In June Campden BRI published The Cleaning and Disinfection of Food Factories: A Practical Guide. One reason behind the development of the guide is that suppliers are beginning to offer less support to food factories on the design and implication of cleaning programmes, for instance in the provision of cleaning schedules, for fear of the legal consequences.
Other challenges related to cleaning and disinfection currently facing food factories include finding ways to reduce costs and water using innovative chemicals and techniques; elimination of ‘house’ strains of pathogens that may lead to spoilage; and whether cleaning functions as an effective barrier to allergens.
In addition, there are some parallels with the clinical environment, and it is useful to look at whether food industry practices are still the best and effective. Another question is whether the use of disinfectants in the food industry may promote drug resistant strains of pathogens in the clinical environment.
“Good hygiene and disinfection practices in the food industry are so important,” a Campden BRI spokesperson told FoodProductionDaily.com. “Despite this, it was apparent that there was a lack of good advice on good practice and techniques, so the guidelines were produced to rectify this.”
The guidelines are deemed so important that they are now forming the basis of a two-day conference in December.
The guide claims to be unique in bringing together advice on all the individual aspects of hygiene available from the wide range of disparate sources.
“The guidelines… help manufacturers by giving them a step-by-step guide to the most up-to-date methods of cleaning and disinfection,” said the spokesperson.
Small- to medium-sized businesses in particular can benefit from the advice. Their smaller orders of cleaning chemicals have previously been insufficient to cover the provision of a support service from chemical manufacturers.
The document was put together by scientists at Campden BRI working in collaboration with cleaning chemical suppliers. It is aimed primarily at managers responsible for the design and implementation of sanitation programmes.
However, the publishers say that anyone working in a food factory environment can benefit from the advice, as all members of the workforce can play a role in cleaning.
The guideline discusses the importance of cleaning and disinfection and the basic principles behind it, as well as management responsibilities and the more practical aspects such as the different chemicals that are used, the various cleaning techniques and the timing and frequency of cleaning.
“There is… a need for continual improvement in the area of hygiene in the food sector, so Campden BRI felt it should offer support.”
She emphasised that the publication is not a legal document and simply offers advice on best practice, rather than a set of rules which must be enforced.
The conference, to be held at Campden BRI’s headquarters in Chipping Campden, UK, is the first European update to address such issues as cost effectiveness and efficacy and will feature speakers from both industry and academia.
Karen Middleton, the firm’s technical hygiene contracts manager, who authored the guidelines, will lead the conference.
“Ensuring that factories are cleaned and disinfected effectively is a fundamental prerequisite in the production of safe and wholesome food,” she said.
“This event will give delegates an excellent opportunity to update themselves on the latest information and legislation.”
The conference will take place on 2nd and 3rd December.
This article has been amended from the original which implied that chemical suppliers are removing support to their customers entirely, and that this is a direct driver behind the conference. This is not the case, and FoodProductionDaily apologises for the misunderstanding.