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Cleaning and Sanitation

Development – To define detail, scope and purpose.

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Training participants will gain a basic understanding of Cleaning and Sanitation and its applications within food safety and quality systems. Basic knowledge competency will be verified through successful completion of the accompanying Cleaning and Sanitation assessment activity. Basic skill competency can be verified through the Cleaning and Sanitation competency checklist available as a resource for this training activity.

Key Definitions For Cleaning and Sanitation
- Allergen: A normally harmless substance which creates a reaction in the body of a sensitive individual.
- Adenosine triphosphate or ATP: Adenosine triphosphate is a substance present in all cells. ATP is formed when energy is released from food during cell metabolism. ATP Bioluminescence is a method commonly used in food businesses to verify the effectiveness of Cleaning and Sanitation activities.
- Cleaning: Cleanliness is the absence of dirt, including dust, stains, bad smells and garbage. Cleaning is the situation in which something is cleaned.
- Cross Contact: Description of the incidence of allergenic materials becoming part of a foodstuff or process not specified to contain that foodstuff as a declared ingredient.
- Cross Contamination: Description of the incidence of an unwanted material becoming part of a foodstuff or process.
- Detergent: A detergent is a synthetic material intended to assist cleaning, including the removal of dirt and oil. The term is sometimes used to differentiate between soap and other surfactants used for cleaning.
- Detritus: Detritus is the remains of organic or inorganic materials that have been destroyed or broken up.
- pH: From potential of Hydrogen. The logarithm of the reciprocal of hydrogen-ion concentration in gram atoms per litre; provides a measure on a scale from 0 to 14 of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution where 7 is neutral and greater than 7 is more alkaline and less than 7 is more acidic.
- Sanitation: Sanitation is the hygienic means of promoting health through prevention of human contact with, or consumption of physical, microbiological or chemical hazards. The hygienic disposal or recycling of waste.
- Sanitizer: Sanitizers are antimicrobial agents that are applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms, the process of which is also commonly known as disinfection.
- Wet Cleaning: Wet cleaning is the most popular method used within the food industry. Detergents and sanitisers are used as part of wet cleaning procedures.

Cleaning and Sanitation Development
When considering the development, documentation and implementation of Cleaning and Sanitation within food safety and quality management systems, the following information should be considered to ensure effective outcomes:

About Cleaning and Sanitation
Cleaning and Sanitising programs are an integral part of any food business, providing support for the food safety and quality management system through an established presence within all areas of the premises and surrounds. Cleaning and Sanitation programs should be continually monitored and recorded to ensure their suitability and effectiveness.

The importance of proper cleaning can be appreciated when one realises that contaminated equipment is historically a major cause of food borne disease outbreaks. Cleaning and sanitation includes many individual and complimentary operations in every food premises. Cleaning procedures are commonly specific to the type of cleaning necessary. The priority for Cleaning and Sanitation tasks within any food business is for food contact surfaces, premises, equipment and utensils.

Cleaning and Sanitation Procedures 
The goals of Cleaning and Sanitation are to:
- Remove micro-organisms;
- Remove food and other residues that provide the nutrition for microbiological growth;
- Remove food residues that could be classed as a hazard as food safety or quality foreign matter, if introduced to another food product, including allergens where applicable;
- Pursue the abovementioned goals while not permitting the contamination, for example cleaning chemical contamination of food through cleaning and sanitizing applications.

Appropriate Cleaning and Sanitising procedures, in their planning and application, will reduce the risk of cross contamination of product or process.

Factors in the ability of Cleaning and Sanitation applications to reduce cross contamination include
- Avoiding spraying around unused, uncovered or uncontained food items or processing equipment;
- Avoiding the application or chemicals around unused, uncovered or uncontained food items or processing equipment;
- Ensuring spills, detritus and waste are removed on a regular scheduled basis;
- Recording Cleaning and Sanitation applications and completions.

