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What do standards say about cleaning tools?

05 September 2016

Debra Smith summarises external audit requirements with regard to cleaning tools stated in BRCv7 and ISO22000 as well offering a typical retailer example.

Food producers are subject to regular audits to ensure food safety and quality. These could be conducted by internal quality personnel, or by external retailer or standards auditors and the requirements of each will vary. 

Internal audits tend to be very site or process specific. Audits conducted according to the BRC and ISO standards, are more generic and focus on application of best practice. Retailer audits are more prescriptive, detailing specific requirements across all sites that produce for them.
However, they all stress the importance of implementing controls based on risk assessment. BRC v.7 (2015) Section 4.11.6, for example, states that cleaning equipment shall be hygienically designed and fit for purpose, suitably identified for intended use (e.g. colour coded or labelled), cleaned and stored in a hygienic manner to prevent contamination and that equipment used for cleaning high care and high risk areas shall be visually distinctive and dedicated for use in that area.

ISO 22000 (2005) ISO/TS 22002-1:2009 (2013) Prerequisite programmes on food safety - Part 1: Food manufacturing (11.2 Cleaning and sanitising agents and tools) states that tools and equipment shall be of hygienic design and maintained in a condition which does not present a potential source of extraneous matter.

Retailer audit (2015) Section 22.5 & 22.6 states that cleaning equipment… must be fit for purpose, in good condition, easily cleanable and not pose a risk of foreign object contamination.  It also says that a colour coded system must be in place to identify and segregate cleaning equipment between tasks and across high, medium and base risk areas.

Vikan is able to supply a range of durable, colour coded cleaning tools of materials approved for direct food contact. These include the Ultra Hygiene range, which was developed to incorporate good hygienic design.

Debra Smith is global hygiene specialist at Vikan.

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