Category: Sanitation & Janitorial

5S Lean Solutions for The Food Industry

5S is more than a program, it is a comprehensive system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. This system focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which naturally promotes a safer workplace with more efficiency.

When implementing a 5S system, it is important to remember to start small. Start with a pilot project to get a feel for if/what employee training is needed—how to implement the system, how to track progress, and how to celebrate success.

5S IS A FIVE-STEP PROCESS:

  1. Sort: Separate the tools that are needed to get the job done.
    Remove everything else.
  2. Set in Order: Place all relevant tools within reach of operatives and reduce the need to be away from the workstation.
  3. Shine: Maintain safety and order in the workplace by keeping the tools clean and helping to reduce defects.
  4. Standardize: Create practices that will ensure maintenance of the steps you have already taken by introducing Shadow Boards with color-coded tools.
  5. Sustain: Stay consistent and constantly review standards.

For more information on 5S systems or how to get started, contact our Product Specialists or visit our Learning Center.

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Keeping It Safe At Home This Holiday Season: Allergies

As the song goes, “if the fates allow” we’ll perhaps be able to see more friends and loved ones in person this holiday season. If you are hosting any holiday guests, it can often feel like you have enough on your plate to begin with (a small holiday pun there…), before even thinking about guest dietary restrictions.  However, a bit of planning can go a long way to make all of your guests feel welcome and cared for, no matter what dietary restrictions they may face due to factors like their religious affiliation, personal preference, health issues, allergies/sensitivities, etc.   

More specifically here, in terms of contending with food allergies you can use these seven festive tips to better accommodate your guests with these dietary restrictions.     

  1. Know your major allergens. 90%(!) of known allergic reactions come from 8 key foods: milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.  
  2. Read your labels. Food producers are required to label any foods that contain one of the “big 8” allergens. Check the label for assistance in knowing what to safely purchase.   
  3. Avoid cross-contamination. Use clearly marked, separate utensils, cutting boards, etc. when handling foods, if there are allergens. Consider color-coding for an easy-to-identify system in your kitchen.
  4. Clean and sanitize your work areas and utensils after handling food allergens. 
  5. Be sure to advise guests with food allergies on what foods to avoid. You can always label foods to assist as well. 
  6. Keep an eye out for the signs of an allergic reaction. Symptoms can vary, but recognizing symptoms like wheezing, hives, face/tongue/lip swelling can save lives.  
  7. The easiest thing to do is ask. Check in with guests before hosting your event if they have any allergies or food restrictions. Doing so means a great deal to guests with food allergies/restrictions, as it helps anticipate their needs and makes them feel welcome and included in the festivities.

You can learn more about many of the points above from this handy sheet from the FDA.  The happiest and healthiest of holidays to you and yours from Nelson-Jameson!

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The Many Applications of UV-C Disinfecting

UV-C Disinfecting in The Food Industry

UV-C light disinfectant Ensuring proper disinfection of your food processing equipment is paramount in eliminating pathogens from wreaking havoc on your bottom line. Traditional chemicals have been a part of the cleaning process for generations in the food and beverage industry. In recent years, another form of disinfecting has made its way into the fold that works hand in hand with your traditional cleaning program, Ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light. UV-C light utilizes short wavelengths of light to deactivate and eliminate microorganisms such as bacteria, mold and viruses in a matter of seconds.

UV-C light is able to enhance the effects of traditional cleaning solutions.

After a thorough cleaning using your standard CIP and COP procedures, you are able to illuminate your surfaces with the powerful UV-C light that has been shown to break down the microorganisms that traditional chemicals leave behind by reaching into all of those hard to reach places. Utilizing the perfect one-two-punch of chemicals and UV-C light creates superior sanitation that virtually eliminates all threats of contamination on your food processing equipment.

Even though UV-C is not a substitute for thoroughly cleaning your food processing equipment, using it in conjunction with traditional chemicals in the sanitation process provides you with a vital tool in your toolbox of cleaning supplies. 

Ensure you are using the very best in UV-C technology with the Aurora UV Disinfecting Device from SMS Technologies that you can order right here.  Thanks to UV-C, the crucial last step in cleaning and sanitizing your food processing equipment has never been easier or more efficient.


UV-C Disinfecting in The Laboratory

Introducing: nUVaCleanTM UV Pipette Carousel
The first and only pipette rack that not only organizes and protects six pipettes, but also destroys greater than 99% of unwanted contamination. Using a germicidal UV-C lamp, a high-efficiency reflector/concentrator completely bathes pipette shafts in 254 nm UV light. This exposure destroys unwanted microbiological contaminants and prevents cross-contamination in PCR and other sensitive procedures.

Just place single-channel pipettes of any range or brand in the carousel and press the “start” button to begin the auto-decon cycle. After 28 minutes this device will power down automatically, delivering up to 6 pipettes that are safe, clean, and ready for use.


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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