Documented cleaning and sanitation procedures need to be in place to monitor and control related issues. This documentation must outline the boundaries that need to be addressed in ensuring safe and quality food production. Cleaning and sanitation procedures need to be developed, documented and implemented for all areas of consequence to food safety and quality.

Where written cleaning schedules and procedures are used, they should specify:
- Areas and items to be cleaned and sanitised;
- Responsibility for particular Cleaning and Sanitation tasks;
- Method and frequency of Cleaning and Sanitation;
- Cleaning and Sanitation chemicals to be used and their dilution ratio;
- Cleaning and Sanitation utensils to be used;
- Cleaning and Sanitation Monitoring arrangements.

Where appropriate, Cleaning and Sanitation programs should be formatted in consultation with relevant specialist expert advisors, including your Cleaning and Sanitation chemical suppliers where applicable.

Cleaning and Sanitation Duties 
There is a number of cleaning and sanitation related tasks which need to be delegated to specific staff within any food business operation.

The following gives an indication for consideration of cleaning and sanitising tasks within a food business:

Food Handlers 
All food handlers may be responsible for the day-to-day cleanliness of the food processing areas in which they work. They may also be responsible for the communication with the housekeeping department whenever specific cleaning is required or urgent issues arise.

Food Handler Cleaning and Sanitation duties may include:
- Cleaning and sanitising food contact surfaces during, throughout and at the end of production periods;
- Cleaning and sanitising of small equipment, storage shelving, non-machine equipment and storage areas in the absence of housekeepers;
- Cleaning and Sanitising of their own equipment including knives and specialist utensils;
- Any task which is requested by supervisors.

Housekeepers and Cleaning and Sanitation Staff 
Housekeeping and Cleaning and Sanitation staff are generally employed to carry out general and specific housekeeping duties relating to Cleaning and Sanitation among other tasks.

Housekeeping and Cleaning and Sanitation Staff duties may include:
- Cleaning and Sanitation food contact and non-food contact surfaces during, throughout and at the end of production periods;
- Cleaning and Sanitation of processing area equipment, utensils, fixtures and fittings;
- Cleaning and Sanitation of all processing area floors, walls and ceilings;
- Maintaining waste and recyclable receptacles and the transportation of receptacles and loose waste and recyclables to bulk holding areas;
- Any task which is requested by food handling staff or supervisors.

The Steps in Cleaning and Sanitation 
The following section provides an example of commonly applied Cleaning and Sanitation, commonly known as Wet Cleaning:
- Surface preparation: Involves the removal of loose materials from the surface. This will be of obvious benefit to the process as food substances will be removed, and therefore make cleaning easier;
- Pre-Rinse: Using water, preferably hot water under mild pressure to flush away as much detritus as possible;
- Cleansing: Detergents are used in their recommended dilution ratios in conjunction with water of an appropriate temperature to remove all of the detritus that is still on the surface to be cleaned;
- Rinsing: The surfaces are rinsed once again, preferably using hot water under mild pressure to remove any traces of detritus and detergents. If the detergent is not fully removed, it may reduce the effectiveness of the sanitiser in killing micro-organisms;
- Sanitising: Now that the surface is free from detritus and detergent, an application of sanitiser is made to kill any micro-organisms on the surface being cleaned and sanitised;
- Finishing Rinse: A final rinse, preferably using hot water under mild pressure will remove any sanitiser chemical from the surface, therefore reducing the risk of chemical contamination of foods. It is important to consider that some sanitiser chemicals are specified to be left on the surface, rather than being rinsed off.

Cleaned and sanitised equipment and utensils must be:
- Stored on clean surfaces or in cleaned and sanitised areas; and
- Handled appropriately to minimise contamination of food contact surfaces.

About Chemical Control 
The use of chemicals within any food business must include elements which not only promote food safety, but which also promote the general safe use, handling and storage of all cleaning, sanitation, pest control, maintenance and other chemicals. This can generally be facilitated by ensuring documented procedures for chemical control are documented and available to everyone using chemicals.

