A question we get asked a LOT about is the use of sponges and scourers for cleaning and, like most things in the food industry, the answer should be based on risk assessment.
Overall, the use of sponges and scourers is NOT something we would recommend. This is because they,
However, we do know that they are widely used by the food industry and that, sometimes, there really is no better alternative for removing a hazardous soil.
Consequently, the advice we would offer is,
We would always recommend that,
Over the last couple of years a few alternatives to the traditional sponge/scourer have appeared on the market. Some do now claim to be food contact compliant, reduce surface abrasion, and be more durable (reduced foreign body risk from the sponge/scourer itself). However, fundamentally, all surface cleaning options should be risk assessed and would still require proper management to ensure that microbial, allergen and foreign body hazards are controlled.
As an alternative from our range, we would recommend food contact compliant, short stiff bristled hand brushes.
These will be more durable and less abrasive to the surface but will still need to be managed in the same way as the sponge/scourer, with the exception that they could be cleaned and disinfected (even sterilised if required) after use and be re-used.
They can also be selected in colours that contrast with the food type being produced, so that any foreign bodies they create are easier to see and remove.
You might also find the study found at this link interesting!
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