If you’re a food processing business, it’s important to be on the front foot when it comes to food safety and sanitisation procedures. This means being across the best practices in food manufacturing cleaning, including knowing about the different cleaning methods available. It is important to understand the goal you want to achieve and design your cleaning plan appropriately. We’ll outline the two main types: wet and dry cleaning, and discuss where each method is appropriate.
Cleaning v Sanitisation
It’s important to remember that cleaning and sanitising are two separate things, however both are essential in keeping a clean and hygienic facility. Both processes are defined by the Food Standards Code.
Cleaning is the removal of soil particles from surfaces by mechanical, manual or chemical methods. For example, wiping down a work surface or sweeping the floor. Sanitising is the treatment of a clean surface with a chemical or physical agent to destroy bacteria. An example would be treating the wiped down work surface with a sanitising solution. Sanitisation promotes a state of hygiene that prevents foodborne illnesses.
Both steps are equally important – sanitising cannot take place if your equipment has not been cleaned effectively.
What is Dry Cleaning?
You may think dry cleaning and think about shirts and pants. But dry cleaning is a method used in food processing environments where moisture should be kept to a minimum, such a grain and cereal processors and dry storage facilities. Water and moisture can speed up the process of bacteria growth, especially in areas that can’t be dried effectively.
Dry cleaning and sanitisation can be done via a number of methods, including vacuuming with Hepa air filters, dry brushes and mops, alcohol-based cleaners, and dry or low-moisture steam cleaning.
Facilities such as bakeries may benefit from the use of dry cleaning. In a traditionally dusty environment, the introduction of water and wet chemicals may make the process harder than it needs to be.
What is Wet Cleaning?
Wet cleaning is the most common method of food processing cleaning, particularly in facilities such as meat processing facilities. It involves:
- Cleaning up loose debris,
- Pre-rinsing with ambient water,
- Cleaning and scrubbing with specific cleaning chemicals,
- Rinsing, and
What Method is Best for Our Facility?
Each facility is different, which means each facility will require a different method. Some facilities may benefit from dry cleaning, but many other facilities, especially those such as meat processors, will require wet cleaning. It may also be that certain parts of your facility will benefit from different methods. This is why it is best to speak to your cleaning team to ensure the best method is being used for your particular site.
Orbit Cleaning Service Australia are commercial cleaners with over 30 years of experience, specialising in the food manufacturing industry. We take pride in our high-quality cleaning services, tailored specifically to the needs of our clients.