No food business owner wants to have a dirty kitchen or factory floor, and often they aren’t aware that they do. Seemingly small issues pose serious risks of contamination and disease spreading which can be easily diverted through adequate commercial cleaning services. There’s three main risks that come from leaving your food manufacturing facilities unhygienic:
- Inspection risk
- Negligence risk
- Reputational risk
We’ll cover all three in this article, and go over the importance of choosing a commercial cleaner with specialist food industry experience and training to ensure you meet industry standards and minimise your risks.
The risk of failing a food safety audit from state or council officials is of particular concern to food manufacturers and restaurateurs alike. In 2017, City Orchids Garden in Melbourne recorded multiple convictions and was fined $30,000 for food health violations. Such fines can totally wipe out a smaller business, threaten the future operations of the business and tarnish its reputation, which can take years to rebuild. Often, restaurants are picked up for seemingly tiny, completely avoidable issues. It is therefore vital to choose a commercial cleaner that regularly audits and has developed a comprehensive cleaning checklist for your site to ensure any issues are picked up immediately.
Food safety inspectors differ from state to state, so it’s important you select a commercial cleaner that’s familiar with the auditing regime in your state and council area. Fortunately for our clients, we conduct regular auditing to ensure our team are meeting the relevant standards and aren’t letting anything slip by unnoticed. As commercial cleaners with specialised food industry experience, we make sure to keep on top of changes to food health and safety obligations, guidelines and inspection criteria.
Worse than a failed inspection, having hazardous food products leaving your facilities can open the door to negligence claims, class actions and other legal nightmares. One of the most common causes of commercial food poisoning is cross contamination through dirty surfaces in the manufacturing and processing facilities. One of the most notable recent cases was that of the Samaan family, who were awarded $8 million in compensation from KFC after salmonella caused brain damage to their young daughter.
While every food manufacturer, processor or restaurateur has no intention of causing harm to consumers, accidents can happen, and the risks are high in the commercial food industry. If your facilities aren’t cleaned to industry standards with foreseeable risks accounted for, you may have an increased likelihood of being found liable for negligence in the event of food poisoning. Commercial food manufacturers are often held to a higher standard of care. As a result, all health risks that are reasonably foreseeable need to be mitigated.
Obviously the first two points discussed tie into this, but there can be reputational risk without lawsuits or inspections from food safety authorities. This is of particular concern in the restaurant industry, where poor reviews can destroy the reputation of your business. It’s important, however, not just to see reputational risk solely as an issue arising from customers; unhygienic work environments can lead to employee dissatisfaction and a culture of haphazard cleaning standards can make the problem slip further.
Risk aversion through Orbit Cleaning
Our cleaning services are guaranteed to meet industry cleaning standards as part of our ISO 9001 certification, as we put in processes to ensure our team produce consistent results. We’re trained in specialised cleaning techniques and logging processes unique to the food industry, minimising the potential for cross contamination. To go the extra mile, we conduct regular swab testing, audits, and use a team of experienced cleaning professionals, each trained specifically for your facilities. We leave no stone unturned in minimising inspection, negligence and reputational risks.
In addition to being ISO 9001 certified, we’re certified to meet Codex Alimentarius’ Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) standards for food safety. Those familiar in the food industry are likely aware of HACCP, but what you may not know is that not all commercial cleaners in the industry are HACCP certified. When choosing a commercial cleaner to work on equipment and facilities involved in the handling and production of food, it is vital that you choose a commercial cleaner that is HACCP certified.