Decreasing the Risks of Poor Hygiene in Food Manufacturing Facilities

The importance of specialist cleaning solutions in the food production industry has been emphasised in recent months, with incidents such as the chocolate-maker Ferrero recalling some batches of Kinder Surprise eggs in the UK due to a link with salmonella gaining widespread attention. In response, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the British Government urged consumers to avoid the confectionary product over the Easter holidays, reinforcing how crucial it is for food production companies to ensure a high level of hygiene in factories.
Given the potential health risks for consumers, and the financial and reputational implications for businesses, it is important that companies consult experts and deploy professional cleaning solutions. This blog will look at the importance of hygiene standards in food production facilities, and some of the key things to consider when cleaning them.

Importance of Hygiene Standards

One of the main risks posed by poor hygiene within the food processing industry is the increased likelihood of food being unfit for human consumption and therefore becoming ‘injurious to health’. Cross contamination can occur through decomposing food matter and other deposits, building up between the edge of wall junctions, high-level areas and inside food production machinery. With regular deep cleaning, food production facilities can help to reduce the risk of unwanted pest infestations, unpleasant odours and product contamination.
In addition to the health risks, failing to comply with the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2006 at food production facilities can also have a wider impact on the performance - as it could lead to supply chain issues, significant reputational damage through adverse public opinion, poor staff morale, loss of customers, and ultimately a risk of prosecution and even closure.
As the recent example with Ferrero demonstrates, if there is a problem with a food product that means it should not be sold, then it might be 'withdrawn' (taken off the shelves) or 'recalled' (when customers are asked to return the product). In some cases, a 'Food Alert for Action' is issued. This provides local authorities with details of specific action to be taken on behalf of consumers.
Despite research showing that consumer confidence in food safety remains high, this is due in large part to the reputable auditing standards that hold establishments to account. To ensure businesses are compliant and are able to reduce their risks, Rentokil Specialist Hygiene provides a comprehensive deep cleaning service for food manufacturing areas and machinery. Our professional cleaning goes beyond daily sanitation, to help ensure businesses’ facilities are free from contaminants, and are able to consistently and comprehensively meet these standards.

High Level Cleaning

Cleaning the internal and external high level areas within industrial or commercial environments, such as factories and food manufacturing sites, can bring particular challenges. Given the difficulty to reach such spaces, they are often neglected during standard cleaning processes. However, if left unmaintained, these areas carry health risks and may become spots for cross contamination. There are also health and safety implications and associated risks from working at height, meaning that high level cleaning practices should always be undertaken by a trained professional.
Rentokil Specialist Hygiene provide specifically tailored services for the cleaning and sanitising of high level areas and equipment, including windows, light fittings, ceilings, walls and exterior cladding. We are able to manage those cleaning tasks that are too hazardous to form part of your everyday cleaning and maintenance regimes and our technicians work to the relevant and up-to-date health and safety standards, and conduct an extensive risk assessment before commencing any high level cleaning.

Silo Cleaning Service

Key components for many food production facilities are industrial and agricultural silos, which are often used to store a variety of different commodities such as flour, sugar, maize, grain and animal feed. Businesses should conduct periodic specialist silo cleaning to prevent the build-up of residue on the internal sides and discharge areas of these silos. If neglected, build-up can facilitate the breeding of stored product insects (SPI), which can lead to product spoilage and contamination.
Given their scale however, silos are often inconvenient to clean as part of a site's conventional cleaning processes. Rentokil Specialist Hygiene's Silo Cleaning involves the use of winching equipment to lower a technician into the silo to scrape and clean away deposits. This service uses dry methods (intrinsically safe vacuum, brushes and scrapers) to clean the interior surfaces of silos. Other activities may include cleaning the silo top and silo sides, and cleaning the area around the silo.

Final Thoughts

At Rentokil Specialist Hygiene, we can provide a comprehensive deep cleaning service for food manufacturing areas and machinery to help ensure that your facilities are free from contaminants. These services can vastly reduce the risk of product spoilage and contamination, and therefore the potential for issues with food safety and product recalls. All of our technicians are trained with industry-leading RSPH qualifications, making them specialists in all types of hygiene cleaning and disinfection. If you have any queries, we are always on hand to provide expert advice and recommendations on a range of cleaning and disinfection services.