When people hear the word “warehouse,” they often think of a damp and unclean storage place. However, food manufacturing warehouses generally maintain clean spaces and efficient processes in order to stay profitable. Keep reading to learn how to make sure that your food manufacturing warehouse is clean and compliant.
Establish Cleaning Goals and Schedules
A regular schedule that consistently ensures cleanliness is much better than a sudden massive cleaning. Be sure to break down cleaning and housekeeping assignments into daily, weekly, monthly and quarter segments. Creating documentation with items to be checked off will not only ensure quality, but also consistency. In fact, most visitors and even inspectors will be impressed by this well-organized documentation. Some warehouses prefer to use an online calendar system, such as Outlook Calendar, to scheduler reminders.
Establish a Preventative Maintenance System
In addition to regular cleaning, warehouse managers should ensure that maintenance personnel have a well-established preventative maintenance system in place. Preventative maintenance is an industry standard among many manufacturing facilities because it reduces costs and downtime occurrences, as well as increases planning and operational efficiencies. This will also increase compliance through identifying problems early on. Be sure to have a preventative maintenance schedule that includes weekly and monthly inspections of things like SaniClean Strainers, work cells or shipping doors.
Focus on Receiving and Shipping
The receiving and shipping areas are usually located together near the entrance or loading docks. Many warehouses tend to keep the loading dock doors open during the day because it is convenient. However, this increases dust, pests and even rodents. Bear in mind that most shipping companies will only wash 20’ and 40’ foot containers if the customer complains. If the warehouse owns the containers, they should designate a cleaning area to hose them down outside. There should also be a designated area that allows works to vacuum, clean off and dispose of dirty, wet or damaged packaging before it’s transported inside to the production area.
Improve the Production Area
There should be clear guidelines for not only employees, but outside visitors regarding appropriate clothes and footwear that can be worn in the production area. There will need to be a clean storage and changing space for employees and visitors. Many warehouses give employees lockers to store their clothes and belongings in. Warehouse management should keep appropriate attire or footwear on hand that visitors, such as inspectors, can borrow to quickly enter the production area. Finally, management should provide employees with appropriate equipment and tools to properly perform their duties.
In the end, a clean and well-organized warehouse will help the company maintain compliance with state and federal laws. As a final note, consider using plastic air curtains to minimize dust buildup.