Chemical usage procedures may include:
- Familiarity with the type of chemical being used, including Composition, Strength, Associated Hazards. This information can generally be gathered from the SDS, labelling and manufacturer’s instructions. Procedures may include appropriate specifications for use such as Do not mix with other chemicals or Do not add water;
- Labelling of decanted, diluted or prepared chemical mixtures to ensure they are not mistaken for other chemicals;
- Storing, handling and using chemicals away from foods, and in a way which prevents the contamination of foods;
- Defining the responsibility for chemical use;
- Training and competency verification procedures for team members required to handle or use chemicals.

Chemical Usage Requirements 
All pesticides, sanitisers, cleaners, polishes, lubricants and other toxic and non-toxic chemicals used in a food business must be:
- Necessary for the operation of the establishment. Unnecessary chemicals should not be found anywhere in the establishment;
- Used properly according to the manufacturers’ label and SDS instructions;
- Properly labelled when chemicals are removed from the original container and put into a working container. Food containers should not be used as working containers for chemicals;
- Considerations must be given to the legal requirements for chemical handling and use. The use of some chemicals must only be conducted by specially licensed persons. Legal requirements also commonly include requirements for PPE to be worn.

Chemical Approvals 
Food business chemicals must be approved for use in the food establishment. Some products, such as food grade lubricants, may contain statements by the manufacturer as being approved for use within the food industry or a specific industry sector. Before use within a food business, a confirmation must be received that chemical products are approved for specific use, and will not potentially contaminate foods. It is important to consider that chemicals such as restricted-use pesticides can only be used by a certified pest control operator. Regulatory approvals may also be required for the use of some chemicals within food businesses.

The are many different types of Cleaning and Sanitation chemicals available for use within the food industry

Detergents are used to remove dirt particles; they are not designed to kill micro-organisms, although their pH levels can affect growth and status. Detergents are chemicals that usually have a surfactant quality, making removal of dirt from surfaces easier. The most appropriate time to clean surfaces with detergents in solution or as recommended is immediately after use, removing food particles before they become hardened and more difficult to remove, and facilitate micro-organism’s growth. The strength of a detergent regarding its cleaning power is reflected in its alkalinity content. It is important to recognise that the use of hot water as a component of cleaning and sanitising routines where appropriate can dramatically improve the capability of the system to control micro-organisms.

Sanitisers are generally not good at removing dirt, but do kill micro-organisms if used according to the conditions of use. The majority of food poisoning bacteria are killed if they are exposed to heat, chemical sanitisers, or a combination of both. Chlorine or Bleach is one of the most commonly used chemical sanitisers used in food industries today. Commercial bleach contains around 10% Chlorine, while the domestic variety is commonly around 4% Chlorine. High-risk areas to be sanitised should use a solution at a concentration up to 100 parts per million of available chlorine. Other areas and applications may require a solution of around 50 parts per million.

How do I choose a particular Detergent or Sanitiser? 
The factors that determine the performance of a particular detergent or sanitiser include:
- The type of substance that is to be removed. Different types of detergents are more adept at removing specific substances. Fats, sugars and proteins are the three main types of substances that detergents are developed to remove. Dirt reduces a sanitiser’s ability to kill micro-organisms because the micro-organisms are able to shelter in and beneath dirt where they are difficult to reach;
- The water temperature used in conjunction with the detergent or sanitiser. Most detergents and sanitisers are designed to work at their best in either hot or cold water. Using a product in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions will produce the best outcomes in cleaning and sanitising;
- The concentration or dilution rates: Cleaners and sanitisers should be supplied with a Safety Data Sheet or SDS This sheet, along with the identified directions for use on the supplied container or accompanying documentation, will outline the requirements for utilising the product for its maximum benefit to the Cleaning and Sanitation process.
- Exposure time: Detergents and sanitisers need to be exposed to surfaces for long enough to be effective. Exposure times can also be found on the documentation accompanying the product.

