Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP)
Water is critical for food production and plant sanitation. Potable water, cooling water, steam and ice must be safe and it must be available in sufficient quantities, at suitable pressures and temperatures, to meet operational requirements.
Clean and sanitized processing equipment and utensils are essential to the manufacture of safe food products. Processing equipment is cleaned after each day’s run and sanitized immediately prior to the next use.
During processing there are numerous ways that a product can become contaminated with a microbiological hazard. The three most common means of cross-contamination are contact with unclean equipment, mixing pasteurized with raw products, and environmental contamination.
The production of safe food begins with proper sanitation. In addition to clean food processing equipment, the facilities that are associated with food production areas must be clean and properly maintained.
Food, food packaging materials and food contact surfaces must be protected from adulteration with physical or chemical hazards. Contaminants may include water, cleaners, sanitizers, lubricants, pesticides, metal, rubber and plastic. The inclusion of unintended ingredients and undeclared allergens is also considered to be product adulteration.
Toxic chemicals are routinely used in all aspects of the food manufacturing process. Proper labeling, storage and use of these chemicals minimize the chance of finished product contamination as well as enhance employee safety.
Good manufacturing practices (GMP’s) are established by the Food and Drug Administration and detailed in the Code of Federal Regulations to protect against contamination of food. GMP’s shall be followed by all Creamery employees, students, and visitors.
A commercial pest control company is contracted to provide pest control services. They provide pesticide applications on a routine basis for the treatment of insect infestations.
– Clean equipment and utensils is of the utmost importance in any food processing facility. Equipment that is not able to be cleaned with the CIP (cleaned-in-place) system must be cleaned after each use in one of the COP tubes.
Cases must be washed after each use within the processing plant and after they have exited the building. This helps prevent cross-contamination and the introduction of pathogens from outside sources. In order for the case washer to function correctly it must be properly maintained.
Milk cans are used for the short term storage of products. They must be thoroughly cleaned after each use and sanitized immediately prior to their next use.
To prevent cross contamination, brushes and buckets used for cleaning are color coded according to use, and segregated by location.