Sanitation is a fundamental aspect of food safety, as safe food cannot be produced in the absence of hygienic conditions. Sanitation includes the methods, procedures, and chemicals used to clean food processing equipment, as well as hygienic design of facilities and equipment and food worker hygiene.
Biofilm is a colonial structure formed by microorganisms in order to survive and adapt in adverse environmental conditions. Biofilms formed by bacteria in food processing facilities can lead to transmission of disease, food contamination, spoilage of food products, and/or damage to food production surfaces.
Clean-in-place (CIP) describes systems and equipment used in food processing that can be cleaned and sanitized without being disassembled or moved. Clean-out-of-place (COP) denotes systems and equipment that must be disassembled, relocated, or specialty treated in order to clean and sanitize them.
Environmental monitoring is a process used in food processing facilities that assesses how effectively the plant is being cleaned. This typically means swabbing various surfaces for pathogens and performing a lab analysis of these samples.
Food production and processing facilities encompasses everything from processing plants to storage and warehouses to retail and foodservice outlets. It also includes the equipment used to facilitate the production, processing, transport, and distribution of food.
Pest control focuses on preventing insects and animals from entering agricultural areas, food processing facilities, storage facilities, or food shipments in transit so that harborage points are minimized and food safety and quality are not compromised.
Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOPs) are written procedures or programs used to maintain equipment and the facility environment in a sanitary condition for food processing, and are a fundamental part of a food safety plan.
The Center for Produce Safety has provided insight into an ongoing study funded by the center that is examining the efficacy of superheated steam, also known as “dry steam,” as a sanitization method for dry food production environments. The researchers are looking for industry respondents to fill out a survey on the financial realities of this technology.
Ongoing research funded by the Center for Produce Safety aims to evaluate the efficacy of commercially available sanitizers against common foodborne pathogens and biofilms encountered during tree fruit harvesting, and then conduct a validation study of the best-performing treatments at commercial facilities.
Researchers are exploring the use of superheated, dry steam to clean food manufacturing facilities where the use of traditional wet sanitation is limited, such as in produce packing facilities and low-moisture food processing plants.
Sanitation is one of the most important, if not the most important, departments in the food manufacturing plant. The actions of sanitation personnel mean that production starts the day with clean equipment and a clean environment, and this helps maintain sanitary conditions during operations to prevent food safety hazards or quality failures.
The fall and winter seasons bring new challenges for food processing facilities and the teams that work to maintain them. One of the most notable challenges they face is increased pressure from rodents that seek out food and shelter within these facilities when outside temperatures fall. A rodent infestation can lead to a facility being shut down if the problem is not addressed promptly and properly.
Many methods are available for verifying the viability of a sanitation program, and most facilities use a combination of different methods to ensure that the sanitation program is performing as expected. Pathogen environmental monitoring (PEM) programs are a key prerequisite program to a sanitation program and to any facility's overall food safety program. There is no one-size-fits-all PEM program for facilities; rather, a PEM program is based on a facility's risk factors and what product(s) the facility manufactures.
SmartWash Solutions has announced its new EPIC Panel Sterilight, a patent-pending product designed to safely and automatically kill Listeria monocytogenes and other pathogens inside control panels, which is an often-overlooked source of cross-contamination in the food industry.
On Demand:This webinar will present recent research from the University of Wisconsin–Madison demonstrating this ATP-depletion phenomenon and how processors can guard against such false negative assessments.
From this webinar, attendees will learn best practices for low-moisture/dry sanitation programs, environmental monitoring, hygienic design, and how to establish and enforce controls for Salmonella and Cronobacter.
Live Streaming at Food Safety Summit on May 9 at 1:00 pm CDT: In this session, leaders in food manufacturing sanitation will share their experience in how to increase the efficiency and precision of sanitation programs for root-cause analysis of food safety and quality issues.