to be removed.
  • Cleaning : Once the surface has been prepared, clean it using a suitable detergent. This cleaning removes residual dirt and prepares the surface for disinfection.
  • Rinsing : After cleaning, a thorough rinse is necessary to remove detergent residue.
  • Disinfection : The final step is to apply a disinfectant to the cleaned surface to eliminate microbes.

These steps must be adapted according to the specificities of each industry and the standards in force.

How to choose and use a food detergent?

To choose a food detergent, several criteria must be taken into account. First, it must be approved for food use. Next, consider the type of dirt to be removed as well as the type of surface to be cleaned. Some detergents are more effective on grease while others are designed to remove proteins, for example.

When using your detergent, follow the manufacturer's instructions. Typically, the process includes the following steps:

  • Pre-cleaning
    remove large debris.
  • Application of detergent
    respect the concentration and contact time indicated.
  • Rinsing
    remove any detergent residue.
  • Drying
    allow the surface to air dry.

Remember that detergent alone does not guarantee complete elimination of microbes. It must be completed by a disinfection step.

Food machinery: cleaning and disinfection procedures

The maintenance of machines in the food industry is crucial to guarantee product quality. Cleaning and disinfection procedures are defined according to the sensitive areas of the machine, including moving parts.

To begin, soiling of machine surfaces is removed through rough cleaning, removing visible contaminants. Subsequently, a detergent solution is applied and then rinsed.

Disinfection is the next phase: it serves to reduce the microbial input on the machines, thus ensuring guaranteed decontamination. Depending on the cleaning frequency and the specifics of the machine, a final rinse may be necessary.

It is essential to follow the Data Sheets of the detergent and disinfectant used to ensure the safety of workers. This entire procedure must be documented in a cleaning and disinfection plan for optimal traceability.

What are the rules for disinfecting equipment in the food industry?

In terms of disinfection, regulations require the use of approved products, guaranteeing effective elimination of microorganisms. It is crucial to analyze the environment to determine the types of contaminants and residues to eliminate. In particular, it is necessary:

  • Opt for disinfection after cleaning, to ensure optimal action of the disinfectant.
  • Respect the contact time between the disinfectant and the surface, indicated by the manufacturer.
  • Apply a final rinse to remove disinfectant residue, especially on food contact surfaces.
  • Provide drying to avoid the proliferation of micro-organisms in a humid environment.

The use of materials and surfaces resistant to disinfection products should also be favored.