Category: Sanitation & Janitorial

Deep Cleaning & Sanitation in Today’s Food Plant

According to the FDA, “one of the most commonly documented food safety problems in plants have involved sanitation monitoring, including checking food-contact surfaces and plant cleanliness” (Schug, para. 1). To make matters even more complicated, the
COVID-19 pandemic disrupted normal operations as well for countless food and beverage manufacturers. Disruptions may occur due to limited staff because of layoffs, social distancing requirements, or sickness. These situations on top of the normal expectations of having a clean food plant, can lead to the need of resources for food safety sanitation.

It is essential that food manufacturers create safe, quality food, therefore, routine practices need to continue, and additional sanitation protocols may need to be added. Employers also need to ensure a safe environment for their staff, including minimizing the risk of being exposed to harmful viruses and infections.

According to an article on cleaning and sanitation, “maintaining a clean and sanitary plant is essential in building and executing an effective food safety program” (Schug, para. 2).  A complete color-coded system is an example of a food safety program that will help promote organization and efficient work flow. Designating critical control areas and zones helps your sanitation program by ensuring that the tools stay in the areas in which they are meant to be used, doing jobs they are meant to do. Color-coded systems also help avoid bacterial and allergen migration within a facility, allowing you to maintain a safe food processing facility.

Nelson-Jameson offers the most diverse and extensive collection of color-coded products in the industry. This includes products for material handling, product handling, janitorial, safety, apparel, QA/QC, and metal detectable applications. Laying the foundation for a solid food safety program, our color-coded offering can help minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

To get the best of both worlds, Nelson-Jameson also offers the benefits of color-coded and metal detectable products, another food safety program, in one. Produced from a specially formulated FDA-compliant material, these high impact polypropylene tools have the ability to be detected by most metal detection machines used in the food processing industry.

Take the next step in your sanitation program and add to your color-coded or metal detectable program to make it more effective today! Visit nelsonjameson.com to view or request a copy of our 56-page Color-Coded Catalog or our 32-page Metal Detectable Flyer.

 

Sources:

Schug, D. (2018, November 05). Cleaning and sanitation: The Building Blocks of Food Safety. Retrieved November 06, 2020, from https://www.profoodworld.com/home/article/13279193/cleaning-and-sanitation-the-building-blocks-of-food-safety

 

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Be on the (Food) Defense with Contamination in Your Plant

Significantly minimize food vulnerabilities with Nelson-Jameson’s food defense product solutions! According to the FDA, food defense is defined as, “the effort to protect food from acts of intentional adulteration” (Food Defense, 2020, para. 1). Intentional adulteration could include various contaminations that are intended to cause harm to the public. In order to prevent and protect from harmful contamination, a food defense plan needs to be established. A food defense plan first consists of your facility completing a vulnerability assessment.  This assessment is to determine where in the facility’s processes pose the greatest risk for contamination. Second, mitigation strategies need to be selected for identified vulnerabilities, and lastly, corrective action needs to be implemented. Nelson-Jameson has products that are designed to assist with mitigation and preventative strategies within your facility and aid in your food defense plan:

• Use color-coded personnel identification and badges to clearly identify authorized personnel around restricted locations, equipment, controls, and operations.

• Use tamper-evident devices, such as seals, covers, and locks, to secure openings, access points, equipment, and components, packaging, and storage containers.

Clean and sanitize equipment components immediately prior to use and after maintenance.

• Use Clean in Place (CIP) cleaning chemicals and prescribed CIP procedures such as pre-rinse, wash, post-rinse, drain, and sanitize.

• Use one-way valves and sample ports to restrict access to product.

• Use coverings to secure openings, access points and open systems and operations such as shrouds, covers, lids, panels, and seals to restrict access to product.

After the assessment has been completed and you have determined the correct mitigation strategies, you can finalize your plan and determine its functionality. According to the USDA on the topic of functional food defense plans, the four main factors to determine the functionality of your plan includes:

  1. Documenting and signing.
  2. Implementing the food defense strategies.
  3. The strategies are monitored and validated.
  4. The plan is reviewed, at least annually, and revised as needed.

Following the above strategies and functionality timeline can help you with starting to develop your facilities food defense plan. This strategic approach could potentially protect the entire food supply chain from an intentional chemical, microbiological, or physical contamination. Also, most food defense plans overlap with company’s food quality and safety goals (Yoe et al., 2008). Nelson-Jameson has a wide range of products to help you aid in developing the food defense plan your facility needs. If your facility needs help in identifying which mitigation strategies are best suited for you, contact us today!

Sources:

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. (n.d.). Food Defense. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from https://www.fda.gov/food/food-defense

Functional Food Defense Plans. FSIS, USDA, 2 Aug. 2018, www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-defense-and-emergency-response/functional-food-defense-plan/functional-plans.

Yoe, Charles, et al. The Value of the Food Defense Plan. Food Safety Magazine, 2008, www.foodsafetymagazine.com/magazine-archive1/aprilmay-2008/the-value-of-the-food-defense-plan/.

