Making the cut in hygiene best practice
Production may not appear to be problematic given a lack of liquids which can harbour listeria (in particular). But this is no guarantee that it will remain pathogen free.
Watch the skies
Airborne contaminants, including salmonella, can hitch a lift into hygiene controlled areas on dust motes. Keeping surfaces free of dust should thus be a primary concern. Consider deploying anti-microbial PVC curtains to reduce the risks, but only regular sweeping is a sure way to prevent bacteria gaining a foothold.
Root cause analysis of swab testing reveals furniture is one of the most significant risk factors in any facility handling food. In context, look at where previous audits have flagged amber alerts, there's a disproportionate chance those reoccurring flags will come down to the fixtures and fittings.
The issues usually lie with so-called 'harbourage points'. Essentially these are dirt traps. They exist thanks to poor design decisions: unnecessary ledges, seams, ingresses, raised welds and so-on are all guilty of offering refuge to dust and those unwelcome microbial hitchhikers.
Anything fiddly can also make the item more time-consuming to clean. Time is money, increasing the lifetime cost of ownership. As a general rule, if an item of furniture isn't food grade it has no place in a facility. If it's nearing end of its life, the safest option is always to replace it.
Hygiene from the ground up
Brushes and brooms may seem innocuous. However, using the wrong type could end up increasing cross-contamination risks by spreading microbes around the working environment. It's worth investing in specialist anti-microbial and non-shedding versions.
Hygiene top tip
If you use manual teams, consider the surfaces upon which they work. They also play a key in maintaining hygiene standards. Polyethylene is a safe bet, it's non-blunting, non-absorbent and doesn't harbour bacteria. Poly tops also speed up clean down. They fit into the standard cleaning procedures alongside the tables on which they're housed, which includes wiping down every ingress.
Your cleaning equipment and furniture procurement choices play a central role in reducing risk and eliminating uncertainties. Moreover, taking the time to assess the hygienic qualities will allow you to operate more efficiently, which will have a positive impact on operating expenses over time.