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  • John Simpson

Dispelling Myths about Food Hygiene: Dry Goods and Cleaning Chemical Contact Times

Unveiling Microbial Mysteries

While invisible to the naked eye, micro-organisms are a significant factor in the food industry. From intricate biological processes to persistence in low-water environments, microbes are resilient. However, managing microbial contamination can be trickier than it seems. Commonly employed methods involve using various cleaning agents like detergents, sanitisers and more. Although effective, these substances require specific contact time to work - time that is often overlooked, undermining their effectiveness.


Importance of Correct Cleaning Practices

Adhering strictly to manufacturer-recommended contact times is crucial in ensuring a cleaner’s efficacy. Inadequate contact time leads to a sub-optimal reduction in microbial load, leaving an environment potentially unsafe for food handling. Consistent deviation from the prescribed practices can foster microbial resistance over time, rendering certain cleaning agents less effective and posing even greater risks to food safety.

Role of Training and Verification

Training is essential in fostering effective cleaning practices. Clear understanding and diligent application of cleaning protocols are paramount for maintaining hygiene standards. Complementing this, implementing a hygiene verification method provides an early warning system, identifying areas of risk and ensuring cleaning measures are correctly employed. FreshCheck's innovative hygiene testing solutions offer an invaluable tool in this endeavour, highlighting risk areas and offering an additional layer of assurance.

Dry Goods - The Underestimated Risk

The perception that dry foodstuffs like pasta, gravy granules, skimmed milk, and infant formula carry minimal microbial risk is a common myth. The reality is that these goods are susceptible to contamination by xerophytes, bacteria capable of surviving in low-water environments. Some of these, like S. aureus and Clostridium spp, are pathogenic to humans. High fat products also pose a risk, as they can encapsulate organisms like salmonella, enabling their survival in adverse conditions and increasing the risk of foodborne illness.

Cleaning Challenges in Dry Goods Production

Ensuring cleanliness in dry goods production sites presents unique challenges. Wet cleaning, often employed in other food production settings, is typically unsuitable here. Instead, dry cleaning methods are employed, posing their own issues. Residual organic material, while not necessarily a food safety issue, can lead to false-positive reactions with traditional ATP hygiene verification methods. Residual dry cleaning chemicals with antimicrobial activity can further complicate results.

FreshCheck’s Solution to Dry Cleaning Monitoring

FreshCheck’s Screening technology was designed to overcome these issues. Our test only detects pathogens, negating false positives often seen with ATP-based systems. It doesn't cross-react with the most popular residual sanitisers, providing reliable results that support rigorous cleaning regimes necessary in dry goods production facilities.

FreshCheck Recommendation

Dispel the myths and enhance food safety by adopting science-backed cleaning practices, and make use of advanced hygiene verification systems like those offered by FreshCheck. We remain committed to providing cutting-edge solutions that uphold high hygiene standards in the food production industry. In doing so, we contribute to the broader aim of safeguarding public health, one clean surface at a time.


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