How to get staff to clean in your food business

Getting staff to complete basic cleaning may be an issue in your food business. As the QA representative, you may find that you constantly report the same cleaning issues at each of your monthly GMP audits. Here are my top three tips in getting staff engagement around basic cleaning activities.

1.             Explain the definition of clean and what clean looks like

The HACCP Mentor definition of clean is “You can’t see it, you can’t smell it and you can’t feel it”.

To expand on this further, when you look at a surface, piece of equipment or utensil, you cannot see any built up matter. When you walk past a drain, waste area or other food production equipment, you cannot smell any putrid or off odors. When you run your hand over a surface, you can’t feel any grit, grease or dust matter.

By explaining this to your food production staff, you are setting the expectation for compliance.

2.            Explain why it is important to clean

When people understand ‘why’ they have to do something, you tend to get more positive engagement and response.

There are several different reasons why we have to clean and why we want to clean. These include:

  • Food Safety Compliance – the law and our customer contracts require us to ensure that our food premises are clean at all times.
  • Presenting a good impression – from time to time we will have customer and supplier representatives and auditors visit our food premises.  We want to be able to show that we produce food in a clean and controlled factory.
  • Improved OH&S – There are numerous hazards that can be avoided in any building through the provision of an efficient cleaning system and general good housekeeping practices. The collection and disposal of litter and the maintenance of a clean and tidy workplace will go a long way toward reducing the risks of an accident occurring.
  • Preventing bacteria and contamination – The last thing we want to do is poison or injure our customers. Cleaning helps to stop bacteria from growing and contaminating our food products. It also helps to prevent environmental contamination like dirt, dust, grime getting onto our products.

3.            Provide the tools for effective cleaning

It is no use expecting or requesting staff to clean if they do not have the tools to complete the task. As an organization, as a minimum cleaning and production staff should be provided with:

  • Cleaning Chemicals including detergents, sanitisers, cleaners
  • Cleaning equipment including brooms, dust pans, clothes, vacuums, mops, buckets, gloves, safety wear
  • Potable hot and cold water
  • Procedures and training in procedures in how to clean
  • Enough time to complete cleaning tasks as scheduled

Share your Story

Do you a problem with motivating staff to clean or have you got this implemented well in your food business? Share your story by leaving a comment below.

4 thoughts on “How to get staff to clean in your food business”

  1. Rebecca Kayombo

    This is really great, I must say
    thank you for the information it really helping me and pressing more buttons in career.

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