The need for hard surface decontamination.
During use, hard surfaces and equipment for food preparation pick up traces of ingredients. They can also become contaminated with bacteria, viruses or other pathogens. Inadequate cleaning and disinfection of contact surfaces can all taint food:
- Processing meat products before processing vegetarian products could mean that foods can’t be labelled vegetarian
- Processing food containing allergens before processing free-from products could put people with food allergies at risk of serious reactions
- Changing between strongly-flavoured food or sweet and savoury food could lead to flavour crossover
- Failing to remove pathogens could mean that food becomes unsafe, particularly food-to-go or ready-to-eat (RTE) products
Any of these could mean costly product recalls and damage to reputation.
Cutting into productivity
Hard surface cleaning, whether it is a routine clean or cleaning at the changeover between one product and another, needs to be thorough, and this takes time. However, time spent cleaning is time when the production lines or food preparation areas are not being used, which means that staff can’t work and the production can’t go ahead. This is a particular challenge when there are a lot of product changeovers, when time is pressing, or when capacity is tight.