Food processing plants exist in several forms, from meat-packing plants and canneries to grain-processing plants or bakery plants. No matter what types of plants you find yourself owning or managing, cleaning food processing equipment is critical to maintaining safety standards and optimizing production.
So, how do food processing plants clean equipment without sacrificing efficiency?
We have crafted this guide on that exact topic, drawing on our experience of over four decades as an industrial and food processing cleaning equipment company.
We will cover everything you need to know about cleaning food processing equipment, ensuring you create a smooth routine that keeps your plant running in tip-top shape from pre-processing to quality control.
To start things off, let’s discuss why cleaning food processing equipment is critical to the success of your business.
Why Do Food Processing Plants Clean Equipment?
While cleaning and maintenance is just one aspect of a successful food processing plant, it is undoubtedly one of the most important to consider.
So, why do food processing plants clean equipment on a regular basis?
Between regulatory standards, food safety, and production efficiency, failure to integrate a rock-solid cleaning routine paired with high-quality food processing cleaning equipment can be disastrous.
Compliance and Regulations: Meeting Standards for Safe Food Processing
Compliance with safety standards and regulations is a vital aspect that food processing plants must consider.
As an example, food processing plants within the United States must be compliant with the FDA’s guidelines, which require a set of written cleaning and sanitation SOPs and regular sanitation training for employees.
While the specific regulations your plant may be subject to will vary based on your jurisdiction, one thing is clear: failure to meet those standards will result in a swift end to the success of your business.
Cleaning food processing equipment regularly is a crucial step towards your plant remaining compliant with regulatory guidelines.
Health Risks: The Dangers of Inadequate Cleaning
Improperly cleaning food processing equipment, or worse, not cleaning at all, can lead to severe health risks for both consumers and employees.
Some of the many health risks include foodborne illnesses, especially through cross-contamination, and allergic reactions. There is also a significantly higher chance of slips and falls for workers due to poor cleaning routines that leave behind wet floors or cleaning chemicals.
Just one of these mistakes can be costly for food processing businesses, so it is vital for plant managers to ensure proper sanitation procedures are in place.
Efficiency and Longevity: The Impact of Clean Equipment on Production
Cleaning food processing equipment helps ensure your machinery can deliver high-quality final products over a long period of time.
Clean equipment operates more efficiently and with fewer breakdowns, reducing downtime and increasing productivity. Working with clean equipment also serves as another life of defense against cross-contamination and ensures you comply with safety standards.
Effective food processing cleaning equipment may require an upfront investment, but you can quickly recoup your payment by saving money on maintenance and avoiding costly regulatory fines.
Now that you know why cleaning food processing equipment is so important, we should now discuss some of the common issues that many plants encounter.
Common Challenges in Cleaning Food Processing Equipment
With so much variety in how food processing plants are run, it can be tough to nail down a set of cleaning standard operating procedures (SOPs) that accommodate the unique challenges of your plant.
The hustle and bustle of your food processing plant will pose some difficulties, as production can be harshly affected if you choose unsuitable food processing cleaning equipment for the job.
Hard-to-Reach Areas: The Problem with Standard Cleaning Methods
Cleaning food processing equipment while using standard methods can end up as a fruitless endeavor that runs counter-productive to your original goals.
Many types of food processing cleaning equipment are unable to access hard-to-reach areas, including in between machinery, high ceilings, or tight baseboards.
Failure to reach these areas can act as a breeding ground for pathogens, increasing the odds of a cross-contamination issue. To make matters worse, an area being hard to reach is no excuse when regulation inspectors come around, putting you at risk of fines without a proper solution.
Persistent Residues: The Difficulty of Removing Food and Grease Build-Up
The accumulation of debris like grease and food products offers another difficult challenge for most types of food processing cleaning equipment. These stains can take hours to clean by scrubbing and are completely resistant to sweeping or mopping.
While some chemical cleaners may be able to do the job, they run the risk of interfering with the sanitation standards and regulatory compliance of your plant, posing a separate set of headaches.
Time Constraints: The Need for Speed and Efficiency in Cleaning
The success of your plant’s production schedules hardly has time to wait for cleaning, making speedy methods a top priority. Maintaining enough throughput to meet budgets is essential to the success of your plant.
Food processing plants can remain efficient by completing cleaning tasks during downtimes in the production window. Many standard cleaning methods like scrubbing, mopping, and sweeping take hours and require re-arranging vital machinery, which can halt production entirely.
With these three challenges right at the heart of every plant’s cleaning routine, finding out how to clean food processing equipment while avoiding these challenges may seem impossible. Thankfully, there’s one method that tackles all three problems with ease.
The Power of Pressure Washing in Food Processing Cleaning
Pressure washers are the best food processing cleaning equipment available. It’s the only way to tackle stubborn stains in hard-to-reach areas in a fast manner that won’t disrupt production.
Before you run off to rent power washers for your plant, let’s explore how the technology works and why it’s the best choice for your business.
How Pressure Washing Works: A Brief Explanation
Pressure washers operate by accelerating water through a nozzle with the help of a pressurized pump. The stream is strong enough to eradicate grime, dirt, and debris from several types of surfaces like walls, flooring, vehicles, and more, without harming the underlying structure.
The pressure washer PSI, or pounds per square inch, is hundreds of times higher pressure than the surrounding air, ranging from 1500 to upwards of 4000. This value ensures even the toughest of stains are no match for pressure washers.
Additionally, the pressure washer GPM, or gallons per minute rating, is usually around 3 to 6, which is almost ten times less than a standard hose, providing an efficient rate of water usage.
You can find pressure washers with either gas or electric motors, and several accessories and attachments exist for specialized jobs.
