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We work extensively with food manufacturers who supply direct to retailers. It’s a unique market in that a large proportion of its manufactured food products are ready-to-eat, preservative free and with a shelf life of typically 3-10 days, and it is dependent on food hygiene systems to control pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms. Secondly, the market is heavily audited by food retailers, either via their own standards or via the Global Food Safety Initiative compliant, British Retail Consortium (BRC) Global Standards audit (http://www.brcglobalstandards.com/).
Therefore cleaning and disinfection (sanitation) programmes must be effective at controlling (primarily microbiological) hazards and be audit compliant.
Our teams advise and work closely with customers as all food production processes, both equipment and surfaces become contaminated with food residues, foreign bodies and microbial contamination. The removal and control of these contaminants, soil, is the process of sanitation. Cleaning and disinfection should always be considered an essential and an integral part of the production process and a prerequisite of a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points system. We help them develop a company hygiene policy and ensure that within this there are provisions for an effective approach to the hygiene management system. The cleaning and disinfection methods for the site need to be developed using a hazard analysis approach. BRC and Retailer Codes of Practice require the food manufacturers to document this assessment and the ten steps bellow outline the points that constitute a cleaning and disinfection management programme.
Identify Hazards, Determine Objectives and Set the Standards Required
Evaluation of Cleaning & Disinfection Requirements
Define Cleaning & Disinfection Methods
Conduct Health and Safety Risk Assessments
Validation and Target Setting
Create Cleaning Instruction Card (CIC) System
Train & Communicate
Verification & Monitoring
Audit & Review
Working to the 10-point plan can help ensure that all the identified hazards can be controlled by best practice, validated methods that are appropriately monitored, verified and recorded. Adherence to the management plan should also ensure that the plan is compliant with all internal and retailer audit requirements.