I work in a facility that is predominately dry and RTE products. We have all the FDA big 8 (soon 9) allergens so although we try to minimize it, we do have to do wet cleans when the allergen matrix dictates it.
In the past, we had a third party sanitation company perform cleaning services over the weekend as we seldom ever run during the weekends. During this clean, the facility was returned to "zero". because all equipment and floors were cleaned. After a rough patch with this company, the service is no longer going to continue. This has me rethinking the need to reset the entire facility to clean at the same time as we are limited by crew and production hours to either clean on weekends, or cut Friday schedules to preform cleaning.
Some questions I am trying to find any regulatory or industry answers to include the following:
1) If a line contained a powdered product like a Jello type mix, but the machinery can be sealed or covered with plastic, can the line stay dormant over the weekend and cleaned only when switching to a new product type or allergenically forced to do so. Is there a need to clean Friday and then start up on the same product Monday. What is that day of clean is a Wednesday or Thursday? I want to say based on risk assessment, if there is nothing really sitting exposed to the environment, it shouldn't matter.
2) We perform our environmental swabs on Monday mornings after approving and verifying the weekend clean. IF we go away from this reset, we will be swabbing during production. We currently do zone 1 for APC, 2 for Enterobacter and 3 and 4 for salmonella and listeria as applicable. Knowing that our APC and EB results could end up just giving us results for the ingredients on the line when swabbing, how could we factor that into the plan? I feel like a solution might be to switch Zone 1 to EB, 2 to salmonella and keep 3 and 4 the same. However, spices can have high coliform loads and still be safe, so a EB result of 100 might not be a critical finding.
There is a lot to unpack here and sorry for the long read. I would appreciate any insight from the community.