• Document: An Introduction to Cleaning Procedures & Schedules. BRC Global Standards. Trust in Quality
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An Introduction to Cleaning Procedures & Schedules BRC Global Standards. Trust in Quality Cleaning Procedures and Schedules Cleaning Procedures and Schedules As a food manufacturer it’s important you maintain a suitable level of cleanliness throughout your site. The easiest way to achieve this is with a detailed cleaning schedule alongside procedures that establish how the cleaning will be carried out. While documentation systems on their own do not give a clean production facility, documented cleaning procedures which are efficiently implemented will ensure the cleaning is completed in a consistent and effective manner, and this is a key tool to maintain product integrity and in the production of safe products. 1.0 Requirements of the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety In the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety, clause 4.11.1 states: Documented cleaning procedures shall be in place and maintained for the building, plant and all equipment. Cleaning procedures shall as a minimum include the: • responsibility for cleaning • item/area to be cleaned • frequency of cleaning • method of cleaning, including dismantling equipment for cleaning purposes where required • cleaning chemicals and concentrations • cleaning materials to be used • cleaning records and responsibility for verification The frequency and methods of cleaning shall be based on risk. The procedures shall be implemented to ensure appropriate standards of cleaning are achieved. 2.0 How this short guide can help This short guide will help you put procedures in place to ensure your cleaning activities are carried out consistently and thoroughly. This will prevent potential risks including microbiological, allergen or chemical contamination, which you may otherwise get from dirty equipment or an unclean manufacturing environment. You’ll need to document all the cleaning carried out, as this will help you to: • ensure all relevant areas and equipment are included within the schedule • make sure the required standard of cleaning is clearly defined so you have consistent completion of cleaning activities • ensure there is continuous compliance with relevant hygiene legislation • train staff effectively It’s important to note that your cleaning schedule is not a standalone document: it must be used in conjunction with food hygiene legislation, risk assessment and other records, for example, chemical use information, verification activity and cleaning records. F057 Issue 1 Introduction to Cleaning Procedures and Schedules 28/8/2013 Page 1 of 7 Cleaning Procedures and Schedules 3.0 Developing an effective cleaning procedure In order for your cleaning to be effective it’s important that the procedures are designed for the specific item, area or site. A generic, off-the-shelf procedure probably wouldn’t guarantee a sufficient standard of cleaning. For example, an identical work surface in an area handling bakery products may need to be treated differently to one in a meat handling area. This would need to be assessed during the development and risk assessment stage. In addition, you need to think about the complexity of the process/equipment, types of products manufactured, and how easy it is to remove debris, and the need to manage specific hazards e.g. specific micro-organisms or allergens. Developing your cleaning procedure can be done in a few simple steps: Step 1: Set the required standard of cleaning (Clause 4.11.2) Consider legislation, customer requirements, industry or category best practice, etc. Your risk assessment should consider the prevention of contamination from previous products, as well as address potential microbiological, chemical or allergen concerns. Step 2: Develop the draft procedures. Ensure all items/areas/equipment are defined and included within the procedures. Think about the order of cleaning too so that cleaned equipment isn’t re-contaminated by subsequent cleaning activity. Step 3: Validate the draft procedures (Clause 4.11.2). Validation is used to confirm that the required level of cleaning (Step 1) is met. Step 4: Finalise procedures and associated documentation (e.g. cleaning records and sign off) Step 5: Train relevant staff Step 6: Complete ongoing monitoring and verification (Clauses 4.11.1 and 4.11.4) 4.0 What’s included in a cleaning procedure? • The equipment, plant or building that needs cleaning, how often and using which methods. Particular attention is needed where there are identical or similar items to ensure they’re all cleaned to the correct schedule. • Clear instructions outlining the step-by-step process which staff responsible for cleaning need to follow. • Instructions on the correct/safe dismantling of equipment or other pre-cleaning activity (e.g. disconnecting the electric supply) where this is requi

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