SANITIZATION IN THE AGRO-FOOD SECTOR
The industries that belong to the food sector are aware of the difficulties that the current market represents and the importance of the food safety of the product. For this reason it is absolutely essential to offer the best conditions of hygiene and disinfection in all processes constantly through a hygiene plan adapted to each customer. Our actions include the use of techniques with proven reliability and functionality such as steam and dry cryogenic cleaning systems, high and low pressure equipment, disinfection of particularly critical areas, use of specific cleaning products for food contact such as neutral and alkaline detergents, all approved and certified with health records and technical and safety data sheets.
We must give top priority within the food process to cleaning and disinfection procedures in the daily routine. For this reason, MTL puts at your service project leaders who have extensive experience in the sector and will help you both to draw up a quality and safety plan for hygiene and to train your company's workers to make good cleaning practices a habit. The success of cleaning services in industrial activities is determined by the degree to which they affect production processes. At MTL we draw up a plan so that your company's activity is affected as little as possible when cleaning the installations and machinery.
Cleaning and disinfection are operations aimed at combating the proliferation and activity of micro-organisms that can contaminate food and cause its deterioration. Cleaning is the absence of dirt and its purpose is to reduce or exterminate microorganisms.
Disinfecting, on the other hand, can be defined as partially eliminating the number of bacteria found in a certain environment or surface, so that it is not harmful to people. If we try to eliminate as many bacteria, microorganisms and living forms as possible, we would be talking about sterilization. Cleaning and disinfection programs should ensure that all parts of the facilities are properly cleaned, including the cleaning equipment. Constant and effective monitoring should be carried out, and where written cleaning programs are prepared, the following should be specified: surfaces, items of equipment and utensils to be cleaned, responsibility for particular tasks, method and frequency of cleaning and monitoring measures.
Greasy deposits, non-greasy residues, calcareous incrustations and the appearance of bacterial flora are the most common we encounter in any area where food is treated or processed, and can lead to contaminations such as salmonella, staphylococcus, escherichia, coli and other bacteria. This problem occurs mainly at so-called "critical points", for which appropriate cleaning operations are described below:
Extractor hoods, grills, fryers and filters. They should be cleaned daily with a degreasing product specifically for surfaces in contact with food. The removal of carbonized fats should also be carried out periodically.
Cold stores. The equipment should be disconnected, as far as possible, and all moving parts removed and cleaned with detergent. This product should also be applied to the walls and interior of the chamber and, once it has been applied, it should be rinsed to remove traces of the detergent. It should be left to dry with the chamber doors open. Periodically, a disinfection should be carried out.
Working tools and removable machines. At the end of each work shift, tools and machines should be cleaned, applying sanitizing detergent. It is advisable to use disinfectants regularly.
Laundry room. Cleaning should be done daily with a disinfecting detergent.
Rubbish bins. They should be cleaned daily and disinfected weekly.
These daily tasks guarantee effective hygiene in the establishments, although the usual practice is to apply a specific and customized system for each industry.
R.D. 2207/1995, establishes the obligation to carry out controls in those areas that involve risks of lack of hygiene in the treatment of food, not only for the finished product, but for all the processes involved in the production chain.