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While each food manufacturing facility is different, there are basic steps that should be carried out each time. Food safety is paramount when it comes to food manufacturing. An unsafe facility can lead to food-borne illnesses, which in turn can create legal and reputational issues for your business.

At Orbit Cleaning Services Australia, we have over 30 years of experience in cleaning food manufacturing businesses. Below we’ll look at the basic steps in cleaning food processing equipment, and how you can ensure you are meeting the standards required.

What are the steps for cleaning food processing equipment?

When cleaning a food processing facility, the easiest way to clean is to tackle it from smallest to largest: from visible scraps of food down to small germs and particles.

While there may be some variation across different facilities, there are a number of steps that are consistent across most plants. These are:

  1. Pre-Wash
  2. Sweeping
  3. Foaming
  4. Scrubbing
  5. Washing
  6. Sanitising

Step 1 – Pre-Wash

Before the washing and scrubbing can begin, there are a number of things you should complete first. Make sure you have all your equipment and protective clothing. Empty any scrap bins, wipe down the walls of the facility. Remove any visible debris or scraps from equipment with hot water.

Step 2 – Sweeping

Once your pre-wash steps have been completed, it is important to sweep up all loose debris on the floor, into a pile for easy removal.

Step 3 – Foaming

During this step, the walls, floor, and equipment should be covered with a foam cleaning product. The product selected should be appropriate for food manufacturing, and for your particular facility. At Orbit Cleaning, we use Ecolab products and select the one best suited to the job.

Step 4 – Scrubbing

This step is very straightforward. All surfaces should be thoroughly scrubbed to ensure any stuck particles of food are loosened.

Step 5 – Washing

Once all equipment and surfaces have been scrubbed, they should all then be rinsed with hot water, until the water runs clear. Once you are satisfied that all the foam has been removed, a torch or flashlight should be used to inspect the equipment. This is to ensure all traces of food have been removed.

Step 6 – Sanitising

The final step is arguably one of the most important steps in the process. Once you are satisfied that the equipment is free of food debris and thoroughly cleaned, a sanitising solution should be applied to the equipment, ensuring 100% coverage. When undertaking sanitisation, it is important to ensure the manufacturer guidelines are adhered to. Failure to do this can impact the effectiveness of the product. Once the sanitisation process has been completed, APT or swab testing should be used to inspect the surfaces to confirm surfaces are free from contaminants.

How often should food processing equipment be cleaned?

How often you are cleaning your equipment will be dependent on the facility. However, as a general rule, your facility should be cleaned at the end of each manufacturing day, as a minimum. The frequency of cleaning should be discussed with your cleaning team when initially putting together your cleaning plan.

Orbit Cleaning Services Australia specialises in commercial cleaning, specifically for food and meat processing plants. Having a cleaning team that understands the processes and standards of the industry is vital to ensuring the safety of your employees, your customers and your business’ reputation. To book in for your obligation free quote, contact our team on 1300 660 699.