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Sugar, Spice, and Everything Mice

Ahhh yes, my favorite time of year, fall! The leaves are changing, the temperature is starting to cool down, and pests are trying to wither their way indoors. As the colder months start to approach, it’s important to realize that fall pest control is a must! Although pest control is essential for all seasons of the year, it is very important to prep your food processing facility for the winter.

The key to controlling pests is through prevention, defense, and management measures. It’s important to know the calling signs of each of the categories of pests, so you can determine what products you will need for each. For insects, birds, and rodents, there are many similar calling signs, these include; droppings, visual sightings, eggs/hatchlings, noise, etc. When there is suspicion of pests present in your facility, it is important to do a thorough inspection of both the interior and exterior of the facility to determine the issue.

Nelson-Jameson offers a variety of products to suit your pest control needs. For rodents, consider 
Stick-Em® Rodent Traps, NJ# 202-6010
. These traps are effective and don’t pose the danger to employees of spring traps or uncertainty of box traps. Looking to combat insects? Try a Insect-O-Cutor® Guardian Scatterproof Unit, NJ# 343-6392. Scatterproof units are ideal for use in proximity to open food processing areas as they are USDA and FDA approved.  Aside from this unit, Nelson-Jameson offers other popular items to repel insects, such as light traps. Here are some helpful tips to ensure you are maximizing the most use out of your light trap(s):

  • Use a trap that is best determined for the area it will reside in.
  • Change out your bulbs according to manufacturer recommendations.
  • Shatter protection must be in place where food or packaging may become contaminated from broken glass.
  • Glueboard traps must be changed/replaced once the glue loses its tackiness.

No matter what time of year it is, pest control is something that plants need to be looking at regularly, as different pests are more active in different seasons. In the fall season though, it is primarily important because pests are looking for a place to stay warm during the winter. At Nelson-Jameson, we believe that staying ahead of the game is important to avoid costly shutdowns within food processing environments. Click here for more information regarding how to effectively eliminate pests from your work environment and to avoid these costly shutdowns.

Sources:

Why Fall Pest Control Is So Important. (2014, September 9). American Pest. https://www.americanpest.net/blog/post/why-fall-pest-control-is-so-important#:%7E:text=In%20fall%2C%20bugs%20and%20rodents,pest%20control%20is%20so%20important.&text=They%20can%20stop%20many%20bugs%20before%20they%20even%20get%20to%20your%20home

 

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Levels of Clean

“Clean” is seemingly a self-apparent word. We know it when we “see” it, right? Perhaps we can “feel” it after we finish the process of cleaning (ooh, it can be a verb too!)? This isn’t meant to get too metaphysical or anything, but if we take a second and really consider the meaning of the term, it can get problematic quickly.  

Outwardly clean-looking surfaces can easily harbor microscopic maleficence. For instance, what would happen if a food-contact surface that otherwise looked pristine had a contaminated surface as big as the head of a pin. How bad could it be? In the case of norovirus, the amount of viral particles that can fit in that tiny space “would be enough to infect more than 1,000 people”.

The ramifications of these microscopic realities are something Nelson-Jameson always has on the forefront of our minds. To create safe, quality food, we need to think on a microscopic scale…far beyond seeing and feeling what clean really is in food and beverage production facilities. This is why we feature everything from Environmental Testing Solutions to advocating for Color-Coded Programs to prevent cross-contamination concerns. 

Even your choice of cleaning tools used in the plant can make a difference. For example, we feature an array of products from Vikan’s “Ultra Safe Technology” (UST) line. Opposed to staple or resin set brushes, UST products feature a fully molded body that reduces risk of filament loss. The design of the brushes also ensures cleaning efficacy as well as preventing the risk of harborage in the cleaning tools themselves. Designed to clean efficiently as well as to be cleaned efficiently, UST products represent a way to further define exactly what “clean” is as well as what it can be. 

An array of industries critically concerned about “clean” including pharma, cannabis, and the food industry have found interest in UST technology. Especially popular with ready-to-eat food facilities, UST is also ideal for any of our customers wanting to further examine cleaning efficacy in their plants. To learn more about UST, check out our website, and/or reach out to a product specialist at sales@nelsonjameson.com or 800.826.8302.       


Nelson-Jameson Releases New Color-Coded Catalog

Nelson-Jameson has expanded their color-coded program once again with the release of their 2019 Color-Coded Catalog. This year’s catalog has grown to 56 pages of products that help to prevent allergen migration and cross-contamination. From the lab to the processing line, Nelson-Jameson has the color-coded products you need to produce safe, quality food.

In addition to having the most extensive color-coded program in the industry, we also have the most color options! Nelson-Jameson is now proud to offer gray, brown and lime products from Remco/Vikan® to help meet all your color-coded needs. The expanded catalog also includes new items like Color-Coded Cable Ties, Flagged Angle Brooms, Nylon Scrapers and more!

For more information or to request a catalog, visit nelsonjameson.com.

 

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