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#1 Ladygrey

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 10:58 AM

Hi All

I have just started work for a small rural organic spelt flour mill and would like some advice on cleaning schedules. I was wondering what members would advise with regards to what, how, when and frequency of cleans - a big area I know, sorry!!!

Kook forward to reading your thoughts

Jane



#2 GMO

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 11:29 AM

Not much to add because I've not worked in the field but I think it's useful to start with "why am I cleaning?" For flour, you wouldn't really be cleaning for micro reasons as it's untreated and will be cooked by the consumer so IMO you would be cleaning to prevent pest issues (and I bet there is some confused flour beetle, saw toothed or merchant grain beetle and possibly others resident in your plant right now!) So what level of cleaning will help keep pests under control and keep machines operating correctly?

Does anyone have flour experience here? I suspect there will be some interesting issues with water and explosion risks!



#3 Anne Z

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 02:17 PM

Hi

GMO said the flour is been always cooked. However there are new products on the market like icecream with raw cookie dough. Not my thing but then the flour isn't cooked! You need to know what the consumer is doing with your product or make sure you put a sticker on staying you should cook it. I learned this at the HACCP study I followed.... wich was really interesting.

Good luck!

Anne



#4 GMO

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:28 AM

Hi

GMO said the flour is been always cooked. However there are new products on the market like icecream with raw cookie dough. Not my thing but then the flour isn't cooked! You need to know what the consumer is doing with your product or make sure you put a sticker on staying you should cook it. I learned this at the HACCP study I followed.... wich was really interesting.

Good luck!

Anne



Good point, I'd put the fact into customer specifications and I very much hope cookie dough ice cream manufacturers are using heat treated flour!

My reasoning for saying "not micro" is because you can't stop a bird pooing in a wheat field! Although all cleaning methods should obviously aim not to make the micro worse.

#5 Charles.C

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 08:59 AM

Dear ladygrey/jane,

I have no idea what spelt is but for sure there are numerous threads here on generic cleaning procedures, dry situation procedures for wheat / flour type scenarios, micro.specs for assessing such procedures.

I suggest to initially try a little searching for things like cleaning / wheat / flour / swab tests.

Rgds / Charles.C

BTW Welcome to the forum ! :welcome:


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


#6 GMO

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 10:53 AM

Spelt is a type of wheat, I believe grown in Roman times, it's popular now because some people with wheat intolerences believe it is better tolerated, however, I think it still contains gluten so it's not suitable for true coeliacs.



#7 Ladygrey

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 11:16 AM

Spelt is a type of wheat, I believe grown in Roman times, it's popular now because some people with wheat intolerences believe it is better tolerated, however, I think it still contains gluten so it's not suitable for true coeliacs.


Hi GMO

Yes you are absolutely right

Thank you to all the contributors thus far

J

#8 GMO

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Posted 11 August 2010 - 06:41 AM

Yay! I am a food nerd!



#9 just me

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:46 AM

Hi LadyGrey,

I used to work in a wheat flour mill. If you are referring to cleaning the mill area (not the milling line):

Floor: It is daily sweeping. Not with broom, but with a squarish dry drag mop. Water is a big no in flour mills so we tend not to wet mop the floor. However, some flour mills that I've visited do mop their floor with water on alternate days. (Kindly note that we coat our flour mill floor with industrial coating, such as epoxy, which allows easy cleaning)
Ceiling and overhead fixtures: As determined how fast the fixtures gets spiderwebs, usually once a week.
Louvre for ventilation: As determined how fast the fixtures gets dirty, usually once a week as well.

Packing and bulk loading line: Daily, before and after operations.
Magnets in the operations line: Brushing off metals, whereby you would need to stop the line, a miller would know the frequency.
Operations line: Flush with products
Cleaning of the spelt wheat: Technical process involving size and weight and you would need professionals (people would builds the mill) to advice on this.

The flour milling process generates a lot of heat, and the heat itself maybe able to destroy some non-spore forming pathogens, but please verify with your miller on how high the temperature will go.


