Food Safety Practices Guidance for Ready-to-Eat Fresh-Cut Vegetable Manufacturers
Chapter 4: Sanitation and Pest Control

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4.1 Sanitation

4.1.1 Sanitation Program

An effective sanitation program for equipment and premises is in place to prevent contamination of food.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • The manufacturer has a written cleaning and sanitation program for all equipment which includes:
    • the name or title of the person in the position of responsibility;
    • the frequency of the activity;
    • the chemicals and concentrations used;
    • the temperature requirements;
    • the procedures for cleaning and sanitizing that:
      • identify lines, equipment and utensils;
      • outline disassembly/reassembly instructions as required for cleaning and inspection;
      • identify areas on equipment requiring special attention;
      • outline the method of cleaning, sanitizing and rinsing.
    • the type and frequency of inspection to verify the effectiveness of the program.
  • The manufacturer has a written cleaning and sanitation program for premises (production and storage areas) which specifies areas to be cleaned, the method of cleaning, the person responsible and the frequency of the activity. The special sanitation and housekeeping procedures required during production are specified within the document (e.g., removal of product residues during breaks).
  • Chemicals are appropriate for the intended use and are used in accordance with the chemical manufacturer's instructions.
  • The cleaning and sanitizing equipment is designed for its intended use and is properly maintained.
  • The sanitation program is carried out in a manner that does not contaminate food or packaging materials during, or subsequent to, cleaning and sanitizing (e.g., no contamination from aerosols or chemical residues).
  • The effectiveness of the sanitation program is monitored and verified (e.g., by a pre-operational inspection of premises and equipment or, where appropriate, by microbiological sampling) and, where/when necessary the program is adjusted accordingly. Establishments processing RTE foods should design, implement and maintain an environmental sampling program for testing food contact surfaces and non-food contact surfaces for the presence of Listeria spp. as recommended by Health Canada's Policy on Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-to-Eat Foods (2011).
  • The sanitation program is adjusted, as necessary, to incorporate new cleaning procedures (new equipment, new chemicals, etc.).
  • The sanitation program may be used to provide control over cross-contamination issues associated with the production of non-allergenic and allergenic products.
  • Operations begin only after sanitation requirements have been met.

See Section 7.5.1 for expected Sanitation Records.

Example of cleaning and sanitizing steps within processing areas

Cleaning and sanitizing steps
  1. Remove heavy debris from floors with brooms or shovels and dry clean processing equipment, if needed.
  2. Pre-rinse the equipment with potable water.
  3. Clean remaining debris from floor.
  4. Rinse floor and drains with potable water using a low pressure hose.
  5. Use dedicated brushes to scrub floor and drains with an effective cleaner, applying potable water as needed.Footnote 3
  6. Foam and scrub the equipment with an effective cleaner and scrub using dedicated brushes.
  7. Thoroughly rinse the equipment, floors and drains with potable water using a low pressure hose.
  8. Remove excess water from floors.
  9. Sanitize (according to manufacturer's directions) the equipment and floors.Footnote 4

4.2 Pest Control

4.2.1 Pest Control Program

Effective pest control programs are in place to prevent entry of pests, to detect and eliminate pests and to prevent the contamination of food.

Anticipated Outcomes

  • There is an effective written pest control program for the premises and equipment that includes:
    • the name or title of the person in the position of responsibility;
    • where applicable, the name of the pest control company or the name of the person contracted for the pest control program;
    • the list of chemicals used, the concentration, the location where they were applied as well as the method and frequency of application;
    • a map of trap locations;
    • the type and frequency of inspection to verify the effectiveness of the program.
  • The pesticides used are registered with the Pest Management Regulatory Agency under the Pest Control Products Act and Pest Control Products Regulations and have been issued a PCP Registration Number. Pesticides are used in accordance with the label instructions.
  • The chemical treatment of equipment, premises or ingredients to control pests is conducted in a such manner as to ensure that the maximum residue limit of the Food and Drugs Act and Regulations is not exceeded (e.g., the number of fumigation treatments per lot is limited).
  • Poisonous rodenticides are not used in food processing or storage areas.
  • Birds and animals are excluded from establishments.

See Section 7.5.2 for expected Pest Control Records.

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