Category: Sanitation & Janitorial

Don’t Be in a Brush Rush…

Ah, the beauty and purity of a new cleaning tool. Freshly removed from any packaging, and unsullied by the elements: nothing but possibility ahead of it. Whether you enjoy opening new tools as much as I apparently do, or you are more in the “pop it open, because there is a ton of stuff to do” camp, there are a few tips that our friends from Remco have provided to get the best out of your new cleaning tool. These simple steps help to ensure safety before the first use.

How to Prepare a New Cleaning Tool for Use
New cleaning tools—especially those sealed in plastic pouches like the ones from Vikan® and Remco—often look like they’re ready for use right out of the bag. It’s easy to assume these tools can start sweeping, mopping, and brushing right away, however, as most in the food industry know, looking clean isn’t the same as actually being clean. Here are a few steps that must be taken to ensure all new tools are ready for use in food production plants:

Remove Any Labels
Vikan® and Remco both apply labels directly to some of their products, as do many other cleaning tool manufacturers and distributors. Ideally, these labels will peel off easily, especially when they’re dry. If there’s a problem removing a label or there’s residual stickiness, simply use a washrag with warm water and soap, or use a sponge soaked in vinegar to remove the label and any adhesive left behind. It’s easier to peel labels when they’re dry, but a little extra effort may be needed for particularly stubborn adhesives. It’s essential to remove the label and adhesive fully, as the sticky residue can be a trap for debris and bacteria.

Clean the Tool
New tools may seem clean, but they’re produced in factory environments that do not have the same rigorous sanitation requirements as food manufacturing facilities. Put new tools through an industrial dishwasher or hand wash them, depending on what the plant’s HACCP plans call for during the tool’s regular usage. Either cleaning option may help remove any remaining label residue, along with preparing the tool for its first use. Don’t make the mistake of assuming a broom or a squeegee that will be used in a low-risk environment is “clean enough” when it comes out of the package. The tool should still be cleaned.

Sanitize for High-Risk Conditions
Decide how clean a tool should be before use, follow HACCP plans for how they’ll be cleaned during their regular usage. If a tool will be used in a high-risk environment, it should be sterilized before its first use, ensuring any microbes that may have contaminated the item before it arrived to you are fully destroyed. If a tool is going to be used in a low or medium-risk facility, simply cleaning and sanitizing the tool should be enough for it to be used safely.

Dry the Tool
No tool is clean without having been dried first. Whether by hanging it or by putting it through an industrial dishwasher’s drying cycle, tools must be dry to be considered clean. This helps prevent mold and other microorganism growth and ensures the tool is ready for use.

Once these steps are complete, the tools are ready for their designed purposes in food processing plants. Remember to maintain tools by keeping them free of debris and cleaning them frequently. Regular maintenance—starting with these first steps—will keep tools hygienic and help them last longer.

Nelson-Jameson carries a wide selection of color-coded products, including the full line of Remco products. Contact us today to learn more about the many ways Nelson-Jameson and our industry partners can help you get the tools you need on your pathway to creating safe, quality food.

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NEW Color-Coded Catalog Available Now!

Springtime brings many new colors, from the flowers popping up in gardens to the spring and summer produce offerings at the grocery store. During this colorful time of year, it might be the perfect opportunity to take a look at color-coding in your facility, whether that means starting a new color-coded program or expanding an existing program.

Nelson-Jameson has expanded our color-coded program once again with the release of our 2021 Color-Coded Catalog. This year’s catalog has grown to 68 pages of products that are designed to help prevent allergen migration and cross-contamination. A complete color-coded program helps to lay the foundation for a solid food safety program, and can help minimize the risk of cross-contamination.

Why choose a color-coded system? A complete color-coded system helps promote organization and efficient workflow. 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.

In addition to having the most extensive color-coded program in the industry, we also have the most color options to help meet all your color-coded needs. Our expanded catalog also includes new items like Carlisle Total Color Products, ColorCore Cleaning Tools, Vacuum Accessories, Cutlery, and more.

From the lab to the processing line, Nelson-Jameson has the color-coded products you need to produce safe, quality food. Download or request a copy of our new color-coded catalog today!

 

 

 

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New Year, New Sanitation Program

Achieve an effective sanitation program in your facility with footwear and surface sanitation products! In the food production process, cross-contamination can occur at any point. Employees can track in a myriad of potential contaminants and unknowingly put an operation at risk each time they breeze through a doorway to a production area. Having an effective sanitation program in place that addresses employee hygiene is key.

A primary route of contamination is the bottom of people’s shoes, so cleaning footwear has become just as important as washing hands when coming into a facility. “Items which contact the floor are contaminated and could serve as vectors; despite daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as floors, it has already been shown that bacterial and viral contamination return rather quickly” (Pyrek, 2018, pp. 1). To help combat this issue, Nelson-Jameson carries several options for minimizing contamination from footwear including: Boot Scrubbers, Doorway Foamers, and Disinfectant Mats. These products are designed to be located at entryways of facilities to remind employees to clean and sanitize their shoes upon entry.

Cleaning and sanitizing surfaces is also an integral part of a sanitation program. Having the correct sanitizers for your processing facility can prevent the spread of microorganisms that cause foodborne illness. At Nelson-Jameson we have a full line of Alpet® Sanitizers that are both food contact and non-food contact approved for your facility.

Overall, this program is designed to aid in preparing your facility to be sanitized, but you can’t sanitize without cleaning first. It’s apparent that many individuals interchangeably use the terms cleaning and sanitizing, when in fact they are different. Cleaning is described as the physical removal of visible dirt, soil, food particles, grease, or allergens from equipment, utensils, or work surfaces. On the other hand, sanitizing reduces the number of harmful microorganisms from a cleaned surface. Cleaning must always come before sanitizing. If cleaning is skipped, the sanitizing process will be ineffective as oil, grease, and dust deactivate sanitizers. While these products are not guaranteed to remove all bacteria, they do bring the amount down to a safe level.

Start preparing your processing facility today—request or download our updated 12-page Footwear & Surface Sanitation Flyer. It contains an array of products to help make protecting your facility and products easier!

Sources:

Pyrek, K. M. (2018, October 31). Shoe Sole and Floor Contamination: A New Consideration in the Environmental Hygiene Challenge for Hospitals. Infection Control Today.      https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/shoe-sole-and-floor-contamination-new-consideration-environmental-hygiene.

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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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