Food Safety Standards in Food Manufacturing Facilities
Food safety hygiene standards in the food manufacturing industry are high, and rightly so. Failure to adhere to the requirements may result in persistent microbial contamination that is challenging to remove or manage. Poorly maintained premises are more likely to harbour foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella which can subsequently contaminate product.
To prevent this, food manufacturing facilities are frequently audited – not only by government authorities, but also independent auditors on behalf of the major buyers of the manufacturer.
Preparing for these audits can be stressful, particularly when it comes to something like flooring. So read on to hear our advice.
Failing flooring is often picked up by auditors as a critical problem. It is required to be sealed, to prevent bacteria from growing in the cracks and crevasses. But sealed flooring (epoxy or polyurethane cement) must be throughout the entire facility, aside from warehousing. So all mixing rooms, pre-production rooms, production and manufacturing areas, packing areas, must have a sealed, food-safe floor. So going though the entire facility checking for flooring is a big challenge.
- Create a priority/condition ranking system:
Set up your own reference point for assessing each area. For example:
1. N/A – No improvements needed
2. Fair – Evident defects, some exposed concrete, maintenance work required
3. Poor – Badly deteriorated with significant defects, would not pass audit
4. Very poor – Floor has failed, a lot of exposed concrete, unfit for use
- Print your site plan, or set it up on a tablet/notebook:
As you’re going around the site, checking everything, bring a pen, and take note of the floors. Use your ranking system to mark each areas, circling any particularly concerning areas.
- Set out priorities:
Not everything can be repaired prior to the audit, but planning, scheduling it, and starting to implement the repairs/upgrades will please the auditor. Obviously, it is critical to work up from the worst areas to the fair areas.
Our Consultancy Audits
With our thorough understanding and experience working in the Food & Beverage Manufacturing Industry, we have in-house capability to conduct on-site audits to set out and make you aware of specific upgrades and improvements that need to be carried out to prevent being picked up on or fined by authorities.
A typical ‘Consultancy Audit’ involves:
- Site Overview
- Breakdown of each area for improvement (with images)
- Priorities based on safety and hygiene risks
- Recommendations for each area
- Budget Estimates
Booking a Consultancy Audit:
Please get in touch with our team if you would like to book in a consultancy audit. These audits are conducted by our senior consultants, and typically take a couple of hours. We then prepare the report in our office, and send it to you a couple of days after the initial site visit.
These reports are ideal for large existing sites with various flooring challenges.