Ensuring factories are cleaned and disinfected effectively is a fundamental prerequisite for the safe production of food and drinks. Consequently, having access to expert guidance on the subject is essential.
One of the great things about working for an organisation like Vikan is that I get to support the food industry and advance food safety through many different avenues. During 2019 I was involved with a one year CampdenBRI Member funded research project to update their Guideline 55: Cleaning and disinfection of food factories: a practical guide.
The first addition of Guideline 55 was published by CampdenBRI in 2008. The guidance it provided was based on the knowledge and expertise of food manufacturers and cleaning chemical and equipment suppliers, who were assembled by CampdenBRI (as a working party) to provide food industry best practice and advice on cleaning and disinfection. I was working in the Food Hygiene Dept. at Campden at the time, and helped facilitate these professionals, including those from Vikan, to produce the original Guideline 55.
The guideline was designed to help the food industry understand various aspects of cleaning and disinfection, including:
- how to select the appropriate chemicals – based on differences in equipment, facilities and ingredients/foods being handled;
- the various methods of cleaning and disinfection;
- how to build cleaning schedules;
- the timing and frequency of cleaning;
- the order in which different stages of cleaning and disinfection should be carried out; and
- how to monitor factory cleanliness.
Guideline 55 was also designed to help food manufacturers comply with EU regulation 852/2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs, and 853/2004; and consider the costs and consequences of not cleaning properly and/or frequently enough.