The Benefits of Pressure Washing: Deep Cleaning, Time Saving, and Compliance Adherence
With such a strong and steady stream of air, it’s no surprise food processing plants are flocking in droves to pressure washers.
The deep cleaning provided by commercial pressure washers in San Antonio thoroughly removes grime, dirt, and pathogens which provides a clean and aesthetically pleasing workspace. Pressure washing also lets you quickly clean large areas without harming production cycles.
Perhaps most importantly, pressure washing helps guarantee regulatory compliance for food processing plants. Pressure washing stops the buildup of pathogens and dirt in its tracks. Additionally, it is simple to train employees on pressure washer safety and know-how, ensuring every employee is able to participate in a structure cleaning routine.
Now that you are armed with the knowledge of pressure washing as the best choice in food processing cleaning equipment, let’s teach you how to clean food processing equipment using this amazing technology.
How to Clean Food Processing Equipment With a Pressure Washer
With the help of these pressure washing tips, you’ll be revolutionizing how your plant keeps operations clean and efficient in no time. To kick things off, it’s essential to note that Hotsy is the best pressure washer manufacturer in the business, thanks to a fantastic track record dating back to the 1970s.
We’re going to discuss everything you need to know about finding the perfect Hotsy pressure washer setup for your food processing plant.
Choosing the Right Equipment: Pressure Washers, Detergents, and Accessories
Simply deciding to use pressure washers to clean your food processing equipment is a nice start, but you can achieve the best results by opting for products made by Hotsy. With a focus on quality, it’s no surprise we’ve been trusted for over 40 years by industries across the world.
We have done our best to provide you with all the tips you need to shop wisely, but if you still are in need of advice, our dedicated team is also here to help. We have decades of combined experience working with industrial businesses in several fields, allowing us to offer personalized guidance that can help you find the right equipment for your business.
There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for a food processing plant. First, you’ll want to consider pressure washer sizing by opting for a machine with the right PSI and GPM rating for the job.
Thanks to the presence of tough stains and pathogens, choosing a pressure washer with a PSI higher than 2000 and a GPM above three will allow you to achieve the best results for your plant.
You will also need to decide between gas vs electric pressure washers. Electric pressure washers are a stronger option for indoor plants as they are quieter and do not emit toxic fumes, which can harm product quality.
Your choice of pressure washer soap is just as vital as the machine you select. Several types of pressure washer degreasers exist, so figuring out how to use soap with pressure washers may seem daunting at first.
However, choosing what soap to use with pressure washers is simple with the help of Hotsy.
We offer the best pressure washer soaps on the market, with a specialized option that is perfect for the tough stains common to food processing plants. Hotsy Brown is the best pressure washer soap to easily tackle dirt, grease, and pathogens.
The Hotsy flat surface cleaner is an excellent choice for cleaning large areas like flooring and walls, and it quickly tackles these tasks thanks to its circular motion. We also love the turbo nozzle for reaching into spaces that are difficult to access, thanks to its long reach.
Cleaning Conveyors: Maintaining a Key Component of the Production Line
Your conveyors see so much traffic as part of production, so keeping them clean is vital to your operations. Pressure washing helps remove large debris and residues quickly, allowing for little downtime in production.
Conveyors also often have small crevices or corners that can harbor pathogens, making attachments like the Hotsy undercarriage cleaner all the more valuable.
Sanitizing Vats and Tanks: Ensuring Safe Storage and Transportation
Tanks and vats keep your liquids safe, but they can also play host to bacteria and contaminants if left uncleaned.
Pressure washing allows you to quickly and thoroughly rinse these containers, paving the way for a sanitizing solution to eliminate any pathogens. Pressure washing vats provides a much speedier solution compared to manual scrubbing or rinsing.
Washing Floors and Walls: Creating a Sanitary Environment
Washing floors and walls is an essential part of creating a sanitary environment in food processing plants. Floors and walls can become contaminated with dirt, debris, and other residues, which compromise food safety over time.
High-pressure power washers can remove debris quickly without disrupting production. The Hotsy surface cleaner particularly does an excellent job of cleaning floors to meet regulatory standards.
The Importance of Routine: Establishing Consistent Cleaning Practices
Creating a routine cleaning SOP helps stave off the buildup of debris and oftentimes is a necessary requirement to comply with regulatory practices for food processing plants.
Be sure to craft a schedule that works with production downtimes to ensure proper efficiency with your business operations. You will also need to train employees on these SOPs, including safety tips like the proper use of pressure washer clothing like gloves and goggles.
Beyond Cleaning: Regular Equipment Checks for Optimal Operation
Regular equipment checks are essential for maintaining optimal operation in food processing plants. Equipment that is not functioning properly can compromise food safety and quality and can also lead to production delays and downtime.
Inspections should form a part of your cleaning routines, ensuring you address any problems before they develop and helping to extend the lifespan of your machinery.
Wrapping Up Our Guide to Food Processing Cleaning Equipment
Pressure washers are the best choice of food processing cleaning equipment, allowing plant managers and owners to streamline cleaning procedures. This ensures you are compliant with regulatory standards in food safety without harming production schedules.
If you are looking to buy or rent hot water pressure washers and pressure washing trailers, our South Texas Hotsy dealership is the place to go. We have stores across the region, from San Antonio and Brownsville to Eagles Ford Shale and Mcallen.
You can also check out our for more articles exploring the world of pressure washing, like how to start a pressure washer, typical power washer rental costs, or tips to start a pressure washer business yourself.
Otherwise, there’s no better way to upgrade the cleaning and sanitation routines of your food processing business than with the help of pressure washers. Browse our Hotsy South Texas pressure washing stores or online inventory to get started today!