Depending on the desired result, a cleaning process in the food industry consists of two or three steps: rinsing, foam cleaning and possibly disinfecting. In this blog, we explain to you in simple terms what such a process looks like in practice.
Companies that work with food obviously have to pay a lot of attention to hygiene. In addition to the personal hygiene of employees – for example, walking through a hygiene lock when entering a production area, changing clothing and wearing gloves and hairnets – the equipment and (production) area(s) must also be clean. This means that a hygienic cleaning process of the equipment and area(s) must take place at the end of each production day or even after each production batch. This process consists of the following three steps, although the third step – disinfecting – is optional.
Step 1: rinsing
At the end of the production process, the areas and equipment are obviously no longer clean. Food residues will always be present to a greater or lesser degree. In order to guarantee hygiene, the production areas must therefore be thoroughly cleaned. This begins with the rinsing of equipment, walls and floors. This requires pressurised water, which is transported to the required location by a booster unit and a network of pipes. The coarse dirt is removed by this rinsing step.
Step 2: foaming
Immediately after rinsing, the equipment, floors and walls must be thoroughly cleaned by means of foam cleaning – also often called ‘foaming’ for short. In a centralised system, a foam system with automatic dosing unit is used for this. In a decentralised system, the chemical is dosed to the water in the satellites themselves. The foam is created with air pressure. A layer of foam should be applied to all surfaces in the production area. The longer the foam is allowed to work, the better. The layer of foam is then rinsed off.
Step 3: disinfecting
An optional step in the hygienic process is possible after the foaming and the rinsing away of the foam: a post-treatment with disinfectant. This product has an antibacterial effect and is atomised over the equipment and, if necessary, the walls and floors. The disinfecting process ensures that micro-organisms are removed. Depending on the disinfectant used, a further round of rinsing with clean water only may be necessary.
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