Pro Tip: Establishing proper cleaning methods and determining an appropriate schedule can help facilities save time and money.

Cleaning is more than making a facility look good, and an effective process will go a long way in preventing cross-contamination. Here are seven recommendations to minimize potential issues:

  1. Remove as much of the product residue from the equipment prior to starting any in-depth cleaning. It will speed up the cleaning process and will help prevent accidently spreading allergenic material when using compressed air or water to clean. 
  2. If you must dry clean, brushing and/or vacuuming should be the next steps to reduce the spread of allergens. Compressed air should only be used as a last resort to help dry clean inaccessible and difficult spots. If the equipment can be wet cleaned, a proper rinse step is key to ensure that all visible residue is removed.
  3. Scrubbing the equipment breaks up the residue as well as any biofilm that may be present. 
  4. Know the equipment and specific “hot spots” for product residue buildup. These areas include rollers, scrapers, elbows, tensioners, product guides and more. 
  5. Clean your reusable brushes, scrapers and tools. If the tools are not properly maintained, cross-contamination can occur, including allergen issues. 
  6. Adequate lighting is also important during the cleaning and inspection process because it will allow you to identify which spots were overlooked. 
  7. A post-cleaning inspection should be conducted by someone other than the person who did the cleaning. This person should be knowledgeable of the “hot spots” where residue may be trapped and should have enough time to complete the process.

Bret Zaher is manager at AIB International.