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Sanitation Contract Cleaning In-house Sanitation

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brblack2454

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 05:25 PM

Good Afternoon All,

 

First let me say that I really appreciate these forums and everyone's active responses to questions posted from around the world. Global partners in Food Safety & Quality (FSQA) will always have my thumbs up, so good job everyone! 

 

I am in need of some assistance. I am new to my FSQA Manager position (4+ months), wow is the vantage point from here different than in my other FSQA positions. My company is a small manufacturer of tamales and uses a base recipe that has been a part of the family for more than 40+ years. We are located in the DFW metroplex and currently have an in-house sanitation program where our production workers (1st shift) transition into a sanitation team at the end of production. We have a partial 2nd shift team who start ~12p daily and finish cooking product. At the end of 2nd shift, the team transitions into a sanitation team where a final sanitizer step is performed along with the remaining areas of the plant being cleaned. We are not BRC certified facility.

 

My question is this: what sanitation team would you recommend and why? I have received 3 proposals but I am still skeptical about which company to choose. I don't want to regret my decision down the road as this is a big step for the facility, a facility who hasn't previously been penalized with NRs for insanitary conditions. As we move into our busy tamale season I am 100% sure we don't have the resources to continue performing sanitation in house nor does the option for the company to hire hourly employees dedicated solely to cleaning work for us. HELP!!! I am seriously considering proposals from Alpha Cleaning and QSI. I did not bring PSSI in due to poor experiences at different facilities I have experienced. 

 

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated. If you have other recommendations for companies not listed please offer them below I am open to more proposals.



qalearner

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 05:37 PM

Are you able to meet with the manager/supervisor who will be overseeing the sanitation program at you facility? In the past this has made a huge difference in getting cooperation of the sanitation crew to comply with BRC/SQF standards. If the proposals are similar it may come down to personality types and who will be more willing to listen to what your needs are and act accordingly.



brianweber

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 06:25 PM

Not familiar with any of the companies you listed. My opinion is to meet with the manager of the company and get a feel for them. Any company can be good or bad based on their leadership. You need to be upfront with them as to what you expect, how your preop inspections will be completed etc.. My advice would be to do walk throughs with them every morning prior to releasing the area for production. At least until you get a good feel for them. Then do spot checks to keep them on their toes!


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brblack2454

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 06:42 PM

Are you able to meet with the manager/supervisor who will be overseeing the sanitation program at you facility? In the past this has made a huge difference in getting cooperation of the sanitation crew to comply with BRC/SQF standards. If the proposals are similar it may come down to personality types and who will be more willing to listen to what your needs are and act accordingly.

 

 

Not familiar with any of the companies you listed. My opinion is to meet with the manager of the company and get a feel for them. Any company can be good or bad based on their leadership. You need to be upfront with them as to what you expect, how your preop inspections will be completed etc.. My advice would be to do walk throughs with them every morning prior to releasing the area for production. At least until you get a good feel for them. Then do spot checks to keep them on their toes!

 

qalearner, I haven't met with the area manager/supervisor for QSI but right now they are at the top of the list for that very reason. I like the feeling and conversation we had versus the other companies. brianweber I will definitely make sure I am more thorough about my expectations for sanitation and to set up walkthroughs at least initially to follow up. Do either of you have recommendations for sanitation companies? I want to make sure I exhaust my options before making a decision.



Charles.C

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 07:34 PM

Hi brblack,

 

I'm curious as to why you are certain that the job cannot be done in-house ?

 

I presume you currently fall under one of  the primary approval jurisdictions and have been found OK hygiene wise ?  Or is it that you intend BRC Certification in the near future ?

 

The specific objectives may relate to yr onward choices.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


brblack2454

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 08:08 PM

Hi brblack,

 

I'm curious as to why you are certain that the job cannot be done in-house ?

 

I presume you currently fall under one of  the primary approval jurisdictions and have been found OK hygiene wise ?  Or is it that you intend BRC Certification in the near future ?

 

The specific objectives may relate to yr onward choices.

