Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » ESQRU » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #380435

Research Project: Evaluation of Management of Laying Hens and Housing Systems to Control Salmonella and Other Pathogenic Infections, Egg Contamination, and Product Quality

Location: ESQRU

Title: Clean from the start = success at the finish!

Author
item Jones, Deana
item ALVARADO, CHRISTINE - Arm & Hammer Animal And Food Production

Submitted to: Food Safety Magazine
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2020
Publication Date: 2/26/2021
Citation: Jones, D.R., Alvarado, C. 2021. Clean from the start = success at the finish!. Food Safety Magazine. https://www.food-safety.com/articles/6992-egg-production-clean-from-the-start-success-at-the-finish.

Interpretive Summary: Clean can be such a dirty word. What does it really mean? The words sanitation and cleaning are often used interchangeably. However, in order to be effective, cleaning and sanitation are two separate steps. Cleaning refers to the removal of soil and debris, usually visible, from a surface. This step is critical because dirt is organic material which can decrease effectiveness of a sanitizer. Sanitation is the actual destruction of bacteria or microbes to a safe level. Cleaning must be performed prior to sanitation in order to ensure an effective process. Each plant is responsible for creating a positive food safety culture and to ensure and instill basic food safety knowledge and practices daily for all employees. Creating solid SSOPs and GMPs are a critical foundation for a HACCP food safety system. In order to accomplish all of these food safety goals, it is important to utilize resources including sanitation companies, equipment companies, university personnel such as extension and research faculty, knowledgeable consultants and any allied company which can provide services. Remember, once a food safety system is established, it should be reviewed and updated often. Food safety systems are about reducing public health risk and establishing a record of practicing food safety culture daily.

Technical Abstract: Often areas of egg processing facilities appear clean – without visible debris and residue from previous processing shifts – but in fact have high levels of bacteria present. In the early 2000s, United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) scientists and university collaborators swabbed shell egg processing facilities before and after sanitation procedures. In all instances and across all populations monitored, no significant changes in microbial levels occurred. The facilities all looked visibly cleaner when the post-sanitation swabs were collected, yet laboratory analysis proved this not to be case. There was more work to be done. Each plant is responsible for creating a positive food safety culture and to ensure and instill basic food safety knowledge and practices daily for all employees. Creating solid SSOPs and GMPs are a critical foundation for a HACCP food safety system. In order to accomplish all of these food safety goals, it is important to utilize resources including sanitation companies, equipment companies, university personnel such as extension and research faculty, knowledgeable consultants and any allied company which can provide services. Remember, once a food safety system is established, it should be reviewed and updated often. Food safety systems are about reducing public health risk and establishing a record of practicing food safety culture daily.