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In this third part of our six-part Blog on cleaning, we address the key question: how is the manual cleaning process typically implemented? A robust manual cleaning program is generally an integration of the best of science and management – these can be used to develop effective Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs), which should be well-understood by the employees implementing them.
The TACT circle was originally developed by Dr. Herbert Sinner in 1960. This model lists the parameters needed to remove soil from a surface. We have added two parameters, “Employees” and “Resources,” to make it a holistic model for effective cleaning.
Where a thick layer of contamination has built up on a surface, the TACTER requirements are intensified meaning, for example, that a worker would need to manually clean more intensively to effectively remove the contaminants.
Additionally, we have developed the SAVER2 model to assist you in understanding the points necessary to build a comprehensive cleaning and sanitation program:
The model takes into consideration the following important questions:
Depending on the nature of the soil, surface, and other cleaning considerations, the site may decide to conduct dry-cleaning, wet-cleaning, or controlled wet-cleaning:
Dry-cleaning, where little or no water is used, is normally practiced in environments where low water activity foods (e.g., flour, milk powder, biscuits, etc.) are manufactured. This is because the introduction of water could provide the means for microbial growth. In the absence of water particular care is required when dry cleaning to prevent the spread of allergen particles via the air. This could lead to product cross-contamination.
In wet-cleaning, water is used to remove soluble soils from the surface. This is the most common cleaning method in operations processing high water-activity foods (e.g., meat, beverages, etc.). The biggest drawbacks associated with wet cleaning in such environments are those related to the growth of microbes, and their spread (via water droplets, aerosols, standing water, condensation), and the high volumes of water used and wastewater generated.
However, in several food plants, controlled wet cleaning of smaller and dismantled pieces of equipment at a remote sanitation station is conducted, to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
Employees implementing and maintaining the cleaning program must be well-educated and trained on the cleaning tasks. For a wet-cleaning operation, these are the recommended cleaning steps:
Using the right cleaning tools and chemicals (at the correct temperatures and concentrations) is critical to ensuring effective equipment decontamination.
In our next blog, we’ll discuss how to set the frequency and locations for manual cleaning. Stay tuned!
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This blog series will go over the various ins and outs of manual cleaning and why it is necessary for the safe production of food.
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