Why Sanitation and Organization is so Important
When you work in any food industry there are many different things that you need to keep in mind, be concerned with, and put into practice. Allergens and sanitation are a few of those concerns. When you own a commercial bakery, you know that your baked goods are going to be enjoyed by many different people in many different areas. But you don’t know who has what allergies and who may be affected by cross-contamination in your bakery.
As a commercial bakery, you want to take extra precautions when it comes to your bakery’s sanitation. Any cross-contamination or unsanitary practice could affect your baked goods and harm someone consuming them, which will affect your entire business. Putting a solid sanitation practice into place can help ensure your bakery is up to par.
Schaumburg Specialties can help you keep your baking equipment clean with our rack and pan washers. These rack washers can clean racks, pans, trays, dollys, totes and drums, plastic pallets and crates, and so much more! But our rack washers are not the only thing needed to keep your bakery clean and sanitized.
Establishing an allergen program can help keep allergens and cross contamination under control, keeping your bakery more sanitized and up to standards. If your commercial bakery has been in the business for years, you most likely already have an allergen control program. If you are new to the industry, or your allergen control plan is outdated, building a new and improved plan can help your bakery be more sanitized and reduce cross-contamination.
In this blog, we are going to give you tips to creating the best allergen control plan and how to implement it into your commercial bakery. Read on to learn more about the important aspects of a successful allergen program.
In an article from Food Safety™ Magazine, they asked 275 food processors throughout the United States and parts of Canada about their allergen programs, including the effective strategies and the uneffective. They mention that 40 percent of the respondents said that segregation and separation of foods and ingredients was a strength in their allergen program.
Keeping different foods and ingredients separated and making sure there is a solid system in place can help keep items from cross-contamination, reducing any issues with allergens. When segregation is set in place in your bakery, you want to be sure there are no flaws to the system and that all employees understand how to properly use this system. If you want to help your commercial bakery create a better allergen program, this is a great place to start.
Others Effective Methods
There are many methods that can help to strengthen your allergen program. After segregation, the next three effective strategies listed in the Food Safety Magazine article were almost tied for second. These included:
- Validated cleaning processes
- Education and communication
- Monitoring and testing
These three things can help your allergen program become even more successful and effective, reducing the amount of cross-contamination and allowing your bakery to show even better results.
With a solid and validated cleaning process, you can not only keep foods from becoming contaminated with allergens, but you can also help with the sanitation process of your bakery.
Education and communication is important to keep each employee on track and understanding of the process. Communication can help keep everyone in the bakery on the same page and will allow for any changes to be known by everyone right away. These are keys to keeping your bakery up to standards.
To ensure that no cross-contamination is occuring or has occured, testing and monitoring is required. These methods can help to make sure your bakery is successful in allergen control every step of the way.
This article also mentioned the issues that these food processors have faced. These included employee training and compliance issues, scheduling, and undeclared allergens and documentation. The article also mentions that the processors indicated that if they had more time and people, their methods would be more successful.
To ensure your bakery sticks to these allergen programs, you need to make sure that your employees know exactly what is going on. While you may not have time to do a thorough training, it is important to keeping your bakery’s plan successful. You also need to be sure that your employees follow the Standard Operating Procedures.
With more time and people to work on the segregation, testing, cleaning, and education, less issues would take place in the food industry. But there are ways to work around the little time and small staff. Keeping your bakery clean and sanitized is one of them.
Keeping your bakery completely clean and sanitized is a great way to reduce cross-contamination, allergen problems, and other food related issues. While regular cleanings go on in your bakery, periodic equipment cleaning is another important aspect of a sanitized bakery.
Periodic Equipment Cleaning
While you may think that your routine equipment cleanings are enough to keep your entire bakery sanitized, it is not always enough. Routine cleanings are important to keeping your equipment clean, but they generally focus on the contact surfaces.
Another article from the Food Safety Magazine, discussed the importance of periodical cleanings. Periodic cleanings mean disassembling your equipment and cleaning every nook and cranny.
Different areas of your baking equipment can become harborage points for pathogens to grow. These areas are those that are not cleaned regularly and leave enough time for the pathogens to grow. These harborage points create the perfect environment for pathogens to grow, the perfect environment includes:
- Enough time
- Right temperature
These pathogens will eventually come in contact with the products, contaminating your baked good and causing you a bigger problem than you may have imagined. This is why it is so important to take apart your equipment and clean potential harborage points before they have a chance to contaminate your products.
While doing your periodical cleaning, swabs should be taken in potential harborage points to ensure no pathogens are beginning to grow in these areas. These cleanings don’t have to happen regularly, that is why they are called periodical. Knowing how often these should take place depends on many factors, which are highlighted in the article. They include:
- Accessibility to all parts of equipment
- Whether pathogens will die or be supported in the products
- How old your equipment is
- What swab results say
Implement periodical cleanings into your bakery’s cleaning process, it will help to keep your bakery sanitized and less likely to face a contamination issue. Plus, it can help reduce the chances of allergy issues.
Keeping a clean, sanitized, and organized bakery is important for being successful. Taking extra measures to ensure your bakery is up to standards and focused on keeping everything from becoming contaminated. Schaumburg Specialties can help you keep your bakery cleaner with our rack and pan washers and better organized with our color coded bakery equipment! Contact us today to learn more.