Today I would like to talk about Listeria, I have been speaking to several customers about this the last couple of weeks & I have given my advice. If I write this down on paper I thought this may help other people or give them some clues of what to look for. I am not an expert on Listeria, but I have cleaned for two & a half decades & I can say what worked for me with hands on experience.
Listeria is a scary thing & something that none of us want. As a cleaning contractor I had a few sayings with my staff
1. People eat off our surfaces so our cleaning is very serious
2. Our factory should smell clean like a hospital (Carlos the AQIS auditor taught me this he would say as he entered the production area “I can smell if this factory is clean”).
3. We are professionals, cleaning is not just cleaning there are methods & recipes depending on your task at hand, are you cleaning chicken, beef, flour or vegetables?
Here are some tips from my experiences:
- Areas at a higher risk we put 1-2 litres of chlorine into the chlorinated detergent so it has a slightly higher concentration. Chlorine will kill any bacteria.
- Ensure that you have coverage everywhere. If you get foam or soapy water onto all surfaces you will hit the target.
- Equipment that is not used every day for production – make sure that it is foamed & sanitised. Do not leave hidey holes.
- Equipment covered in plastic or tarps increase risk. Plastic will harbour moisture so ensure that the plastic is thrown out everyday & the equipment can breath & not sweat. Moisture is a recipe for problems. If you need any advice on waterproof/breathable covers for your electrical sensitive equipment let me know, I can help with this.
- Drains – keep them clean, try to have a routine so they are not left to build up. If there are any problems, trickle chlorine on the problem drain straight not diluted & this will get rid of the problem. Never allow hoses that touch the floor/drains come into contact with any equipment ie running a hose over a piece of equipment.
- Spray packaging equipment with Quat sanitiser out of a spray bottle & wipe with a clean white cloth (not a re-usable cloth).
- Overheads – I cannot stress the importance of this especially refrigeration units. They need to be cleaned on a routine basis. Depending on what you produce will depend how often. Flour/ingredients will be more regular that other products.
These are my tips on Listeria & I hope it may help you.
If you have any questions about swabs please give me a call
on 0409 123 850, we are happy to consult.