The state of the external and surrounding grounds of a food premises can directly impact on the safety and quality of the food produced. Welcome to Week 23 of the Food Safety HACCP Challenge.
Check external and surrounding grounds
This week you are challenged to check that all external grounds to your production facility are well kept and maintained. The types of things that you need to look for are:
- That any lawn areas are tidy and not over-grown
- Garden beds are weeded, trimmed and not out of control
- Garden beds are not positioned directly against the external walls of your production facility
- There is no litter or garbage strewn around the place in garden or open areas.
- Bulk storage of waste and waste products is minimal and routinely removed.
If you have the obligatory ‘equipment graveyard’ located on-site make sure that this area is accessible, not over grown and is adequately maintained.
The rationale for suitable grounds
The main reason that external and surrounding grounds need to be well maintained is to minimise any potential factors that could adversely affect the safety and quality of the food, equipment and contact surfaces handled by your business. This can include increase pest infestation and harbourage and other environmental issues.
Monitoring your external and surrounding grounds
Routine monitoring of your food facilities external and surrounding grounds should be undertaken. If you have not already done so, include this check on your regular GMP inspections. Make sure that you have records to support that this check was undertaken.
What about your neighbours?
Any surrounding businesses to your food facility can also have an impact on your food operations. Can the activities that your neighbours are engaged in adversely affect your business? Have a look at boundary clearances, possible environmental contaminants like odours, run-off and chemical spray drift and grounds housekeeping.
Share your result
So how did you go? Where your external grounds of the highest level or could they need a little bit of work? Share your experience with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below.