Good morning everyone,

Following up from my last blog about Listeria today I would like to talk about swabs & offer my knowledge on what I have learnt over the years.

Cleaning like any other industry has a recipe. This will depend on what you are cleaning: meat, vegetables, chicken or high fats & oils, etc. 

The key ingredients to your recipe are:

  • Water temperature how low or high, what is available at your plant?

  • Chemical quantity & type of Pressure or agitation

Depending on your soiling type will depend on the above points & how much of each you need in your recipe to maintain your cleanliness & swabs.  In my experience within the meat industry with high fats/oils/proteins this is my recipe:

  • We typically clean with 65 degree water & this is acceptable.  I have recently cleaned with 82 degree water which had very good results & I will elaborate further on this in my next blog.

  • Chemical quantity is set at 1.5-1.8% of chlorinated detergent & 200PPM quat sanitiser.  We recently moved to 300PPM sanitiser.  We also learnt that we do not require 2% of chlorinated detergent which is a saving.

Pressure/agitation is the key for me. 

We run at 50 litres per minute with a range of 30 BAR -70BAR depending on what we are cleaning.  Pressure is something that is open for discussion from my perspective as everyone stresses about this.  In most applications you will use 30-40 BAR for 85-90% of your washdown as you would with any hose.  Scrubbing should comprise of10-15%.  My theory with scrubbing and a scourer is that this is a contaminant.  Any surface that has not been hosed to 100% clean will contaminate a scourer straight away & this will spread to the next surface that you scrub. Some surfaces will look clean prior to scrubbing but there proteins can still be present. 

The other problem with scrubbing is that it is impossible to get into all areas, nooks & crannies.  With our system the contact with the surface is water only at the appropriate pressure to clean.  With water the surface will be microbiologically clean without spreading bacteria from one surface to another.  The key is using the correct pressure for the right application.

Some other points to look for from my experience:

  • Air quality in the factory.
  • Overheads especially when considering squeegeeing the ceiling (make sure the squeegees are sanitised). Drips on surfaces after sanitation are not ideal.
  • Cleaners uniforms being clean.
  • Plastics covering equipment & being wet dripping water over surfaces.

These are my tips on Swabs & 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.

Swab Tips