Jump to content

  • Quick Navigation
Photo

Brushes Vs Squeegees


  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 shea quay

shea quay

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 180 posts
  • 92 thanks
22
Excellent

  • Ireland
    Ireland
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:09 AM

We currently use colour coded brushes for all warehouse and production area cleaning at our facility. Our floor surface is excellent and we only have "dry" cleaning operations in place. I've been toying with the idea of replacing our brushes with squeegees. The only reason I have is that I can get squeegees cheaper at the moment. However, the more I think about the risk assessment, the more it seems to make sense to me. Brushes "kick up" dust that can quickly resettle on food surfaces and floors. There is also a danger of cross contamination from allergens within the bristles (we use sesame seeds). I've trialed a squeegee myself at the weekend (once again living the dream) and it seemed to work fine. Certainly, it takes a little more effort to move along the floor, but I don't think the extra effort will kill anyone. The foreign body risk from both seems about the same also.
Has anyone else out there found themselves in work on a Sunday trialling floor cleaning products? Can anyone see any disadvantages to changing over? Can anyone suggest any other pros or cons for the risk assessment? Or indeed, have any auditors ever raised the risk of using brushes in dusty areas around food contact surfaces?



#2 mgourley

mgourley

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,268 posts
  • 944 thanks
206
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Plant City, FL
  • Interests:Cooking, golf, firearms, food safety and sanitation.

Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:20 AM

We currently use colour coded brushes for all warehouse and production area cleaning at our facility. Our floor surface is excellent and we only have "dry" cleaning operations in place. I've been toying with the idea of replacing our brushes with squeegees. The only reason I have is that I can get squeegees cheaper at the moment. However, the more I think about the risk assessment, the more it seems to make sense to me. Brushes "kick up" dust that can quickly resettle on food surfaces and floors. There is also a danger of cross contamination from allergens within the bristles (we use sesame seeds). I've trialed a squeegee myself at the weekend (once again living the dream) and it seemed to work fine. Certainly, it takes a little more effort to move along the floor, but I don't think the extra effort will kill anyone. The foreign body risk from both seems about the same also.
Has anyone else out there found themselves in work on a Sunday trialling floor cleaning products? Can anyone see any disadvantages to changing over? Can anyone suggest any other pros or cons for the risk assessment? Or indeed, have any auditors ever raised the risk of using brushes in dusty areas around food contact surfaces?


Since squeegees are intended for wet applications, I'm not sure why you would want to use them for a dry application. As you state, you have color coded brushes, so why would there be a danger of cross contamination?
As far as kicking up dust, that must be one dirty floor you have :whistle:

In that case, why not just get a vacuum? Or a floor scrubber? Or even a mop and bucket?

On the serious side though, If I were handed a squeegee and told to "sweep the floor" I would look at the person handing me the squeegee and say "what, are you freakin' stupid?"

Marshall

#3 shea quay

shea quay

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 180 posts
  • 92 thanks
22
Excellent

  • Ireland
    Ireland
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 July 2012 - 01:45 PM

Sesame seed cross contamination is a constant problem with us I'm afraid - they tend to get everywhere. We have a visual clean standard but hygiene audits always show up seeds under some machine or other. The risk would be that seeds not controled from the allergen clean-up would end up on our normal brushes, so squeegees would minimise the risks. I appreciate the obvious answer here is "get staff to do their jobs", but in their defence, I've never, ever come up against something so difficult to control as sesame seeds in my career.

The floor can get quite dusty, especially from applications such as slicing and mixing of flour. We have a vaccuum cleaner but it is required for cleaning machines at product changeover and using it on floors would not fit in with our lean timescales for product changeover (any solutions that involve using the word "buy" are kicked out immediately!). Our floor surface is very good, but there's a health and safety risk when it is wet, so we only mop once in a 24 hour period. Plus, sqeegees are going cheap from our supplier!

As for staff thinking I'm freakin' stupid, that happened when I made the site nut free and was almost burned at the stake...

