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Drains can present specific challenges to the overall sanitation efforts within food sites. A UK-funded study conducted by CampdenBRI revealed that at least 25% of samples taken from drains in the high-risk ready-to-eat food production areas tested positive for L. monocytogenes. Drains can act as collection and harborage points for contaminants such as microbial pathogens and biofilms. From drains, these contaminants can grow and spread to other areas of the facilities and eventually reach food products.
Furthermore, unhygienic and dirty drains may create pest problems in a facility. They can also become clogged and build a pool of contaminants and water, which can be a health and safety hazard. Good drain design, regular cleaning and disinfection, and maintenance of drains are crucial for better sanitation.
The designs of drains can greatly determine how they should be cleaned. Two of the most common types are trench and pot drains.
Using adequate sanitation resources (as mentioned above), remove gross debris and rinse the cover with low-pressure water. Remove the drain cover and foul air trap and soak them in a detergent bath according to the manufacturer's instructions.
After a glove change, debris should be removed from the drain itself. It should then be rinsed with low-pressure potable water to remove any other dirt. Then, workers should scrub and deep clean the drain using manual cleaning tools like pipe and tube brushes. After that, a final rinse, inspection, and disinfection of all the surfaces and disassembled parts should happen before reassembly. Once the trap and cover are replaced, they should be rinsed with low-pressure clean water and then disinfected. Any excess liquid should be removed using a squeegee.
Dirty drains within the food processing zone or near food equipment are the priority when creating a cleaning schedule, as they may contaminate food products. Because drain cleaning tools will be in an area where food-contact tools are, they should preferably be color-coded to prevent cross-contamination. Tools can be of any identifiable color since there is no set standard, but we recommend black for drain tools.
Drain tools must also be stored separately. We recommend color-coded shadow boards or wall brackets. Note that the drain tools must be appropriately cleaned, disinfected, dried after use, and stored at a designated location.
We suggest that sites have a strong program for managing drain and floor tools. This program should include selecting, using, and maintaining the tools, such as cleaning, inspecting, replacing, and storing them.
Drain tools ideally have the following features:
When in doubt, remember that not all drains are created equally, and the drain manufacturer’s instructions could be a good reference point to use when developing your drain sanitation program.
Remco and Vikan provide a wide range of drain tools and solutions that have been successfully used within food facilities and in areas where hygiene is critical. For more information, visit our website.
Product durability can be considered a great asset when it comes to sustainability. By following a few simple guidelines on how to manage your Vikan tools, you can prolong their lifespan even further.
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