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Cleaning in the Food Industry

In general, the requirements of food industry cleaning processes are much stricter those of any other type of cleaning process in any other industry. In some cases, they are similar to the methods used in the pharmaceutical industry.

In addition, Tot-Net has the technical capacity and the necessary resources to help our clients in their most important Certification processes, such as the IFS (International Food Standard) and BRC (British Retail Consortium) quality seals or similar, as well as to have the appropriate Hygiene Plans.

 
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Technical Cleaning

At Tot-Net, we understand technical cleaning to be that which complements ordinary cleaning in the different spaces and sectors where the service is provided: machinery, equipment and industrial installations are usually the preferred areas of action. 

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Call us on 900 330 099 or write to us and tell us what you need. 

We strive to provide each client with a unique and personalised service. You will get a tailor-made cleaning quote adapted to your needs. 

questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know

In 2004, the European Union published a series of legislative measures known as the “hygiene package”, which can be considered as the main manual for cleaning and disinfection in the food industry. Its aim is to ensure safer food. It was a far-reaching regulatory reform and became fully applicable from 2006. The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety is continuously examining issues related to the implementation and interpretation of this package. The outcome of the ongoing discussions is reflected in documents published on the DG SANTE website.

Contact us for more information.

In order to determine the minimum requirements for cleaning and disinfection processes in the food industry, new certification systems such as BRC or IFS are increasingly being introduced. In order to comply with them, establishments must first of all have adequate facilities for these tasks and for the storage of utensils and work equipment. Their materials must be corrosion-resistant and the rooms must be laid out in such a way that they are easy to clean (also in cold storage rooms). An essential requirement is that there is a sufficient supply of potable hot and cold water (in areas where product handling is common, hand washing facilities should also be used) and that liquid retention on the floor can be avoided (there should be a sufficient slope to the drain, avoiding the outflow of waste into the general drainage system if necessary).

Cleaning and disinfection in the dairy industry must be taken with special care, as it is a food product of animal origin and consumed daily by a large part of the population, contamination due to lack of hygiene can easily lead to a huge health risk. This would particularly affect, for example, growing consumers, whose immune system is more vulnerable and whose consumption habits are higher.

The cleaning service in food industry facilities has flourished towards an increasingly technical aspect based on the new requirements of health regulations. The minimum requirements of their work processes have also increased over the years due to the imposition of new international certification systems. The following are the quality standards that cleaning companies in the food industry must achieve in their services. Their certification is intended to generate the greatest possible confidence in the customer, being a competitive advantage in the market:

– ISO: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has a general consultative status granted by the UN. It establishes a series of good hygiene practices by means of a food safety management system through the ISO 22000: 2018 Standard. It establishes requirements for any organisation in the food chain.

– IFS: The International Featured Standards (IFS), formerly known as International Food Standards, is an organisation in charge of developing standards in production and distribution processes in the food sector. Its accreditation criteria are based on the EN 45011 standard. In 2018 the modified version IFS Food 6.1 came into force. Version 7 is currently being developed in accordance with the new Codex Alimentarius principles. Its publication depends on the evaluation of the European Accreditation Forum (EA).

– BRC: The British Retail Consortium, like IFS, was created to standardise food production processes. Version 8 has been in force since 2019, which seeks to standardise all these processes by promoting transparency.

The regulations to be followed by a cleaning company for the food industry are based on Article 43 of the Spanish Constitution. This attributes to the Public Authorities the competences to watch over public health by applying preventive measures.

The type of detergent to be used in cleaning and disinfection in the food industry will depend on the type of dirt to be cleaned. Likewise, and according to the pH of each one, we can group detergents into three different groups:

        Acids. Their effectiveness is based on the elimination of inorganic residues such as calcareous incrustations or traces of rust.
        Alkaline. They prevent the formation of limescale deposits and are effective in the removal of organic residues.
        Neutral. Used in manual cleaning processes involving the cleaning of floors or surfaces.
On the other hand, the amount of foam generated by these detergents must be taken into account, as it can cause operational problems in circuits and tanks, which can lengthen the rinsing time.

