When it comes to food safety and protecting the health and quality of your products, ‘clean’ can have several different meanings. Processors may initially think about sanitation and preventing pathogen or microbial risks, which is critically important. However, there is also another level of clean ensuring your facility and equipment are free of any foreign material objects that could pose a contamination threat.
That’s why PSSI enforces strict policies and procedures to ensure the cleanliness of processing plants is protected at all levels.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, foreign material was the leading cause of food contamination during the first half of 2019. This type of contamination can be caused by a number of different things.
During any single nightly sanitation shift, there are hundreds if not thousands of different items spread across a processing facility. One single flashlight, scrub brush or tool to clean, sanitize, or inspect processing equipment that gets left in the wrong place can cause a costly and potentially catastrophic issue. This can not only impact the function and longevity of the expensive processing equipment, but more importantly the health and safety of the food and its end consumers.
PSSI is one of the only sanitation providers across the industry that has a strict Foreign Material Control Program. The program requires that all plants keep a Daily Equipment Log of every single item that is checked out at the beginning of a shift and checked in at the end of a shift. This is a similar, but separate process from the company’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) program. PSSI Site Managers or other designees individually manage the log at each facility ensuring that every item is accounted for at the end of every shift.
Employees are trained to be accountable for their own items, but the managers are responsible for check-in at the end every shift. If any of the tools or equipment aren’t accounted for or cannot be found, an immediate investigation will take place to locate the item before the plant is turned over for production.
In addition to the detailed, real-time documentation PSSI provides to support sanitation, the Daily Equipment Log provides an even greater level of reassurance for plant managers to confirm that a facility is clean and ready for production. And with regulatory agencies starting to enforce stricter guidelines and reviews around foreign material protection, the additional level of documentation can be extremely helpful for SQF and BRC audits as well.
The team at PSSI takes our job and responsibility very seriously as a food safety partner to minimize all risk and make sure a plant is cleaned to the highest level possible. The establishment and strict enforcement of this program is just one of many examples of our commitment to a superior level of service so you can run your plant with confidence every day.