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Cleaning Underside of Equipment

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Gelato Quality Specialist

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 06:11 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Looking for some advice on best methods of cleaning underneath equipment.

 

We have two machines that are on either side of a trough drain. We swab (APC, internal and external lab testing) the undersides of these machines whenever the drain swabs are non-conforming as part of our environmental monitoring plan. The undersides of the machines are about 5 inches off the ground. We have been able to get the drain back into specification through intensified cleaning, but for the past few weeks, the undersides of the machines have been bouncing back and forth between conforming and non-conforming. Our intensified cleaning for the undersides of the machines have been scrubbing (with a brush dedicated to these machines) with a chlorinated detergent and sanitizing by applying a layer of peracetic acid with foam additive very thickly on the floor under the machines such that the foam reaches the undersides of the machines. 

 

Even with these actions, we have been going back and forth between conforming and non-conforming. These are the same corrective actions taken for bringing the drains back into specification and they have continuously worked well for the drains in all our production areas. 

 

We have tested the inside of the machines as well as we believed that there may be a chance that there is some way the contamination could be coming from there, but it was determined that this was not the case. We have also ensured that product is not being poured out onto the floor in this production room, which could potentially introduce some splashing of the product up onto the underside of the machine.

 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, including advice regarding general cleaning of undersides of machines. 

 

Thank you



G M

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 08:19 PM

Rough dimensions of this machinery?  Frequency of cleaning the area?   

 

I'm guessing its a combination of residues splashing up from the floor and a generally humid environment, plus possible warmth from the machine.  I don't have a good preventative other than making the intensified cleaning procedure a normal part of the cleaning rotation (1/week or whatever it takes to keep them down).



Gelato Quality Specialist

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 08:26 PM

Rough dimensions of this machinery?  Frequency of cleaning the area?   

 

I'm guessing its a combination of residues splashing up from the floor and a generally humid environment, plus possible warmth from the machine.  I don't have a good preventative other than making the intensified cleaning procedure a normal part of the cleaning rotation (1/week or whatever it takes to keep them down).

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

The rough dimensions are 7' x 3' x 4' (L x W x H). We have been cleaning every other month, but will need to increase frequency. The issue that we are battling with right now is that the count is bouncing back between conforming and non-conforming in a matter of a few days. 

 

I agree that the humidity of the room and warmth of the machine do not help with the issue. 



kingstudruler1

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Posted 21 November 2022 - 09:21 PM

What is your APC specification for the underside of the machine?  

 

Is the issue that your cleaning is not effective as they are not within specification immediately after cleaning?   Or are they clean and becoming contaminated between cleanings?   or are they both within and not within specification between cleanings.  


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Marloes

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 08:41 AM

Thanks for your reply.

 

The rough dimensions are 7' x 3' x 4' (L x W x H). We have been cleaning every other month, but will need to increase frequency. The issue that we are battling with right now is that the count is bouncing back between conforming and non-conforming in a matter of a few days. 

 

I agree that the humidity of the room and warmth of the machine do not help with the issue. 

 

Sounds like it could be biofilm.

Are you sure that the surface is a 100% clean? If some biofilm remains it may look clean for a little but, but the numbers bounce back quickly.

The only thing you can do to combat biofilms is clean really really really well for a longer period of time. To scrub away the biofilm over the course of multiple days (weeks?). After the biofilm is gone, I would recommend to also permanently increase your regular cleaning frequency, since a lower cleaning frequency may cause new biofilm formation. 


Edited by Marloes, 22 November 2022 - 08:41 AM.


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sqflady

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 03:56 PM

My recommendation would be to clean the drain and underside of the machine daily.  Peracetic acid is a good sanitizer but you could also try Sterilex.  



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Gelato Quality Specialist

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Posted 22 November 2022 - 07:55 PM

Thanks so much for all of the replies. I have suggested increasing the frequency of cleaning underneath these machines (and all equipment, for that matter) but have received pushback due to the fact that production would either have to stop early for this to happen or it would have to happen outside of the regular work hours. 

 

We have a weekly cleaning schedule for all of the drains in our facility and I think that adding the undersides of equipment to this weekly schedule (after eliminating the current biofilm issue) will be a good long-term solution/prevention mechanism.

 

The drains are already being cleaned after hours, so the undersides of equipment can be as well.

 

Thank you again!





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