Are you struggling to control salmonella at your premises? We have gathered the top 5 sanitisation strategies that might just make this problem go away. They include...
Salmonella has been behind thousands of foodborne illness and deaths. In fact, reports by the Department of Health continue to highlight more serious outbreaks, some of which have been traced to food manufacturing plants.
In the fight against this foodborne pathogen, food production plants are on the front line. So, the question you will want to ask yourself right now is "Is my food manufacturing plant doing enough to control salmonella?”
Whether yes or no, you should never pass up a chance to educate yourself on strategies you could use to effectively control salmonella.
In this article, we look at five tried and tested sanitisation strategies that will prevent this foodborne pathogen from contaminating your food and also get rid of those that may be present in the food products or your workplace environment.
But to understand and execute these strategies better, you first need to know how salmonella sneaks into your food production processes.
How Salmonella Gets Into Food Production
- Raw ingredients such as meat and broken eggs
- Poor packaging
- Animal and human excrements
- Dirt and soil
- Dirty worker’s hands, shoes or clothing
- Dairy products
- Pets and pests
Seeing how easy it is for salmonella to sneak into your food production processes, it is very important to minimise the loopholes that could enable this. Below are five tried and tested sanitisation strategies that will help you to achieve this:
Sanitisation Procedures To Control Salmonella During Food Production
1. Upgrade Your Drainage System
Drainage systems in any building harbour lots of bacteria. This case is worse when dealing with wastewater from food processing plants where decay and decomposition is common. Therefore, you need to have a well cleaned and maintained drainage system that can prevent salmonella from spreading within your plant.
To begin with, your drainage should have movable parts for easy cleaning and sanitising since dirt may clog joints you are not able to reach. Also, the drains need to have removable covers. This will make the cleaning and sanitisation process easy and quick.
Moisture in your drainage facilitates quick bacteria multiplication, putting you at risk of spreading salmonella. To eliminate this, ensure your drainage is fitted for maximum performance where it drains waste immediately without stagnation. If you can, install a system without joints and sharp corners as these encourage dirt build-up and are difficult to clean.
2. Disinfectant Fogging
Regular cleaning of countertops and other working surfaces in your production lines will eliminate germs and bacteria. However, this may only suffice for a while. It won’t be long before notorious bacteria like salmonella get to the unreached areas and prosper.
To handle this possibility, regular foaming of your processing and production room is advised. This where you spray an entire room to reach all surfaces. Foaming works efficiently to eliminate bacteria in both vertical and horizontal overhead areas, corners, small cracks and crevices in your food production floor area since the solution has been designed to stay on the surface for an extended period of time to breakdown and eliminate biofilms.
Foaming your premises periodically with Decon 7 will help to eliminate all bacteria, including salmonella, by disinfecting the surfaces, leaving your rooms free from food bourn pathogens. Hiring a specialised cleaning company such as Ecowize, when applying this method is advisable as their staff are trained experts, who know how to handle the chemicals and equipment used, and to achieve maximum results.
3. Invest In Sanitary Equipment
Food production units in any processing plant require maximum cleanliness. To achieve this, constant cleaning and disinfecting are encouraged. For easy execution, ensure your factory design allows for easy access both in structure and equipment used.
As for processing equipment used, go for the easy-to-clean and durable ones, ensuring you select equipment that do not encourage fast food debris build-ups. Hard to dismantle fixtures and fittings make it hard for cleaning staff to reach all surfaces, which could be the source for bacterial growth.
Proper arrangement of the equipment in your food production plant is also crucial. They should allow easy movement between the units. This will ensure all surfaces are reachable when disinfecting.
4. Install Sanitisation Booths
Anyone or any vehicle coming from outside your food processing plant is a potential carrier of microorganisms like salmonella. To eliminate this risk, install sanitisation booths, tunnels or gates at all the entrances.
Spraying sanitisers to incoming traffic, ensures no bacteria makes it past the entrance. To increase efficiency, have the sanitisation booths fitted with sensors that respond to movement. If a person has to touch a button to activate it, then the surfaces will have to be sanitised after every use.
Proper installation of these booths is essential to avoid backflow or pooling of used disinfectant. Constantly cleaning and disinfecting the area around the booth is advised to avoid instances where incoming people step on contaminated water and walk into your premise.
5. Worker Training
Since your employees can be carriers of salmonella, they should maintain high hygienic standards to minimise the risk of cross-contamination. Properly washing and sanitising their hands is among the things you should emphasise they do regularly. Emphasize the importance of proper handwashing techniques, cleaning of work surfaces when handling food and adherence to set procedures of carrying out each activity.
Have them also wear impermeable gloves and outer garments such as aprons. Don’t forget to ask them to store their personal belongings in places that are far away from their workplaces.
Regular training programs are also just as important, especially those that reinforce the importance of safety and health practices. While doing also, inform them about the dangers of salmonella contamination at the facility, including loss of food production should an infestation get out of hand.
When done correctly, all these strategies will help you have firm control over salmonella management during food manufacturing and processing.