For more information on the types of detergents used in cleaning and disinfection in the food industry, please do not hesitate to contact our sales department.

Cleaning and disinfection in the food industry is an important part of the safety system. Faulty or inadequate cleaning procedures have sometimes been identified as contributing to outbreaks of food poisoning.

There are therefore some important reasons for keeping kitchens and other food production premises clean and sanitised, which are listed below:

        Elimination of disease-causing pathogenic organisms which consequently help prevent food poisoning.


        Prevention of pest infestation such as mice, rats, flies, cockroaches and birds. Cleaning and disinfection will remove food debris on which pests can live, as well as eliminating pathogens that pests may have introduced into the facility.


        Reduction of the risk of cross-contamination by pathogens, e.g. by indirect contamination of raw food or ready-to-eat meats.


        Reduced risk of contamination of food by allergens such as nuts or seeds.


         Reduced risk of penetration of physical contaminants into the food to be consumed: dirt, hairs, or remnants of packaging materials.


         Reducing the risk of accidents, such as tripping over spills and food waste.


        Creation of a pleasant working environment.


    Compliance with food hygiene laws. Failure to carry out proper cleaning and disinfection can lead to illness or even death of food consumers and prosecution of food business operators.

The main objective of the system used for cleaning in the food industry is the removal of all large residues on the surface of the equipment. For this purpose, a detergent suitable for this type of cleaning is used so that the layer of dirt and bacteria is removed from the surface to be cleaned. This is followed by rinsing with water to completely remove any remaining dirt and detergent residues. Finally, the equipment is disinfected, if required by the customer.

Yes. On 29 April 2004, an EU regulation – 852/2004 – was published, obliging companies to set up, implement and maintain a cleaning and disinfection system in the food industry based on the so-called “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points”.

In order to correctly carry out the procedures in a cleaning and disinfection programme in the food industry, several methods – physical and chemical – can be used, consisting of the following:

  •  The removal of residues found on large surfaces.
  • The application of a detergent-based solution to help remove layers of dirt and bacteria.
  • Rinsing with water to remove detergent residues and adhering dirt.
  • Thorough disinfection of the area or equipment that requires it.
  • If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact us.

A cleaning and disinfection programme in the food industry preserves the safety of the food produced by extending its shelf life. It is therefore essential that all equipment, instruments and utensils that come into direct contact with foodstuffs are in good hygienic condition to prevent cross-contamination.

Cleaning of cold stores in the food industry should always be carried out when they are empty of food. Hot water and plenty of soap should be used and then rinsed with water only. Dry sweeping is strictly forbidden in order to avoid raising dust that may settle in inaccessible areas.

Cleanliness in the food industry must be prioritised in order to make it the main habit. To this end, a series of plans must be drawn up and led by the company’s food safety and quality management manager in close collaboration with the cleaning suppliers.

Yes, validation of cleaning in the food industry is necessary, as it ensures that the processes, procedures and methods used are effective and deliver the expected results. However, this should not be confused with verification or monitoring.

The presence of microorganisms such as moulds and yeasts or mycobacteria makes it necessary to use disinfectants suitable for the food industry. These disinfectants must be specific for the treatment of these bacteria, as some of them may become resistant to these products in some cases.

The main cleaning utensils for the food industry include food contact gloves, shoe covers, antimicrobial products, spatulas, brushes, dustpans, scrapers, disinfectant mats, mops, moppers, hand brushes and pipe brushes.

According to the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point regulations, the specific use of products for cleaning in the food industry is necessary. Consequently, degreasing products, disinfectants and detergents that fully comply with HACCP regulations, that are approved and that have health registration and quality control will be used.

Are you interested in our services or would you like to make an enquiry? We are here to help you.