Chemical sanitising generally requires greater controls than sanitising with hot water or steam.

The following factors must be considered in order to obtain effective sanitation by chemical methods:
- Amount of water used;
- pH of the water;
- Hardness or mineral content of the water being used;
- Temperature of the water; and
- Contact time.

The pH and hardness of the water being used needs to be determined. Should the water supply be from a municipal supply, the water company may adjust the hardness of the water through processing controls. If the water is from other sources, it may need to be tested periodically to ensure ongoing appropriate outcomes.

Obtaining Correct Chemical Sanitising Ratios 
When not using an automated chemical dosing system, chemical sanitiser instructions call for a given amount of chemical sanitiser per litre of water. This ratio of chemical sanitiser to water is important to ensure ongoing appropriate outcomes for the sanitation process.

If manual chemical sanitiser measuring and mixing methods are used, it is important that the processes involved follow procedure and are verified on an ongoing basis.

Staff involved in applications where they are required to manually measure and mix chemicals must be trained and deemed competent in the required tasks.

Cleaning Food Contact Surfaces 
Food contact surfaces of equipment and utensils are the surfaces with which food is normally and expected to come into contact with. The effective Cleaning and Sanitation of food contact surfaces including equipment and utensils serves two primary purposes:
- Reduces chances for contaminating safe food during processing, preparation, storage and service by physically removing soil and bacteria and other micro-organisms; and
- Minimises the chances of transmitting disease organisms to the consumer by achieving microbiologically safe eating utensils.

Although we all know about the practice of ware washing, many do not understand or appreciate the principles of the process, or the outcomes where Cleaning and Sanitation is not completed as required. For the most part, chemistry plays a very important part in the cleaning and sanitising process. Washing equipment and utensils until visibly clean is just not enough to guarantee outcomes which facilitate the production of safe quality foods.

Cleaning and Sanitising Methods for Food Contact Surfaces 
The most common methods used in cleaning and sanitising include:
- CIP or Cleaning In Place: Equipment is not fully dismantled, but remains as it is while cleaning and sanitising solutions are subjected to it, usually incorporating pressure to help in removing dirt;
- Manual Cleaning: Cleaning using manual methods includes the use of detergent and water, scourers, brushes and cloths among other utensils. Equipment is usually dismantled to allow for efficiency in cleaning and sanitising procedures;
- Soaking: Usually applied in conjunction with manual cleaning to remove stubborn substances or stains from items of equipment or utensils;
- Foaming: Foaming involves the application of a detergent based foam solution to the item, and rinsing with water after a nominated time limit has passed.
- High Pressure Cleaning: A detergent and water solution is sprayed under high pressure onto the surface to be cleaned. This method is not generally suitable for electrical food processing equipment; it is most often for cleaning floors and walls.
- Swabbing Method: The swabbing method is commonly used for equipment or fittings which have sensitive parts that may be damaged by other Cleaning and Sanitation methods such as High Pressure Cleaning. A example swabbing process may include the following steps: Disassemble Equipment, Rough clean with manual implements or water to remove the majority of food particles, Detergent wash with water above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit, Rinse with water, Apply chemical sanitiser in a suitable solution ratio, Rinse if required according to the sanitiser instructions and allow to air dry.

It is highly recommended that specified procedures be followed during Cleaning and Sanitation as part of any effective food safety and quality system.

Special Cleaning and Sanitising 
Food processing equipment that requires in-place cleaning should be designed and constructed so that:
- Cleaning and Sanitation chemical solutions can be circulated throughout a fixed system using an effective Cleaning and Sanitation procedure;
- Cleaning and Sanitation chemical solutions will contact all food contact surfaces of the system being cleaned;
- The system is self-draining or capable of being completely drained to remove all residues of the Cleaning and Sanitation chemical solutions used; and
- The procedures’ outcomes result in thorough Cleaning and Sanitation of the equipment involved.

