Building and maintaining a successful sanitation program in the food industry is no easy task. Reporting, microbial management, staffing challenges, and safety risks are just a few of the critical areas that we see plant managers, FSQA managers and others having to juggle every day. And as the complexities continue to grow related to food safety, many processors are facing tough decisions about how to keep up with the demands going into next year.
Do you continue to try and manage a sanitation program in-house or outsource to a third-party sanitation company?
As a company that has served food processors across the industry for more than 50 years, PSSI has been part of that decision-making journey for hundreds of our partners. Based on our experience, we thought it might be helpful to share a list of what we believe are the most important areas to consider when it comes to evaluating your options.
Employee safety is one of the most important elements associated with sanitation across the food industry. Without the right planning, training, and day to day management of sanitation teams it can lead to extremely negative outcomes. Accidents and violations are not only a brand reputation and operations issue but can also be a significant financial burden.
Outsourcing sanitation to a provider with skilled, well-trained sanitors and 24/7 management oversight can not only minimize accidents, but also take the liability and risk off your facility’s record.
Specialized Leadership and Experience
Having a team of trained sanitors and food safety professionals overseeing every aspect of a program and the performance is key to both quality and consistency. Employing higher-level food safety leadership with a third-party partner, including a diverse team of microbiologists, chemical experts and sanitary design specialists, can be critical to long-term quality and protection. This includes specialized expertise in the development of plant, facility, equipment-specific cleaning procedures that can set your sanitation program apart from other facilities to win new business.
The value that third-party providers like PSSI bring with diversified experience across multiple market segments is also a huge benefit. The shared knowledge and ability to leverage experts and resources across all areas of the industry is extremely beneficial when developing a plan or dealing with complex food safety issues.
Dedicated Management and Communication
A huge part of the decision in outsourcing sanitation shouldn’t just be the staffing of basic sanitation services, but the management and oversight of those teams as well. Consistency and quality are highly dependent on having higher-level leadership making sure all processes related to safety and food safety are being executed correctly.
Consistent communication is also an important benefit so that you always know what is happening inside your facility when you aren’t there. They can arm you with a detailed report of every task completed so that you can have confidence in knowing you can start production safe and on-time every day.
Detailed Reporting and Audit Support
Reporting is always one of the most tedious and difficult tasks to stay consistent related to food safety auditing. And, unfortunately, it is only going to become more and more complex as regulatory standards become tighter.
Too often we see that sanitation processes are not being recorded consistently or to the detailed level required to support food safety audits. This leaves many plant managers or FSQA leaders scrambling at audit time to gather the necessary documentation.
Finding a provider that not only has the consistent reporting processes in place, but also the technology to track detailed execution will not only provide clear transparency on what was accomplished each shift but ensures that you always have the documentation needed for every category of an audit.
Continuous Improvement and Innovation
Aside from the day-to-day execution of a sanitation program, there is an essential need for a team of experts who can evaluate performance and help identify new opportunities for areas of improvement or innovation. This includes areas like new technology or products to minimize food safety risks, water conservation, strategic chemical use, and other efficiencies for cost saving strategies.
Employing higher-level experts to monitor as part of an outsourced food safety program can be one of the most important aspects of food safety longevity. The team can not only help provide recommendations, but also lead the implementation of new strategies to keep your program operating at the highest, most cost-efficient level possible.
For more information or to learn what PSSI can offer in each of these areas, please contact us today. We have a team ready to help you develop a sanitation outsourcing strategy that can help you achieve your goals.