No matter what kind of facilities your company operates, safety and sanitation are important – and related – concepts. Especially if your organization makes a consumable product such as food, your success and reputation rely on your ability to run sanitary facilities and create safe, hygienic products. Practices must meet and exceed government standards to avoid fines and keep your reputation strong.
About food safety and sanitation in manufacturing and distribution
Food safety and sanitation have been subject to regulatory scrutiny in recent years. The Food Safety Modernization Act, passed by the Food and Drug Administration in 2018, is designed to ensure sanitation procedures are widely enacted at all parts of the supply chain, preventing contaminated food from reaching consumers.
The idea of sanitation in manufacturing has received an extra jolt from the novel coronavirus pandemic. Cleanliness has a major role to play in stopping the spread of infectious diseases through the population, and this has made manufacturers consider food handling and sanitation practices more carefully than ever before.
5 food sanitation and safety best practices
Keeping every part of your supply chain – every facility and transportation link – free of sanitation violations and risks requires a constant effort from all levels of your organization. Companies can't afford to take a lackadaisical approach to food safety sanitation and hygiene. The following are a few elements to remember when designing policies that will keep your company compliant and your customers safe.
Ensure your loading dock areas are maintained effectively
Sanitation violations can occur at any point in the supply chain, including on the loading dock, once products have been loaded for transit. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that leaving food on a loading dock for a long time can contaminate the goods if they are meant to be refrigerated. This means your dock needs to have its equipment in good working order at all times – a breakdown may result in spoilage and sanitation violations.
Maintain the cold chain
Related to the need to keep refrigerated goods from sitting out for too long, you must also make certain the storage areas designed to hold these products are consistently cold enough to prevent them from spoiling. Best food safety and sanitation practices demand constant attention to the cold chain. Your facility's doors should close tightly enough to keep cold air in, and other assets such as fans to circulate air need to function correctly at all times. Proactive maintenance on this equipment is an essential item on your safety checklist.
Sanitize equipment thoroughly
Keeping equipment in top condition doesn't just mean making sure every part works mechanically. Facility Executive offered a reminder that despite the complicated nature of original equipment manufacturers' cleaning and sanitization standards, your personnel should have the training and the time to perform these instructions perfectly. Supervisors must be certain this cleansing is part of standard procedures on the floor to prevent contamination. An incident with dirty machinery could incur fines and stain your organization's reputation on a lasting basis.
Work on waste disposal procedures and equipment
Getting waste out of your facility in a controlled and orderly manner is a way to help food sanitation and food safety. The equipment used to compact and dispose of waste must be kept in top condition, to ensure unsanitary material doesn't back up. Operational bottlenecks regarding the safe and sanitary disposal of waste are to be avoided, and you should make sure there are widely known policies in place to ensure every piece of machinery is being used correctly, and employees are maintaining personal hygiene after handling garbage.
Train employees and maintain high standards
Workers don't stand a fair chance of meeting food safety and sanitation guidelines in your facilities when they haven't been trained in these concepts. You should set aside time to train every worker who makes contact with potentially contaminated goods, and supervisors should make a point of enforcing these practices. Internal regulations around safety and sanitation should extend to the care of equipment. If your assets are not being maintained and kept clean, employees may be powerless to stop contamination.
You should always strive to operate a well-maintained facility, where every asset and piece of equipment works as it should and policies are in place to encourage hygiene and safety. In such an environment, maintaining sanitation and preventing contamination are natural parts of operations. Working with trained service professionals on a proactive maintenance strategy is an effective way to reach this level of performance.
Miner is working hard to support companies as they strive to create the most sanitary and safest possible environment for their employees – reach out for a free safety assessment to see how this applies to your organization. Additionally, our partner organization TrueSource's cleaning and janitorial services can give your team members the confidence that you are looking out for their health – find out more.