Hygiene and Cleaning in Food Manufacturing

  • Karl Chamberlain

Quality, Hygiene and Environmental Systems



  • Introduction
  • Define the content of quality management systems and critically evaluate the business benefits of such systems
  • What are the benefits to a food producing business of adhering to such a quality management system?
  • The systems, procedures and records utilised by a company to control the quality of a food product
  • The systems, procedures and records utilised by a company to control the safety of a food product
  • The systems, procedures and records utilised by a company to control the legality of a food product
  • Reference list

The importance of cleaning programmes within food production areas in the meat industry

It is vital to the success of any food manufacturing business to ensure that effective cleaning programmes are in place and are followed. The main purpose of cleaning within a manufacturing environment is to prevent any physical, chemical or microbiological contamination happening to the end product. Cleaning programmes are used to ensure that all areas of the factory and pieces of machinery are cleaned correctly and to a pre-determined frequency.

Within the meat industry adequate cleaning is especially important as often raw and cooked meats will be cooked and used on the same site so contamination from raw product to cooked is a high possibility if equipment has not been cleaned properly.

If cleaning programs are not in place or are not followed there could be heavy consequences for the manufacturer. Firstly this could lead to a food poisoning outbreak due to microbiological contamination. It could also lead to increased customer complaint due to physical or chemical contamination. Both of these could cause a product withdrawal which will have huge cost implications for the business.

Product withdrawals and customer complaints could also lead to losing business, both from end users and from retailers. Losing business could potentially lead to the closure of the business.

Hygiene Cleaning Procedure


Low Risk


Cleaning Frequency:


Machinery name / Tag number:

Cook Pot (Machine tag number CP01)

Is any assistance required from engineers?



Hygiene Operatives

Equipment required for cleaning



Concentration (if applicable)

Recommended storage temperature (if applicable)

Colour code (if applicable)












Green scour pads





Spanner (13mm)





Alcohol wipes

As supplied

Ambient (18-25oC)


Power foam (detergent)


Ambient (18-25oC)

Corrosive Corrosive

Quatdet Clear (disinfectant)


Ambient (18-25oC)



Personal Protective Equipement (PPE) required for cleaning

Face Visor


Safety boots/wellingtons


Heavy duty cleaning gloves


Health and safety/Food safety considerations

  • If any of the above PPE is not available do not commence cleaning and inform your manager immediately
  • Do not use any chemicals or equipment that you have not been trained or are not authorised to use
  • Ensure that correct signs are in place during cleaning (wet/slippery floor signs)
  • Cover any electrical sockets with finoplas sheets
  • Immediately report any damaged/missing parts to your manager and a QA/Technical manager
  • Immediately report any health and safety issues and faulty equipment to your manager

Step by step cleaning procedure

  1. Ensure isolator is switched to the on position and that none of the machines emergency stop buttons are pushed in. Set the cook pot to cleaning mode by pressing the “Cleaning Mode” button on the main control panel
  1. Isolate the steam valve by turning in a clockwise motion until closed (The valve is located below the lids hydraulic lifting arm)
  1. Lift the outer lid of cook pot and ensure that the pot is empty. Should the pot not be empty contact production for assistance
  1. Cover the external motor with a finoplas sheet and carry out a pre-rinse of the cook pot externals (including framework) using hot water (including framework)
  1. Carry out a pre-rinse of all internals of the cook pot (including underside of lid, paddles and temperature probe)
  1. Carry out a spray clean using power foam (3-5oC concentration) using a hand spray bottle on internal and external surfaces. To clean both sides of the paddle they must be rotated. To do this press “rotate mixer” on the main control panel
  1. Allow 20 minutes contact time for the chemical to work
  1. Carry out a standard post rinse on all internal and external surfaces and parts. Use the green scoured pad to remove any stubborn debris
  1. Remove lower pipe by undoing clamp, undo the locking nuts and remove the blue seals. These parts should then be placed on a table
  1. Carry out a standard pre rinse of the lower pipe, external surfaces (including the cook pot pivot points on either side of the pot) and all parts removed in step 9
  1. Carry out a spray clean using power foam (concentration 3-5%) of the lower pipe, external surfaces (including the cook pot pivot points on either side of the pot) and all parts removed in step 9.
  1. Carry out a standard post clean rinse of the lower pipe, external surfaces (including the cook pot pivot points on either side of the pot) and all parts removed in step 9 ensuring that all chemical residues are removed
  1. Carry out a spray disinfection using quatdet clear (1-1.2% concentration) of all internal and internal surfaces, framework, pipework and all parts removed in step 9. Allow for 20 minutes contact time
  1. Carry out a standard post clean rinse of all internal and internal surfaces, framework, pipework and all parts removed in step 9
  1. Reassemble pipework and seals removed in step 9
  1. Wipe all control panels with alcohol wipes
  1. A hygiene team leader or manager will then visually check and take ATP swabs of all key inspection points (see next page)

Key Inspection Points

Each key inspection point listed should be visually checked and an ATP swab taken from the area (10cmx10cm square). Insert the swab stick into the ATP reader and press read. Readings should all be below 1000 RLU. Should any ATP swabs fail the machine should be re-cleaned following all of the steps in the cleaning procedure on the previous page


Lid and internal pot




Internal and external surfaces


Base pot pipe work


Transfer pipe


Main control panel

photo (6)

Pivot point on cook pot


Out feed pipework (take swabs from inside pipes)

How an Environmental Management System can assist a food manufacturing business in meeting legislative requirements and reducing impacts on the environment

Environmental management systems have been in the use for around twenty years and over this time schemes and standards have been created for such systems to follow. One such standard is the ISO 14001 standard, which was first created in 1996 . While the use of an environmental management system is voluntarily, increasingly retailers are requesting that there suppliers have a system in place and that this system is accredited by an external company.

