According to the World Health Organisation, about 600 million people worldwide fall sick from contaminated food each year. This finding shows the importance of cleaning and sanitising in food businesses. Anything from facility moisture to airborne debris can form harmful bacteria that could impact the end product.
It is the responsibility of the food operations manager to ensure that everything in the facility complies with the official contamination policy. In order to limit the food contamination, the management should take preventive measures and precautions.
Here are the significant causes of cross-contamination:-
- People – One of the significant causes of cross-contamination is personals who are involved in processing the food. If a worker handles food without gloves and handles other food without washing the hand properly, food can become contaminated.
- Equipment – Unclean equipment can also cause cross-contamination
- Food – Raw food materials can cause cross-contamination when they come in contact with other food products.
Here is how you can prevent contamination and cross-contamination in food processing facilities:-
Cleaning and sanitising
Effective cleaning and sanitising procedures can help to prevent bacteria from spreading onto food products. However, the efficiency of industrial cleaning must be inspected regularly and ensure every person involved in food processing follow cleaning policies. High risk areas should always be cleaned and sanitised first.
Ensure all equipment and machinery are deep cleaned and sanitised with the right cleaning equipment. Also, appliances like refrigeration equipment, heating and cooling unit, ventilation, drains, contact surfaces, drains, and plant equipment need to be properly cleaned and maintained well to prevent outbreaks.
You could use the stainless steel shell and tube heat exchangers. Since the alloy can handle intense cleaners and daily cleanings, it helps to prevent bacterial contamination. Moreover, stainless steel can last long and be easily cleaned than other metal.
Ensure ramps and carts are clean
Every food facility manager’s responsibility is to keep the facility clean and sanitised to prevent contamination. However, sometimes it is hard to know which parts are necessary to clean. Ramps that are used to moves carts with food products should be regularly cleaned and sanitised to prevent excess moisture. This same thing applies to the ramp ways that enter and exit the freezer as well.
Train your employees
Preventing food contamination is not just about focusing on policies and practices but also on whether your employees understand why it is important or not. Your employees must receive regular training on food safety. You need to conduct the session regularly and follow-ups to make sure your workforce understands the significance of preventing food contamination and cross-contamination.
Cross-contamination can also be prevented by separating the food items that transfer bacteria from other foods. So, implementing colour coding can be easier to segregate work areas and prevent contamination. It is of utmost importance that employees should uphold the highest standards to ensure food safety apart from cleaning and sanitising in food businesses.