Equipment used in production-line food processing should undergo Cleaning and Sanitation according to the following schedules as applicable to the defined risk levels involved:
- Each time there is a change in processing between different types of products, considering applicable exceptions;
- Each time there is a change from raw to ready-to-eat foods;
- After substantial time interruptions to regular processing;
- Throughout the production shift as necessary; and
- After final use each working shift or shift changeover.

Where bulk water and food transport vehicles are required to undergo Cleaning and Sanitation, and the procedure should generally be similar to that used for food processing equipment commensurate with the materials previously carried by the transport vehicle.

Basic Automated Ware Washing Procedure 
The following logical sequence is an example of a basic automated ware washing procedure:
- Scrape off any excess waste material into an appropriate collection container;
- Spray briefly with water to remove any visible waste. This may be done whilst the items are in a rack;
- Place the items into the ware washer. Ensure that the temperature of the ware washer is appropriate before beginning the cycle. Ensure that the attached chemical dispensers or manual chemical well is supplying sufficient chemicals for the washing cycle;
- Inspect the items once they have finished the entire cycle. They should be visually clean and not blemished by chemical watermarking;
- Place the items onto a drainage rack if required. Drainage may not be necessary if the ware washer contains an air drying blower unit.

Basic Manual Ware Washing Procedures 
The following logical sequences are examples of basic manual ware washing procedures:

Three compartment sink method using hot water sanitising:
- Scrape items;
- Wash in detergent solution above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit or according to detergent specifications;
- Rinse in clear water;
- Sanitise in hot water above 75 degrees Celsius or 167 degrees Fahrenheit, immersing for at least 30 seconds;
- Air dry.

Three compartment sink method using chemical sanitising:
- Scrape Items;
- Wash in Detergent solution above 40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit or according to detergent specifications;
- Rinse in clear water;
- Immerse in sanitiser chemical solution at a strength according to sanitiser specifications;
- Air Dry.

Cleaning and Sanitation Considerations 
The following points should be considered within the scope of application for any Cleaning and Sanitation activity:
- Equipment and utensils cleaned prior to use: Properly cleaned and sanitised equipment and utensils should be microbiologically safe prior to use. If contamination of cleaned and sanitised items is suspected, the equipment or utensils should not be used until they have been once again undergone Cleaning and Sanitation. It is generally not considered appropriate for items such as steel wool or other non-rigid metallic scrubbing devices to be used for cleaning within food businesses due to the risk of product contamination;
- Soiled equipment and utensils: During storage, handling and use, equipment and utensils become soiled and contaminated with bacteria. Equipment and utensils should be scheduled for Cleaning and Sanitation on an ongoing basis at pre-determined timeframes;
- Scraping, pre-flushing and pre-soaking: Scraping, pre-flushing and pre-soaking, are methods for removing detritus from equipment and utensils prior to Cleaning and Sanitation;
- Washing: When using appropriate chemicals and Cleaning and Sanitation Utensils, the washing step removes detritus from equipment and utensils;
- Rinsing: Rinsing removes most of the suspended detritus, bacteria and cleaning chemicals from the equipment and utensils. Although the equipment and utensils look visibly clean at this point, they may still be contaminated with bacteria.
- Sanitising: Sanitising kills the remaining pathogenic organisms on the equipment and utensils. Sanitisation will occur when certain specific chemical and water solution concentrations, temperature requirements, time requirements and water conditions are met. These conditions are crucial for effective sanitization, and therefore, verification of any Cleaning and Sanitation process is important to ensure the process is effective.
- Air drying: The most acceptable method of drying equipment and utensils is air drying. The use of towels for drying, polishing or any other devices can contaminate the equipment and utensils that have just undergone Cleaning and Sanitation.
- Appropriate storage, handling and use: Appropriate storage, handling and use of cleaned and sanitised equipment and utensils are important in preventing the contamination of foodstuffs.

If your food business supplies foodstuffs manufactured to a customer’s specifications, it is important to consider any specific Cleaning and Sanitation Development requirements in relation to their items.

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