“We want residents and visitors to the borough to be able to enjoy their food safe in the knowledge that it has been produced, stored and prepared in a hygienic manner.”
This was spoken to the Government’s News Distribution Service after Mr Chitta R. Das, owner of frozen food company Euroversal International released a statement last week which assured the public that his produce was safe to consume. This came after his factory was exposed for being unhygienic earlier this month. The Food Standards Agency discovered a mouse infestation in the factory and traces of mouse droppings were found inside food packaging, on shelves and in the food itself. The company was charged with six food hygiene offences, fined £5,730 and had their ‘Mithaighar’ yoghurt product recalled.
In areas where food is prepared, packaged and distributed to the public, the hygiene and cleanliness of the building and the staff who work in it must be impeccable. Any dangerous bacteria must be removed from all surfaces, even if they are not in direct contact with food; harmful bacteria can cause food-related illnesses such as salmonella, listeria and E. coli.
It is the responsibility of business directors who run food factories to adhere to constantly updated rules, regulations and legislations which are monitored by a number of official bodies. Firstly, the Food Standards Agency, an independent Government department, was set up to monitor food production in the interest of the consumer’s health. They set guidelines for food preparation, which they monitor and enforce frequently. The BRC, British Retail Consortium also sets a standardised level of hygiene that retailers expect from their suppliers. They modify the rules frequently and a sixth edition of their regulations is due in 2012.
With all of these pressures on owners of food production factories, it can quickly become impossible for them to keep up. With so many other aspects of running a business to think about, the easiest way to make sure it is done properly, and with minimum fuss, is to get a cleaning contractor to do it for you.
Cleaning contractors are often highly experienced when it comes to working in industry. They are subject to stringent hygiene, safety and cleanliness regulations as part of their job; making it important for them to be knowledgeable in the latest food hygiene and cleanliness laws.
They will have specially-trained teams to set to work, who will be very experienced at working in industrial units. The contractor will be responsible for staffing issues, including ensuring that staff are up to date will all legislations. The procurement of any specialist equipment and supplies will also become the responsibility of the contractor.
Another issue for owners of food production factories is the time constraints against them; to maximise the company’s productivity they need to be open for business for long periods of time. Some specialist cleaning processes require time and potentially an emptied factory, which could clash with production times. A cleaning contractor will fit in with the company’s schedule and requirements to make it as convenient as possible.
Alongside daily cleaning, there are some special services that a contract cleaning company can offer. Firstly, there is high level cleaning, which requires experienced staff cleaning hard-to-reach areas, making every surface spotlessly clean. They will also be trained in machinery and process parts cleaning, an essential process that removes the residue of bacteria and it keeps the machines working efficiently; dirty machines break down which makes the factory lose money. Many insurers now also want ventilation and duct cleaning and testing to be undertaken by professional contractors, which they will also be able to help with.
Hiring a cleaning contractor to do your food factory cleaning can therefore ensure that the factory maintains the highest standards, will remove the stresses from a business owner and will undertake regular daily cleaning as well as specialist tasks.