 

I do not feel that the job can be done in house because although we have not had regulatory issues I would lean on the side that they aren't looking for them either. Second the lack of training for employees performing sanitation & the management of those employees. Up until a month or so I was not the main point of contact for sanitation and the individual who that responsibility was given to has no previous experience nor working on having that skill set. I could manage it however we are a very small establishment and my duties to food safety and quality would not get done effectively. Third, I am certain that we are paying OT which actually equates to double the cost of a contract sanitation team. Lastly (although this list isn't inclusive), once our busy season hits in a 1 1/2 months 1st & 2nd shifts will be working 12 hours. Unless you have super-humans working at your establishment, that don't ever get tired, my efficiency and effectiveness will certainly drop well below my standards of clean. 

 

Primary approval jurisdictions? Are you referring to USDA/FDA? If so, I have referred to them as regulatory in my response above. Yes my major project, what I was hired for, is to achieve BRC certification for the facility. Due to gap assessments and my own judgement I will be utilizing the Global Markets program since I am the most knowledgeable at my sight on BRC requirements and we don't have all of the basics squared away to meet compliance.

 

Do you have a recommendation for a contract sanitation company?



Charles.C

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 08:44 PM

Hi brblack,

 

Thks for yr response.

 

Yes, I was referring to USDA/FDA. I'm not in USA so unfortunately unable to opine regarding yr regulatory comments or yr last query.

 

However i am familiar with BRC. Logically their requirements would minimally dictate one criterion for the proposed companies you mention. Possibly exceeding FDA/USDA in some areas (?).

 

One factor which may become important for you is that other "small" companies posting on this forum have clearly been experiencing difficulties with their FSMS infrastructure being unable to cope with the expectations of GFSI recognized schemes such as that of BRC. I am uncertain how much of the sanitation responsibility for such aspects would be directly handled by a contracted outfit (never used one personally). This was related to my query regarding internal control.

 

Just a few thoughts.


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Ekivlen

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 10:55 PM

I know you've stated that you are not considering PSSI, but I'd like to add my two cents in favor of their services. Part of their contractual agreement is that any time you lose in production due to start-up issues related to sanitation is reimbursed to the company. We all know too well that there will be stipulations around that and some give and take as to root cause of the lost time/credited $, but to the best of my knowledge they are the only company offering that guarantee. 

I have worked with QSI and wasn't very pleased. As one user posted above, the area you're in and the leadership behind the company will be your true indicator. 

I wish I had more companies to recommend. Key factors: allotting labor rates and agreeing to them before hand to eliminate the future claim that they don't have enough time/money, focusing on staff retention rates, training, and GFSI capabilities - are they able to monitor your validations/verifications, fulfill your record keeping requirements, represent themselves during audit time, etc.

Trust your gut. You're obviously very knowledgeable and are in the position you're in for a reason.

Let us know how it end up going!



brblack2454

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 02:11 PM

I know you've stated that you are not considering PSSI, but I'd like to add my two cents in favor of their services. Part of their contractual agreement is that any time you lose in production due to start-up issues related to sanitation is reimbursed to the company. We all know too well that there will be stipulations around that and some give and take as to root cause of the lost time/credited $, but to the best of my knowledge they are the only company offering that guarantee. 

I have worked with QSI and wasn't very pleased. As one user posted above, the area you're in and the leadership behind the company will be your true indicator. 

I wish I had more companies to recommend. Key factors: allotting labor rates and agreeing to them before hand to eliminate the future claim that they don't have enough time/money, focusing on staff retention rates, training, and GFSI capabilities - are they able to monitor your validations/verifications, fulfill your record keeping requirements, represent themselves during audit time, etc.

Trust your gut. You're obviously very knowledgeable and are in the position you're in for a reason.

Let us know how it end up going!

 

Thank you for your post Ekivlen.

 

Yes, PSSI does have that as a part of their contractual agreement and I have actually had it added to the other proposals if it was not present. I believe in the past PSSI claimed that they were the only sanitation company with the reimbursement clause however the only one that did not have that stipulation, was a local startup for contract sanitation. Additionally, I am quite familiar with the area supervision for PSSI because they transferred into the DFW area from the plant I had the poor experience at. 

 

What was your experience with QSI? Did you use any of the peripheral services they offer like working with their Food Safety team or attend GFSI training's hosted at their corporate offices?



Snookie

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 06:18 PM

I worked for a company in the Fort Worth area that utilized PSSI and I was not impressed on any level.  I was interviewed several companies to replace and was most impressed with Packer Sanitation. 

 

But whether you do it yourself or contract it out, monitor, monitor, monitor.


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