An environmental management system (EMS) should be used to manage a food manufacturing business’s environmental impact. This can include managing the company’s waste levels, material usage, emissions and energy usage and transport implications.

There are numerous pieces of environmental legislation which a food manufacturer may need to adhere to. This can include legislation on air, water, energy, waste and chemicals. An EMS can be used to assist the food business in meeting these requirements as well as helping to reduce any impacts on the environment.

Before an environmental management system can be set up firstly the management must pledge their commitment and an environmental policy should be created. This document should include the intentions of the company regarding environmental issues such as complying with environmental legislation and continuous improvement of environmental systems.

Next an environmental review should be carried out, looking at all of the environmental issues that the company has. This will allow the company to find the strenghts and weaknesses of the organisations current operations.

The next step is to to plan the environmental mangement system. All environemental issues affecting the company should have been identified previously and this will provide the starting points for the organisation. Environmntal regulations and legislation should be considered and planned to be built into the system. The organisation should also set targets for each part of the system and prograammes and system should be put into place to achieve these targets.

Once the enivornmental management system is planned it should be implemented within the business. All staff members within the business should be briefed about the implmenetation of the system and howit will involve them. Responsibilies should be assignemned and training giveen to people who will be directly invloved with the system.

Any environmental aspects covered by the system should be integrated into daily procedures within thhe company. The organisation should ensure that they have operational control over any processes which are known to have environmental issues.

Contingency plans should be set up in the event that any part of the system fails or an accident happenes such as a chemical spillage and responsible people should be aware of these plans and know what to do should an issue occur.

Once the environmental management system is fully implemented external accreditation should be sought. This will give the manufacturers customers confidence in their environmental system and will also help to identify any short comings in the system.

The environmental system and the arges set for it shold be measured to ensure that these are being met. The system should also be regualrly audited against and any non conformances should be indetified, reported and rectified.

Having an environemtal system allows the manufacturer to identify environmental issues and legislaion that must be met and provides policies and proceures which give guidance on exaactly how this should be done.

An environmental system is also a good way to demonstrate compliance to legislation as it shows that an organisation has really commited to reducing its environmental impact and adhering to all relevant legislation.


Hygiene, cleaning and the procedures and programmes associated with this are a necessity to any food manufacturing company. There are a number of potential penalties and problems that can be caused by not having proper hygiene procedures in place and could ultimately lead to the manufacturer losing business or being shut down by environmental health.

The importance of environmental polices and system are also vital for the success of a food manufacturing business however during the recession environmental issues and impacts seem to have taken a back seat to increasing efficiencies and cutting costs however as the economy begins to recover environmental issue may begin to be a major focus for food manufactures again.

Reference List

Buchanan, G. (1999). Cleaning, Sanitizing & Pest Control in Food Processing [Online] Available from: http://seafood.oregonstate.edu/.pdf%20Links/Cleaning,%20Sanitizing,%20and%20Pest%20Control%20in%20Food%20Processing,%20Storage,%20and%20Service%20Areas.pdf Last accessed: 01/04/2014

Cook Safe. (2012). Food Safety Assurance System [Online] Available from: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fmultimedia.food.gov.uk%2Fmultimedia%2Fpdfs%2Fcshrcleaning.pdf&ei=wexCU8u6I8nF7Aa18YG4CQ&usg=AFQjCNFZkCnzwokgHYqHLoev91PjjRm-0w&sig2=kIZZraCA5clxeMG4OYQoXA&bvm=bv.64125504,d.ZGU Last accessed: 04/04/2014

Hugh Crane Cleaning Equipment (HCCE). (2013). Product Information Sheet: Powerfoam VF4 [Online] Available from: htttp://www. hughcrane.co.uk/media/product/data-sheets/03HC2535.pdf‎ Last accessed: 03/04/2014

Johnson DIversey. (2004). Johnson Diversey Quadet Clear [Online] Available from: www.dbm-ltd.co.uk/hygiene/products/…/open…/quatdet_clear_PIS.pdf‎ Last accessed: 04/04/2014

National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI). (2003) ISO 14001 Environmental Management Standard; Detailed guide [Online] Available from: http://www.nsai.ie/NSAI/files/6b/6b1d7f65-35c5-4b1e-a8e6-5431982da140.pdf Last accessed: 04/04/2014

Nothern Ireland Environemnt Agency (NIEA). (2009). Measuring the effectiveness of Environemntal Management Systems [Online] Available from: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.doeni.gov.uk%2Fniea%2Fmeasuring_the_effectiveness_of_ems_phase_1-2.pdf&ei=T-tCU6fOOMeg7AbHtICAAg&usg=AFQjCNGV95A7BvrcGD51TjkMstp9CUrWNw&sig2=EnF7STqNfbgVQbzOsXZpjg&bvm=bv.64125504,d.ZGU Last accessed : 04/04/2014

Strum, A. (1997). ISO 14001 Implementing an Environmental Management System [Online] Avalable from: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ellipson.com%2Ffiles%2Febooks%2FISO14000.pdf&ei=eeVCU9WwOLPH7AamhYCgAw&usg=AFQjCNE3xtTbKc8rCpwvzDXjyGN7pQL5-Q&sig2=dgGtS7XJH5Z_2kfbg4wTyw&bvm=bv.64125504,d.ZGU Last accessed: 01/04/2014

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