A Comprehensive Guide to Cleaning Your Food Processing Plant

Food processing plants play a crucial role in maintaining impeccable standards of cleanliness and sanitation. It is the responsibility of these facilities to adhere to the best practices in food plant sanitation to safeguard food safety, protect workers, and ensure consumer wellbeing. Neglecting proper cleaning and sanitization can lead to health hazards, such as foodborne illnesses and the rapid spread of bacteria and viruses due to cross-contamination.

In the era of COVID-19, the stakes are even higher, with the need to prevent infection spread among workers in food processing plants. An outbreak can result in reduced productivity, increased worker absenteeism, and a loss of trust from the public. In extreme cases, the facility may face temporary closure for thorough sanitization and disinfection. To mitigate these risks, it is imperative to understand and implement effective cleaning and sanitation procedures in the food industry.


Cleaning Your Food Processing Plant:

The cornerstone of a successful cleaning and sanitation program is educating workers on safety protocols to prevent cross-contamination, bacterial growth, and the spread of airborne viruses. While many food processing plants have dedicated sanitation teams, it is wise to empower all workers to contribute to cleanliness on the production floor. Although disinfection is more effective at pathogen elimination, FDA guidelines mandate sanitization of all food-contact surfaces after each use.


Sanitize Food Contact Surfaces:

Food contact surfaces inevitably become soiled during food preparation and cooking. It is essential to clean and sanitize these areas after every use during the workday. Reserve the use of disinfectants for the end of the workday, as potent chemicals could affect food quality. 

Maintaining these standards will minimize the risk of food cross-contamination and promote a healthy environment for both workers and consumers. Proper sanitation of food processing equipment is equally crucial, as discussed below.


Keep Food Processing Equipment Sanitized:

Food processing equipment encounters the same food products as flat work surfaces. Therefore, the cleaning standards are identical. Hot soapy water, sanitizers, and disinfectants are effective at eliminating harmful pathogens on smaller items such as knives and containers. 

Equipment used in food production should remain clean throughout the day and undergo thorough daily scrubbing. Larger processing equipment should be treated with FDA-approved sanitizers and disinfectants. Ensure a dedicated storage area for equipment, which should also be regularly sanitized when not in use.


Maintain Clean Storage Areas:

Properly cleaned equipment should be the only items placed in storage to avoid contamination. The shelving and storage stations must be as clean as the equipment they hold. Clean and sanitize these stations with appropriate disinfection products specific to the facility’s needs before returning food equipment. Regular maintenance of these areas can be entrusted to professionals like iNX Commercial Cleaning Solutions.


Sanitize Walls and Floors:

Even though walls and floors are not directly involved in food processing, they are integral to food plant sanitation. Throughout the workday, promptly address any spills, splashes, or crumbs on walls and floors by sanitizing, sweeping, and wiping them down. After production hours, mop and sanitize the floors thoroughly. Neglecting these surfaces can lead to health issues among workers or consumers due to cross-contamination.


Leave You Food Processing Plant to the Experts at iNX

Food processing sanitation is paramount for ensuring consumer health and safety. With food recalls on the rise, plant owners must prioritize cleanliness to protect their businesses and prevent foodborne illnesses. To safeguard your facility, workers, and reputation, consider enlisting the expertise of professionals like the iNX Commercial Cleaning Solutions team.

With over 20 years of experience in manufacturing cleaning, we are well-versed in various industries, including food processing. Contact iNX Commercial Cleaning solutions by filling out the form below to schedule your cleaning and maintain the highest sanitation standards in your food processing plant.