Why Is Effective Degreasing and Cleaning So Important?
Effective degreasing and cleaning helps control human health by preventing transmission of human diseases in foods. Degreasing & Cleaning helps prevent pest infestations by reducing residues that can attract and support pests. It also improves the shelf life and sensory quality of food products.
Effective degreasing and Cleaning
Effective degreasing and cleaning is done by identifying areas and items to be cleaned. Then, effective chemicals and application methods must be selected. Degreasing is competed first, and then cleaning is done in 2 steps. You should perform D and C regularly, and validate that the program has been performed correctly.
What should be Degreased and Cleaned?
All surfaces that may contact the food product, such as utensils, knives, tables, cutting boards, conveyor belts, ice makers, ice storage bins, hands, gloves, and aprons. Surfaces that do not directly contact the product such as walls, ceilings, floors and drains have a profound effect on environment.
What Else Should be Degreased and Cleaned?
Cleaning tools like brooms, mops, squeegees, buckets, sponges, scrapers, foaming equipment, water guns, etc., should be cleaned and sanitized. Cleaning tools can be a major source of microbial contamination if not cleaned. Cleaning tools should be washed and sanitized after every use. They should be stored clean, dried, and secured.
The Degreasing Step
Degreasing is the complete removal of unwanted matter using appropriate detergent chemicals under recommended conditions. Cleaning personnel need a working understanding of the type of substances to be cleaned the basic chemistry of its removal. As we will see later, cleaning and sanitizing need to be performed in two separate steps. It is impossible to clean a surface that is still dirty. There must be an effective rinse after the Degreasing step to remove detergent residue that can interfere with the action of chemical sanitizers.
Characteristics of Food Soils
Soil is any unwanted matter on the surface of an object that one desires to be clean. Cleanliness is an unnatural condition, because all surfaces are constantly being soiled. Special care must be taken to ensure that all soil is removed and that it is not redeposit on the substrate. Soil may be classified as visible and invisible, the Latter category being primarily microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeasts, and molds.
Soil is best identified by characteristics that give information on how it may be dissolved, because the object of degreasing is to dissolve or to suspend soil and then to clean it away. Some food soils can be dissolved in water such as simple carbohydrates (sugars), some simple mineral salts (Nail), and some starches. There are also food soils that dissolve in alkali, like proteins, starches associated with proteins or fats, and bacterial films (biofilms)? There are food soils that dissolve in acid, like hard water hardness salts (calcium and magnesium salts), and more complex Mineral films, including iron and manganese deposits. Finally, there are those that dissolve with surfactants, which include fats, oils and greases, many food residues, inert soils such as sand, clay, or fine metals, and some biofilms.
What are Biofilms?
Biofilms are a collection of microorganisms, mainly bacteria, growing together in a matrix of polymers secreted by the microorganisms. Once microbes grow into well-developed biofilms, cleaning and sanitation become much more difficult. Biofilms have a shielding effect on the bacterial cells within them, and normal cleaning and sanitizing methods may not eliminate them. Biofilms MUST be removed or prevented from forming on surfaces. Disease-producing bacteria, including Listeria, can be, 1000 times harder to eliminate if it is living in a protective biofilm. Biofilms can be very difficult to remove from surfaces, and are known to have an increased biocidal resistance due to the biofilm structure protecting the microorganisms. Biofilms can be a continual source of pathogenic and spoilage organisms if not completely removed.
What are Biofilm?
A collection of microorganisms, mainly bacteria,
Growing together in a matrix of polymers
Secreted by the microorganisms
Spoilage organisms such as Pseudomonas grows in biofilms and can be sloughed off during production, contaminate the food, and accelerate spoilage. The polymers secreted by the bacteria close to the surface are strong adhesives making the cells very difficult to remove. The cells in a biofilm actually take on specialized functions and can communicate with each other in a rudimentary way (called Quorum Sensing).