So, anyone out there using squeegees for dry applications?



#4 mgourley

mgourley

    Grade - FIFSQN

  • IFSQN Fellow
  • 1,268 posts
  • 944 thanks
206
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Plant City, FL
  • Interests:Cooking, golf, firearms, food safety and sanitation.

Posted 16 July 2012 - 01:53 PM

Have you considered dust mops? No bristles to kick up dust and they work great with sesame seeds.



Thanked by 1 Member:

#5 shea quay

shea quay

    Grade - MIFSQN

  • IFSQN Member
  • 180 posts
  • 92 thanks
22
Excellent

  • Ireland
    Ireland
  • Gender:Male

Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:10 PM

I'll give them a try, thanks.

Ideally I would get these dust mop slippers in steel toecap form....

http://www.geardiary...ith-gear-diary/



#6 vkh

vkh

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Associate
  • 16 posts
  • 1 thanks
0
Neutral

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Indiana, USA

Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:28 PM

You might be on to something there!



#7 RMAV

RMAV

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 406 posts
  • 121 thanks
41
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA - Midwest
  • Interests:QA, Micro, Sanitation;
    Meats, Juice, Condiments;
    SQF, Audit, and aviation

Posted 04 October 2012 - 06:24 AM

Since squeegees are intended for wet applications, I'm not sure why you would want to use them for a dry application. As you state, you have color coded brushes, so why would there be a danger of cross contamination?
As far as kicking up dust, that must be one dirty floor you have :whistle:

In that case, why not just get a vacuum? Or a floor scrubber? Or even a mop and bucket?

On the serious side though, If I were handed a squeegee and told to "sweep the floor" I would look at the person handing me the squeegee and say "what, are you freakin' stupid?"

Marshall



Actually, for a very dusty operation and certain types of floors, the squeegee has proven invaluable in a dry application. I never would have thought to use a squeegee, but the people that do the work on a day to day basis have shown it to be much more efficient than traditional brooms (which launch dust into the air) and dust mops (which are harder to clean than squeegees), and vacuums (which are clogged by the excessive workload). The reality is there is not yet a specific tool for every cleaning task we encounter in our food facilities. Sure, dust collection could be improved but often at crippling cost. We often must find what works even as it may not have been the original application conceived in the design of the tool. Bottom line, does it clean to an acceptable level (or is an effective step in a cleaning process) and can the tool be adequately cleaned itself?

It is best not to automatically dismiss what seems to be a hare-brained idea, especially from hourly staff - because it might actually be ingenious. Otherwise, we may find ourselves losing respect of staff and/or to be lampooned as the pointy-haired boss in the Dilbert comic strip! :thumbup:

Thanked by 1 Member:

#8 Produce Phil

Produce Phil

    Grade - Active

  • IFSQN Active
  • 2 posts
  • 0 thanks
0
Neutral

  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom

Posted 20 November 2012 - 07:21 AM

I had never seen a squeegee being used for a dry sweep until I got to my current place of work. We use them everyday in our veg packing facility as the floor doesn't need wet cleaning all the time.



They work really well and have stopped dust and debris being flicked around.



One point to note though is that a regular check on the blade is needed as the extra friction from using them dry can lead to cracking and splitting on the blade. Auditors love to come in and check the blade for damage as its an easy score if you aren't on top of it.


As for being in out of hours to check new cleaning methods - of course I am! Isn't everybody?



#9 RMAV

RMAV

    Grade - SIFSQN

  • IFSQN Senior
  • 406 posts
  • 121 thanks
41
Excellent

  • United States
    United States
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA - Midwest
  • Interests:QA, Micro, Sanitation;
    Meats, Juice, Condiments;
    SQF, Audit, and aviation

Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:16 AM

One point to note though is that a regular check on the blade is needed as the extra friction from using them dry can lead to cracking and splitting on the blade. Auditors love to come in and check the blade for damage as its an easy score if you aren't on top of it.



Excellent point and one we should not forget!




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users