Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 83

Sanitation

Cleaning passion
While sanitation isn’t glamourous, engaged employees are stars
BY JOE STOUT
meatpoultry@sosland.com

tion and procedure ensures the best food safety process. This applies to our food manufacturing facilities and warehousing locations. If we see an improvement opportunity, we need to practice and practice to get it perfect.

A higher level
Elevating the process even more requires answers to questions that challenge your process. To do so: • Solicit feedback on how to do it better • Talk to your peers about other methods to use • Solicit support from outside your company about correct procedures and ideas • Talk to other employees in your own company about continuous improvement One of the best learning events I’ve used while visiting food plants during sanitation procedures is to talk to the individuals doing the cleaning. These employees have great ideas. Ask

n everyday life, we know people who are really good at something they do. For example, a person may excel at playing cards, golfing or making chili in a cookoff. Often we hear questions such as, “How did you learn to make such a good dish,” or “How did you become so good at golf?” You could bet this was not the first time the person participated in such activities. No doubt they had repeated the process time and time again and learned more about the actions involved or the technique needed. Every time they repeated the event, they enhanced and improved their abilities and the ultimate result. The fact of the matter is they had passion for what they were doing and conscientiously applied learnings from the last time, each time they repeated it. This is a passion for excellence and perfection – in essence, it’s the old adage, “Practice makes perfect.” For those involved in any aspect of the food industry, we need to apply this approach to ensure food products are safely produced and delivered to consumers. How can you apply a practicemakes-perfect approach to what you or your plant employees do regarding sanitation, quality or food safety every day? Let’s talk about some possibilities on how to do it better.

I

Path forward
It all starts with a cleanable facility and with equipment designed to be easily cleaned. As an advocate of the relationship of sanitary design to food safety, I encourage a comprehensive understanding of weaknesses in current sanitary design and the challenges

poor design brings to cleaning. This understanding of design challenges can be gained by using an equipment or facility-design checklist. The Grocery Manufacturers Association or the American Meat Institute offers such checklists that can be used to evaluate current designs and modify them as needed. Develop science-based programs using existing knowledge in the industry. This is the prime step because we must have a basis for what needs to be done and a consistent approach to be followed. These programs need to be living documents that can be adjusted over time as you learn more about the successes and weaknesses in your facility. Training is a critical component of teaching sanitation and quality personnel as well as plant management about the correct ways to clean and how to execute quality programs. All employees need to understand the basics of food safety, good manufacturing practices (GMPs), HACCP, microbiology and sanitation procedures to enable them to perform daily tasks routinely and in a consistent and disciplined way. Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to confi rm that the programs are effective and are completed at the prescribed frequency. Examples of KPIs could be actual equipment or facility cleaning vs. what is scheduled; clean equipment measurements such as bacterial or pathogen environment swabs (Listeria or Salmonella); plant inspection results; GMP compliance; or employee training. Finally, practice does make perfect. Continuous improvement of prepara-

Continuous improvement of preparation and procedure ensures the best food safety process.
if there is a better, safer and faster way to do a task. More often than not, the answer is yes – and all you need to do is to listen. This is also a way to motivate the employees doing the work. Another great tool is to form sanitation teams. Such efforts can build a passion for excellence, thus engaging the heart and mind of the organization. If you are searching for excellence and perfection in sanitation, set a path of continuous improvement, and practice until you fi nd perfection. Then continue to improve. ■
Joe Stout was director of global product protection, sanitation and hygienic design at Kraft Foods, where he worked for 28 years until his retirement in 2010. Stout recently formed a consulting business, Commercial Food Sanitation LLC, to provide sanitation and hygienic design consulting for the food industry. He can be reached at joestout@cf-san.com. We would like to hear from you – to comment on this story or to request reprints, contact us by e-mail at meatpoultry@sosland.com.

www.MeatPoultry.com • March 2011 • Meat&Poultry • 83



Meat&Poultry - March 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meat&Poultry - March 2011

Meat&Poultry - March 2011
Commentary - Defense mechanisms
Hormel earnings up 34 percent in first quarter
Cargill introduces Fressure patties
Maple Leaf earnings hit by input costs
Sanderson Farms touts record FY2010
Grant allows XL Foods to double capacity
Townsends poultry ops sold after bankruptcy
JBS reports positive results of food-safety technology
Taco Bell launches new beef image TV ads
Catfish inspection gets political
Sustainability strides
E xperience counts
THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - Winner’s circle
THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - Alphabetical listing by company name
THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - by rank
Small Business Matters - Duty calls
Food Ingredient Solutions - Delectable pairings
Processing Innovations - Everything but the squeal
Sanitation - Cleaning passion
Food Safety - Reassigning resources
Food Safety - Food-safety fortress
Packaging Solutions - Packaging under pressure
New Product Rollouts - Unveiling ideas
New Products
Labor - Questioning benefi ts
Names in the News
New Product Showcase
Classified Advertising
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Meat&Poultry - March 2011
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 2
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 3
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 4
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 5
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 6
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 7
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Commentary - Defense mechanisms
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 9
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Hormel earnings up 34 percent in first quarter
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 11
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Maple Leaf earnings hit by input costs
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 13
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Sanderson Farms touts record FY2010
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 15
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Townsends poultry ops sold after bankruptcy
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 17
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Taco Bell launches new beef image TV ads
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 19
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Catfish inspection gets political
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 21
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Sustainability strides
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 23
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 24
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 25
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - E xperience counts
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - Winner’s circle
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 37
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - Alphabetical listing by company name
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 39
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 40
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 41
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 42
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - THE TOP 125 PROCESSORS - by rank
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 60
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 61
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Small Business Matters - Duty calls
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 63
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 64
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 65
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 66
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 67
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Food Ingredient Solutions - Delectable pairings
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 69
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 71
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 72
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 73
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Processing Innovations - Everything but the squeal
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 77
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 82
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Sanitation - Cleaning passion
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Food Safety - Reassigning resources
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 85
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 86
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 87
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Food Safety - Food-safety fortress
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 95
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 97
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Packaging Solutions - Packaging under pressure
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Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - New Product Rollouts - Unveiling ideas
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - New Products
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 107
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Labor - Questioning benefi ts
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Names in the News
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - New Product Showcase
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 111
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 112
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 113
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 114
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 115
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - 116
Meat&Poultry - March 2011 - Classified Advertising
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