Our operation is a dry blending and packaging facility. We put various powders in a ribbon blender, mix them, and pack them in vertical form fill seal equipment.
We are primarily a contract manufacturer and as a smaller producer, we have a large number of smaller custom formulations.
This leads to lots of changeovers. Those that are driven by allergen incompatibility require a sanitation step. This occurs several times per month over 5 different production lines. There may be 10 or more sanitation events (complete disassembly, wet wash, sanitatation, dry, reassembly) per month total.
I have researched "Dry" sanitation for some time and am interested in a trial implementation. For background, thus far we have:
Attended the University of Minnesota "Dry Sanitation for Food Plants" workshop.
Purchased and read the nap inducing "The Microbiological Safety of Low Water Activity Foods and Spices"
Read and listened to the powerpoints from Con Agra and Kraft regarding their "dry sanitation" programs.
The short version of "dry" sanitation as I understand it is to vacuum the equipment with expensive as heck HEPA filtered "explosion proof" (because we generate explosive dust like flour and sugar) vacuums. Use lower pressure (30 PSI) compressed air wands to dislodge material that you can't get to with the vacuum, and THEN vacuum the debris.
Then vacuum some more.
After vacuuming until you have a visually clean surface free of dust, you clean with some variety of cleaning cloths that are generally saturated with a proprietary mix of alcohol and quat sanitizer, then after you get every surface wiped down with no residue coming off the surface (pretend you used red 40, it looks clean, but you hit it with moisture and the surface instantly turns red). When you reach that point, you then spray all the surfaces down with the same alcohol/quat mixture.
We ARE equipped with sanitary drains in the blending areas and we DO have the capability to "channel water to the drain" with minimal overspray.
Any PRACTICAL IMPLEMENTATION help would be appreciated. Please don't chime in to tell me that I need to have allergen/micro/ATP validation of the methods. I already know that and am ready to do it. What I'm looking for is information from someone who HAS done this already and has a working process. What did you do? What were the pitfalls? What worked better than other methods? Not looking to invent this from the ground up if possible.
Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope.