Is there really an easy, reliable way to prevent the dust, debris, muddy water and bacteria coming into your facilities?
Before diving into our simple, unobtrusive but highly effective system for maintaining a cleaner processing environment at your company, lets look at why it is so important to keep your factory floors in pristine condition.
Material & employee movement naturally carries in dirt & wet, which can cause issues particularly in manufacturing facilities where cleanliness is paramount. Everyday activity such as unloading from a delivery truck, entry of material handling devices or even your workforce entering the facility will generate a build-up of dirt, debris, wet and dust from tyres, wheels & footwear. The next set of movement of vehicles or employee takes the dirt further and deeper into your storage and production areas causing unnecessary issues!
The importance of infection control as well as dirt, grime and dust control in food and beverage manufacturing should not be underestimated. It is important that such buildings are designed with appropriate consultation, and the design facilitates good infection prevention and control (IPC) practices and has the quality and design of finishes and fittings that enable thorough access, cleaning and maintenance to take place. Good standards of basic hygiene, cleaning and regular planned maintenance will assist in preventing healthcare-associated infection (HCAI); but is this enough?
Would you eat off the floors in your facility?
An interesting question to ask yourself! Floors are a haven for bacteria. Pathogens such as Listeria thrive in dust particles or anywhere water is allowed to pool.
Bacteria can easily transfer to food contact surfaces when dust particles become airborne, or when a worker steps in a pool of water and the germs “aerosolize.” Even if there is no dust or standing water directly adjacent to a food preparation area, bacteria can be transferred from other parts of the facility on the bottom of shoes, rolling cart wheels, forklifts or even automated machinery with wheels.
Some of the issues manufacturing facilities face with dirty floors, includes Listeria being spread, and the consequences can be very serious.
What is Listeria Monocytogenes? Listeria Monocytogenes is present all around us, mainly on dust on the ground. It is is one of the leading causes of death from foodborne illness, according to food safety experts. Next to creating nausea, vomiting, aches, fever and diarrhea, it can also spread through the bloodstream to the nervous system, resulting in meningitis which can be fatal.
Once you have Listeria Monocytogenes in your factory, you will find it is very difficult to get rid of it. The underlying reasons for this are that Listeria Monocytogenes tolerates salty environments and cold temperatures, it can even continue to grow at temperatures as low as -1.5˚C. Next to this is known that Listeria Monocytogenes will even survive temperatures as low as -25˚C (and lower). So tactics like keeping your product frozen at very low temperatures for a while as a kill step does not work with Listeria Monocytogenes. Although we focus on food factories in this post, all the areas can be easily translated to other facilities also like cold stores, distribution centres, supermarkets and restaurants.
This means proliferation of Listeria Monocytogenes is most of the time done via boots. Ensuring boots are clean in the susceptible areas of the factory is a pre-requisite. All places where open food is handled, you want to ensure the boots are clean. Using plastic overshoes is less advisable as it still might give rise to outside dirt setting on top of the plastic. Or even worse: the plastic overshoes can rupture during use and hence expose your high hygiene area to the risk of Listeria Monocytogenes.
Next to management of boots, it is equally important to keep your factory floors dry at all times. Listeria Monocytogenes as well as most other bacteria needs water to grow and sustain it’s presence.
Using manual floor cleaning equipment in your food facility such as mops, brooms and vacuums are the primary cleaning tools in many food processing and manufacturing plants. The problem is that they can create hazards that can cause problems for both your food safety plan and your fall prevention program. If there is bacteria on the floor (and there is — floors are a common source of pathogens), mopping is probably doing more to spread that contamination than to contain it. The very first time the dirty mop is dipped into the mop bucket, the water becomes contaminated with bacteria (as well as dirt and other grime), and the cleaning chemical in the bucket starts to lose its effectiveness. This can result in spreading contamination across the floor, because the more you dip the mop in the water, the more contaminated it becomes.
