more than food aesthetics. Buildup of
residue makes disinfection more difficult and could also support development of biofilms. 6 Biofilms are designed
to survive, in part by creating their
own protective armor. Although food
processing facilities are designed to discourage development of biofilms, scrupulous attention to the cleaning process
Training and a Food Safety Culture
Consistent, effective cleaning is not
likely to happen without effective employee training and without monitoring
employee performance of the cleaning
tasks. Training should include education
and is most effective when it is a two-way street. One reason is that cleaning
is in part cultural. Developing company
values where food safety is an inherent
part of corporate culture is essential. 7
We all probably learned how to clean
from family and community practices.
Some in industry assert that workers
of a particular ethnic background are
always going to clean improperly and
that you can’t teach “them.” In our
experience, most of us have the capac-
ity to learn. Time invested in training
programs that include not only the rules
but also the reasons behind the rules
is time very well spent. In fact, a team
approach that includes feedback from
employees about the required cleaning/
sanitation processes can be an illumi-
nating approach to food processing.
That feedback can also improve process
performance and save money. Getting
feedback means making sure employees
are actually telling you what’s going on,
that you actually hear their suggestions,
and that you listen. An unresponsive
“command and control” approach often
covers up cleaning problems. A collab-
orative approach solves problems. n
The authors thank Patrick Murphy, Spec Test
Services LLC, for his comments and suggestions.
Barbara Kanegsberg and Ed Kanegsberg, Ph.D.,
are industry leaders in critical and industrial product
cleaning at BFK Solutions LLC.
1. Timmerman, HA. “Cleaning in the Food
Processing Industry,” in Handbook for Critical
Cleaning, Applications, Processes, and Controls,
vol. 2, eds. Kanegsberg, B and E Kanegsberg
(Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2011), 271–282.
3. Golon, A and N Kuhnert. 2012. J Agric Food
Chem 60( 12):3266–3274.
5. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations, Title
21, Chapter 1, Subchapter B, Part 110. May 24,
6. Kanegsberg, B, et al. 2015. Controlled Environments Magazine May/June.
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