On annual basis, we would stop the mill carry out a fumigation for 3 days or more, depending what type of fumigant is allowed in your country.

Hope this helps.

Cheers.



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#10 ladygrey2

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:18 AM

Hi Just Me

Thank you for the information it is really useful

Regards

Ladygrey



#11 MRios

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 09:15 PM

Jumpin in with my 2 cents.
Mostly you´ll be trying to deal with flour beetles, like GMO said. They have a 21 day life cycle, under optimum conditions, which are about 60% humidity and >20°C. This means you need to thoroughly clean elevators (especially the "foot" and "head", where flour, dust, grain, etc, tends to accumulate), filters, tubes, etc at least every 3 weeks. You could consider up to a month in colder / dryer areas.
I agree that you should be using dry methods for cleaning, preferably vacuuming. You could consider spraying your mop with dust attracting liquids that area approved for use in the food industry.



#12 Ptinid

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 08:23 PM

My experience is that you may have (most flour mills do) separate infestation issues in fabric and plant. These need to be dealt with separately but together. Cleaning fabric will reduce but not eradicate SPI as they can and do live in cracks and cervices. Suppliement good frequent cleaning with insecticides should achieve good control.

Cleaning of flour milling plant for SPI is difficult in the big-scale mills simply due to the amount of down-time required. Although there are 'kill-phases' within the process, the bulk of the flour process, which involves multiple milling and recycling means that there is a massive likelihood of cross and re-infesting. The cleaning, to be effectiive, should be within the life cycle of any pests you have. This usually means every 3 weeks as a minimum (difficult to achieve in practice).

If your cleaning is for pest control/management, I would strongly recommend that you look at alcohol sanitisation as a suppliment. Every time you clean a bit of kit, sanitise it. The sanitiser (I usually recommend Alcasan), if used in sufficient quantites and on a clean surface will kill all insect stages (including eggs). There is NO residual effect, but mills I'm involved with are finding it a big help. Just be careful where you have felt seams as it can degrade the adhesives (there are also high-risk locations for SPI beetles so there is an arguement for frequent inspection and cleaning).

Hope this helps.



#13 Dunde

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 02:08 PM

Since the thread starter is running a organic mill it is a really bad idea to use insecticides as a preventive method. Normally good housekeeping is sufficient together with periodcally larger "actions".
Many organic mills use heat treatment of their equpment to reduce the risk of insect infestation. Normally once or twice a year all pipes/mills/silos etc. is heated to reduce insects.



#14 n_quality

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:45 PM

Hi please what is the procedure for flushing equipment with salt

Hi LadyGrey,

I used to work in a wheat flour mill. If you are referring to cleaning the mill area (not the milling line):

Floor: It is daily sweeping. Not with broom, but with a squarish dry drag mop. Water is a big no in flour mills so we tend not to wet mop the floor. However, some flour mills that I've visited do mop their floor with water on alternate days. (Kindly note that we coat our flour mill floor with industrial coating, such as epoxy, which allows easy cleaning)
Ceiling and overhead fixtures: As determined how fast the fixtures gets spiderwebs, usually once a week.
Louvre for ventilation: As determined how fast the fixtures gets dirty, usually once a week as well.

Packing and bulk loading line: Daily, before and after operations.
Magnets in the operations line: Brushing off metals, whereby you would need to stop the line, a miller would know the frequency.
Operations line: Flush with products
Cleaning of the spelt wheat: Technical process involving size and weight and you would need professionals (people would builds the mill) to advice on this.

The flour milling process generates a lot of heat, and the heat itself maybe able to destroy some non-spore forming pathogens, but please verify with your miller on how high the temperature will go.


On annual basis, we would stop the mill carry out a fumigation for 3 days or more, depending what type of fumigant is allowed in your country.

Hope this helps.

Cheers.



#15 Aries C.

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 01:37 AM

Are there ways to keep the bacterial count to a minimum? Is there a sanitation program for the milling line? Thanks!






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