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BRCGS Cleaning equipment in clean area

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INL

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Posted 14 December 2023 - 12:49 PM

Hi there 

 

I'm wondering about the cleaning equipment suitable for use in clean areas, particularly in the dry product industry such as mills. According to the standard 4.9.5.1, the use of wood is prohibited in these areas.

 

4.9.5.1 Wood should not be used in open product areas except where this is a process requirement (e.g. maturation of products in wood). Where the use of wood cannot be avoided, its condition shall be monitored on a risk-based frequency to ensure it is in good condition and free from damage or splinters which could contaminate products. Wood used for food contact purposes shall be fit for purpose (e.g. free from damage or splinters, free from taint; and wood treatments, where used, are used only in accordance
with legislation and approved for food use).
 
Consequently, it implies that brushes with handles made of wood are not allowed in the production (clean) area. If we were to consider using brushes with wooden handles, it would necessitate a risk assessment and additional documentation, potentially consuming more time and resources than necessary. Therefore, my question is whether the cleaning brushes used for cleaning the floors in these areas need to be food-grade approved or not? Maybe someone that works in dry food industry and is BRCGS certified has more experience in this case. 

Edited by INL, 14 December 2023 - 12:49 PM.


jfrey123

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Posted 14 December 2023 - 05:36 PM

Not BRCGS, but first job was getting a dry spice/vegetable milling operation SQF certified.  We took a hit in our first audit for having wood handled push brooms just for floor use in the production area, so everything with a wood handle got replaced.  It's just easier to get rid of the potential contamination vs having to justify it's use, and create monitoring documents to prove you've inspected the tools.  Because sure enough, even with perfect documentation, on audit day your auditor is going to have the luck of finding a cleaning brush with a chunk missing from the handle.  Not to mention wood cannot be effectively sanitized, so having a potentially dirty food contact brush handle inside your equipment is going to drive the auditor nuts.

 

We used some basic hand brushes for all dry cleaning needs, and I think we chose a brand specifically for color coding (white was food contact surfaces, blue was non-food contact, black was floors only, red for janitorial, etc).  I don't think floor brooms need to be "food grade", and in all honesty I don't know really what these companies mean when they say their brushes/brooms are "food grade" other than color codable or perhaps a little more engineering to make sure you can clean the brushes after you use them.



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INL

INL

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Posted 09 January 2024 - 07:16 AM

Thank you so much for sharing! 

Not BRCGS, but first job was getting a dry spice/vegetable milling operation SQF certified.  We took a hit in our first audit for having wood handled push brooms just for floor use in the production area, so everything with a wood handle got replaced.  It's just easier to get rid of the potential contamination vs having to justify it's use, and create monitoring documents to prove you've inspected the tools.  Because sure enough, even with perfect documentation, on audit day your auditor is going to have the luck of finding a cleaning brush with a chunk missing from the handle.  Not to mention wood cannot be effectively sanitized, so having a potentially dirty food contact brush handle inside your equipment is going to drive the auditor nuts.

 

We used some basic hand brushes for all dry cleaning needs, and I think we chose a brand specifically for color coding (white was food contact surfaces, blue was non-food contact, black was floors only, red for janitorial, etc).  I don't think floor brooms need to be "food grade", and in all honesty I don't know really what these companies mean when they say their brushes/brooms are "food grade" other than color codable or perhaps a little more engineering to make sure you can clean the brushes after you use them.



Dorothy87

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Posted 09 January 2024 - 01:41 PM

Hi ;) 

 

Biscuits bakery here 

 

We hit same NC`s, we replaced all wood sticks with metal and colour coded plastic tops. 

 

Then the BRC asked for risk assessment for wooden legs in the packing room (closed product, no risks) - we painted them :D plus we did risk assessment.. 

 

;) 



mgourley

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Posted 09 January 2024 - 09:38 PM

With all of the options out there (metal, plastic, composites) I can't imagine why anyone would consider using wood handled brushes, brooms etc.

The BRCGS Standard does not specify "food grade" tools/utensils, but whatever you use need to be constructed of materials that allow them to be cleaned/sanitized and will not pose a risk of contamination.

 

Marshall





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