Thursday, May 17, 2018

How Often You Should Schedule Preventative Decontamination

Over the past couple of years, we've noticed a shift within our decontamination services projects.  At first, all projects were in response to active contaminations.  More recently however, we've noticed a shift as more of our decontamination service projects have been scheduled as part of a preventive sanitation effort, aimed at providing a more thorough kill than traditional sanitation can achieve.  One of the more frequent questions we get when discussing preventive decontamination is, 'how often should we decontaminate?'  It's a great question, and its one that doesn't have a simple answer as every situation is different.

When discussing the frequency and scheduling of preventive decontamination, the best first step is to review your environmental monitoring data.  Sometimes, there's a trend within the data that can help guide the process along.  In these situations, we would propose to undercut that trend so that the decontamination takes place before the next positive "is expected."

Example:
A processing area shows positive environmental monitoring swabs approximately every 6-8 months. 

Proposed Preventive Schedule:
Decontamination every 5 months

For areas where there is no easy to determine a trend in positive environmental swabs, another approach must be taken.  In these situations, the following factors should be considered:


  • The environment itself (a room, spiral freezer, entire processing area, etc...)
  • The risk level of the product and environment (raw meat vs. canned foods vs. produce vs...)
  • Historical environmental monitoring data
  • Downtime / Availability of the space (24/7 production, 24/5 production, yearly shutdown, etc...)
We've seen preventive decontamination schedules ranging from daily (for the decontamination of brushes and dry cleaning tools within a Decon Chamber) to quarterly (Spiral Freezers and Aseptic Fill Rooms) to Annual (Processing Areas and Production Rooms).

If you're interested in learning more about Preventive Decontamination as a supplement to your sanitation program, contact us at 908-236-4100 or visit www.clordisys.com/foodsafetyapp

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