Brooms are commonly used both for cleaning up spills (e.g., flour in a bakery) and as part of the regular floor cleaning routine. And just like mops, brooms often cause more problems than they solve. Sweeping with a broom kicks up dust particles from the floor, causing them to become airborne so they can easily travel to other areas of the plant. If these dust particles contain pathogens like Listeria, they can cause cross-contamination.
Unfortunately the hazards of dust dispersal don’t stop there. Dust that’s kicked up into the air will eventually settle somewhere, often in a vent or on an overhead pipe. This creates a combustible dust hazard. Despite the fact that the food industry accounts for almost one-quarter of all combustible dust incidents, this hazard is often overlooked in food facilities.
What about damp and wet on your factory floor? This commonly makes it’s way into factory floors by forklift tyres, or boots. Slips and trips are the most common cause of major injuries at work. Around 90% of these are broken bones! The costs to industry are substantial (over £500 million per year) and there is incalculable human cost and suffering to those injured.
Multiple movements in the factory, create multiple issues;
Although cleaning tools such as mops, brooms and so on cannot be eliminated, why not look at how to prevent the dust, dirt, bacteria or moisture coming into your factory floor in the first place?
Thankfully, there are excellent solutions. Profilgate matting in your entrance ways is the best solution for keeping boots clean, dry and dirt free.
Prevention is better than cure!
Hygiene and cleanliness are more likely to be successful if being undertaken in a proactive basis, rather than reactive, in order to eliminate the dust, damp and dirt before it enters the factory, reducing contamination and risks to consumers, rather than try and get rid of it once it has entered your factory.
Meet Profilgate, a patented entrance brush cleaner system which creates an area that people, and vehicles must pass over when entering the buildings, which removes dirt, moisture & bacteria from shoes and wheels. This radically reduces the risk of product contamination and slippery floors and protects sensitive preparation and processing areas.
By strategically placing ProfilGate® wheel and sole cleaner throughout your building, you can now capture dirt, wet & debris from wheels, castors, tires & soles – before it migrates and enters your production facility.
Our simple but highly effective system is useful to prevent the dust, debris, muddy water and bacteria coming into your facilities, and has been proven invaluable by many food manufacturing premises, automotive factories and more.
Our Profilgate entrance matting has been popular in many automotive manufacturing, food and beverage factories, electronics & engineering manufacturing, and pharmaceutical & chemical factory buildings. It is an excellent solution to preventing slips and contamination, from the visible to the invisible.
Multiple movements in your factory? No problem… if it moves, ProfilGate automatically cleans it!
Unavoidable contamination control thresholds, from low care to high care, food manufacturing for example (and other factories) have differing levels of hygiene requirements.
Raw Goods in – automatically clean forklift and pallet truck wheels
Medium or high care – automatically control physical and microbiological contamination on wheels and soles of footwear
Allergens – automatically control allergen transfer via wheels and footwear
Changing rooms to production – eliminate footwear tread build up
Workshop to production – eliminate footwear tread build up
Goods out – eliminate dust compromising product/brand
Wheel and footwear cleaning for any doorway entrances and walkways within your manufacturing facility.
Hand wash areas – so you can automatically clean the soles of footwear whilst washing and drying hands.
Workshops – Eliminate the risk of workshop debris such as metal swarf or glass
Medium and high care – automatically remove physical dirt and debris from wheels and footwear. Automatically apply sanitiser for microbiological control.
Changing rooms – a build up of debris within footwear tread completely negates the anti-slip capabilities. Dirt and debris represents a hygiene risk if it falls off within the production area. Debris impregnated shoes significantly reduces hygiene levels when stored overnight.
Managing waste – Whether wheeling or carrying out waste, the very nature of the process raises exposure to contamination. Automatically cleaning wheels and footwear via an unavoidable cleaning threshold is the best solution.
Goods in and out – Automatically controlling dirt and wet ingress. Controlling contamination in low care areas significantly reduces the transfer into high care areas, as well as eliminating the risk of slips or near-misses. Capturing granular dirt stops it being ground into airborne dust.
If you would like to learn more, contact us here. Our expert Clive will talk you through how our simple, unobtrusive but highly effective system can be in maintaining a cleaner processing environment at your company.