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Posted 14 March 2015 - 07:22 PM



Can I pick your brains on how you store mops?


We manufacture an ambient stable product in mixing tanks / vessels which are cleaned down using water and detergent after use, (no cleaning equipment used). The production is classed as "Low Risk" by BRC. We've had BRC Grade A for a few years.


In the production areas brushes, mops and squeegies are provided for cleaning the walls and floor. There is a wall mounted storage point to hang the brushes / squeegies etc from.


2 questions...


1. Where is the best place to store the mop and bucket?


2. Should we even be using a string mop?


These are the mops we use:


Attached File  5634402.jpg   13.22KB   5 downloads


Is there a risk of causing environmental micro contamination by storing the mop in the production area, hung up like the brushes 


Production staff say they have previously been told that the wet mop-head will breed germs and cause environmental micro contamination, so they store it out in the warehouse. I think storing the mop and bucket in the warehouse and bringing it into the production area at the end of each shift does not reduce / increases the risk of contamination?!


If we're going to worry about micro contamination, should we change to a different type of mopping equipment...


We don't supply Tesco, but if we did our production areas would probably be classed as "medium". I've read that we wouldn't be permitted to use multiple use string mops under the Tesco Food Maufacturing Standard. What sort of mops are used to comply with the Tesco standard?


Mops like these? 


Attached File  5689802.jpg   15.01KB   7 downloads


Thanks for your ideas,


Tom :)


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Posted 14 March 2015 - 09:51 PM

Dear TomLStarch,


It may be P/P/Layout/Flow related.


Yr  Query comes back to the cliched "Risk Assessment".

I guess the risk from mops can not be totally eliminated. But it should be "adequately" minimized, ie not regardable as a significant risk.


So one needs to consider parameters like survival of BCP hazards on the mop etc, opportunities for surviving entiities to cross-contaminate.

Do you sanitize yr mops after use ? and measure the result ?


Rgds / Charles.C

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 03:19 PM

Hi Tom,


Certainly, mops in production areas require a risk assessment and consideration of the flow of people, equipment and air in your facility.


Here are some considerations:


Synthetic mops and micro-fiber mops rinse more freely and dry more quickly

Some vendors offer looped and tacked mops that resist string loss and wear

"Wet" facilities like dairies and meat processing with floor drains don't use mops in production except possibly the rare event of allergen spill or blood borne pathogen clean-up procedures and it would be single use and disposal.

Mops are inexpensive enough to implement as single usefor many facilities

Many vendors have color-coded mops and handles to implement programs to stop cross contact e.g., mops dedicated to restrooms, warehouse, office, lunch room, etc.

Sheets of FRP (fiber reinforced Plastic) panels are easily cleanable and durable for making cleaning equipment wall stations to mount hardware for hanging mops, brooms and brushes

Some vendors offer mop buckets with separate compartments for cleaning solution and waste water.

Protocols to rinse mops in cold water just before hanging to dry reduces odors between uses

Protocols to use QUAT at environmental concentrations on mops that are ready to hang/dry reduces odors between uses


Attached is a TESCO audit requirements pdf. Pages 54-56 detail the cleaning equipment requirements and prohibitions.


Attached Files

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 06:43 PM

About the using of mops, there is an curious article (old but still interesting) that says: (...) It was found that mops, stored wet, supported bacterial growth to very high levels and could not be adequately decontaminated by chemical disinfection. Laundering and adequate drying provided effective decontamination, but build-up of bacterial counts occurred if mops were not changed daily or if disinfectant was omitted from the wash-water. (...)


In http://www.ncbi.nlm....cles/PMC377258/


The problem that we can see is the fact of mop, bucket, and cleaning solution become more and more soiled, and the efficacy of the disinfectant begins to diminish. In fact the mop begins to spread soils and potentially harmful contaminants.

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 11:33 AM

Good morning Tom,

I think everyone has covered the importance of a risk assessment. One thing I want to point out, is each low risk facility is different. Things you need to factor in will be risk level (is your process enclosed, do you mop while production is running, etc.) In our refinery, our risk assessment and discussion (the discussion is important, include the same people who would be involved in HACCP) resulted in us allowing the use of string mops in the restrooms, and we even store this mop/bucket in a sanitation cage on the floor. The process is such that it is entirely enclosed, and risk of contamination from this would be extremely unlikely.

In our packaging plant, the same risk assessment resulted in us instituting a special SOP for mops and cleaning. The mop and bucket must be used only during non production hours, and then stored in a non-GMP area with special care (spelled out in the SOP which sanitation is trained on) taken so the mop head and bucket both adequately dry.


The short answer is yes, you can use a string mop and store it on site. Only you and your food safety team will be able to discern the risk associated with it though.

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Posted 26 March 2015 - 09:05 AM

Good morning,


I read this article this morning and I think it might change your entire way of cleaning, i.e. get rid of the mops!




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Posted 26 March 2015 - 07:02 PM

We did environmental swabs of our floors before and after cleaning and, as a result, made some changes:

  • We now use divided mop buckets
  • One of the compartments contains detergent - the other, sanitizer.


Consequently, the mops are much cleaner - and so are the floors.

Also, we use red mops and red mop buckets for bathrooms only.


Good luck!


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Posted 26 March 2015 - 07:43 PM

No mops in production areas. use squeegees

I'm entitled to my opinion, even a stopped clock is right twice a day

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