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Floor cleaning in dry cleaning production

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Posted 03 October 2016 - 05:40 PM

Hello everyone we are a cheese company that cuts and grates cheese. For the cleaning of the floors the employees sweep daily and steam the floor weekly. This is our busy season and for the month of September we were only able to clean with the steam cleaner one day out of the month. Our usual schedule is 4 times a month every Friday. All other Fridays we had to do over time to complete the orders.  

We are SQF level 2 and I am not sure how to do a corrective action on this since we have blank spaces on our cleaning documentation and since SQF states of say what you do and do what you say. We have run into a non-conformance  because of the time constraints. 


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Posted 03 October 2016 - 06:26 PM

Document the reason why the cleaning could not take place.

You might also want to have some validation that states that food safety will not be impacted by the increased frequency between cleanings.



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Posted 04 October 2016 - 07:21 PM

What Marshall said.


1st, make sure skipping these cleanings does not impact food safety. The reason SQF says "do what you say" is that at some point you as a company decided once per week was the appropriate interval. If once per month is also appropriate, why would you pay for the labor to do it weekly when it's convenient? You have to resolve that conflict, otherwise it says that you do not prioritize your quality goals over your production goals.


2nd, to get through the coverage right now, document the lack of cleaning as a deviation. I always go with the "no blanks" philosophy on paperwork. If something didn't get done, include notes as to why it didn't get done AND why the food was still safe. That way if there's a problem or audit and that month's paperwork is pulled out, there aren't blanks with no explanation, but a complete sheet that accounts for the activity that took place.


You now know this will happen every time you are busy, so embody SQF and determine a preventative action, either by validating the cleaning interval with data and risk assessment, or by working with management to make the cleaning happen, and explaining to them that their food safety plan is not a "nice to do until we're busy". If you do more when you're not busy, any auditor, investigator, or scientist will ask why you think it's worth doing when it's convenient. If the answer is "it's needed" you have a problem.

Austin Bouck
Owner/Consultant at Fur, Farm, and Fork.
Consulting for companies needing effective, lean food safety systems and solutions.

Subscribe to the blog at furfarmandfork.com for food safety research, insights, and analysis.

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 05:04 PM

Earth2O hit the nail on the quality head!  


I would also document everything relating to correspondence between you and other management.  If it ever comes down to a food safety risk, you want to make sure you did everything in your power to pursue and correct the issue, especially if you are not the sole decision maker.

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