A sanitary processing environment is essential to food safety, and ensuring a sanitary plant means implementing cleaning standards as well as sanitation standards. Thus, attaining a sanitary environment involves seven essential steps:.
Inspection, Identification, and Equipment Breakdown Prior to beginning the cleaning program, equipment should be broken down, and an inspection conducted to identify any areas needing particular attention and select the application methods "Sanitation standard operating procedures fdating" chemicals to be used.
While a plant will generally have for selection, it is also important to determine if any extenuating conditions exist that may require extra cleaning or sanitation, different detergent or sanitizer, or other variation. Sweeping, Scraping, and Flushing The first step in the cleaning and sanitation is, then, the physical removal of gross solids and large particles.
This could include the use of brooms and scrapers or simply physical lifting and disposing of items. The more food residues removed ahead of time, the cleaner the wash water will stay.
This is often followed by flushing or rinsing of the surfaces to remove as much of the solids and particles prior to cleaning as possible. Washing The second step of cleaning is the application of a detergent. This may be applied manually, but a mechanical foamer is generally preferred, Parker said. Manufacturer directions for dilution rates and contact time should be used, then physical cleaning conducted to scrub the surfaces.
If operating in a dry facility, equipment and components may instead be cleaned with alcohol or other solvents that evaporate over time. Rinsing Following washing, a potable-water rinse is conducted to ensure that all the detergent is removed.
The rinse step is critical because detergent residues will neutralize many sanitizers. Detergents are alkaline, whereas most sanitizers are acidic; detergents have a negative charge, while most sanitizers have a positive charge.
At this point, more and more companies are also conducting a validation step, Parker said. That is, using ATP testing in a system to measure the effectiveness. A variety of applications are used for sanitizing processing environments, from heat to chemical disinfectants. The most common of these are chlorine-based, sodium hypochloride, commonly known as bleach. Some may be more corrosive, others more effective in hard water, and others more easily
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Selection should, thus, be based on the materials to be treated and available time, e. And, just as with detergents, sanitizers should be applied at the concentration and contact time recommended by the manufacturer. These, he said, can be left on the surfaces for several hours and still maintain their effectiveness. As with detergents, rinse-off sanitizers should be completely rinsed from surfaces prior to operational start-up, and label directions should be followed for dry time for leave-on sanitizers.
Validation and Verification Validation should be conducted through both visual inspection and protein swabs. Additionally, MDA recommends that all cleaning and sanitizing procedures be regularly monitored for effectiveness, through pre-operational inspections or audits and microbial sampling of the environment and food-contact surfaces. Verification criteria should include that no visible residue be present and micro counts be within acceptable Sanitation standard operating procedures fdating. Then staff should be trained, not only on the SSOPs, but on chemical safety and effectiveness, and the importance of the final validation and corrective action for any remaining allergens, soils, or micros.
The author is Editor of QA magazine. She can be reached at llupo gie. If a line-up of homemade and processed potato salads were to be sampled by a random group of consumers, in most cases, the tasters would be able to distinguish the homemade from the store bought.
This is primarily because the preservatives that need to be added to processed salads also add distinguishing characteristics. HPP is not a new process, but its use with foods is still evolving. It has been used in the medical industry and some food ingredients for a number of years, but it was only "Sanitation standard operating procedures fdating" that Sandridge became one of the first companies in the U.
Since all harmful bacteria are destroyed, food stays fresher much longer, allowing us to eliminate the use of preservatives and expand our distribution. For the consumer this means great tasting products with a wider variety of ingredients and ultimate food safety. But HPP is just one of the innovative and quality practices employed at Sandridge.
The company has five full-time chefs on staff to develop recipes. It has won numerous awards for innovation, including a Edison Center Award for Excellence from the Center of Innovative Food Technology, for which it was also presented with a Resolution from the Ohio House of Representatives. Managers and chefs take annual trips to Europe and other parts of the U. And the company maintains a firm hold on the brand promise that has brought its success: That is, Sandridge said, a foodservice or retail customer can place an order in the morning and have the food in the store or restaurant that night.
To maintain this commitment to freshness and flexibility, the company chooses to remain a regional brand. While it does ship some product to the West coast through its national contracts, its primary distribution is east of the Mississippi, maintaining an area to which product can be shipped within 24 hours. For the same reason, the company concentrates only on fresh refrigerated prepared foods. Mark Sandridge is the second-generation leader of this family company and his primary goal is to continue its success for passage on to
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With that intent, Sandridge was not one to lay low and
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HPP is, in fact, a very old technology dating back tobut it only started being used in food products about six years ago, Sandridge said.
In a visit to a meat processing plant, Sandridge Senior Director of Food Safety and Quality Joel Riegelmayer saw the equipment being used and thought it may work for Sandridge products as well, so he proposed the idea.
One-half the product was put into a pouch and run through the HPP system, then refrigerated. Testing was continued, and even after 65 days, the product still had no bacterial growth, Sandridge said.
In comparison, the half of the product that was not put through HPP spoiled in seven days. It was quickly realized that the system would enable the company to make a product more like that which a consumer makes at home and commercialize it with no chemicals, preservatives, or accelerators, he said.
Rather, as the company has always done, it uses only quality ingredients and follows strict sanitation standards and GMPs. High Pressure Processing provides an alternative means of killing bacteria that can cause spoilage or foodborne disease without a loss of sensory quality or nutrients. HPP is a method of food processing where food is subjected to elevated pressures up to 87, pounds per square inch or approximately 6, atmosphereswith or without the addition of heat, to achieve microbial inactivation or to alter the food attributes in order to achieve consumer-desired qualities.
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