Vacuums again are used to clean ovens. Many cleaning equipment manufacturers have come up with special nozzles that are heat resistant enabling cleaning when the oven is hot.
Similarly, in the production line, another technology that is more prominently used abroad includes the ice blasting machines which take care of residues like carbon, grease, starch, etc. This can also be used in the mixing plants, tanks, furnaces and handling systems.
Sweepers again are part of dry cleaning which can be used in the shop floor and also in the surrounding area cleaning.
High pressure jets, part of wet cleaning, are used commonly to remove fat or grease deposits also for foaming structure within the production unit. The hot and cold water option in the high-pressure jets enables all-round cleanliness and hygiene.
Other common wet cleaning products include vacuums, scrubber dryers, single disc machines.
Traditionally, cleaning used to be done either before production or after, and if it occurred during production hours, machines were turned off for cleaning. Cleaning in place or inline cleaning systems are now being used extensively for interior cleaning of pipes, vessels, tankers, heat exchanges, fillers and other enclosed process systems. This method allows processing equipment to be steamed, vacuumed and removed of any waste in one go, without having to stop. This greatly reduces the risk of contamination further down the production line. Surfaces receive a deep clean while production is occurring rather than a wipe down at the end. It also reduces resources, labour and downtime. Other cleaning processes include chiller and heat exchanger tube cleaning machinery and others.
The official definition (Association of Official Analytical Chemists) of sanitizing for food product contact surfaces is a process which reduces the contamination level by 99.999% (5 logs) in 30 sec.
The official definition for non-product contact surfaces requires a contamination reduction of 99.9% (3 logs). The standard test organisms used are Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.
General types of sanitization include the following:
• Thermal Sanitization involves the use of hot water or steam for a specified temperature and contact time.
• Chemical Sanitization involves the use of an approved chemical sanitizer at a specified concentration and contact time.
Detergents are normally used to remove soils, while sanitizers which contain both detergents and disinfectants which are used to kill microbes without employing a soil removal action.
Water comprises approximately 95-99% of cleaning and sanitizing solutions. Water functions to do the following:
• carry the detergent or the sanitizer to the surface
• carry soils or contamination from the surface.
The primary source of soil is from the food product being handled. However, minerals from water residue and residues from cleaning compounds contribute to films left on surfaces. Microbiological biofilms also contribute to the soil build-up on surfaces. Since soils vary widely in composition, no one detergent is capable of removing all types. Many complex films contain combinations of food components, surface oil or dust, insoluble cleaner components, and insoluble hard-water salts. These films vary in their solubility properties depending upon such factors as heat effect, age, dryness, time, etc.