How to trend cleaning verification results

Have you ever wanted to implement an easy way to trend cleaning verification results? During an audit of one of my clients, the auditor shared the following method that I thought was worth sharing with the HACCP Mentor community. If your business is required to complete this compliance activity keep reading to find out how.

Your business may be required to trend cleaning verification results as a part of your external HACCP and food safety certification process. If you are certificated to a GFSI recognized standard, then this will certainly be the case. The compliance aspects aside, trending helps us to determine if a process is becoming or trending ‘out-of-control’.

In this case, we would be able to determine if there is an adverse pattern emerging for the cleaning key equipment in our food business.

Make it effective and easy

When trending cleaning verification results, the key is to make the reporting of the cleaning status easy to capture. No need to get overly technical here. I like to keep things simple.

Step 1: Inspect the item after it has been cleaned

Step 2: Allocate a ranking to the level of cleanliness

Step 3: Record this result

Here is an example of a simple ranking matrix with an example verification check.

A simple cleaning verificationranking matrix

Verifying cleanliness

Tip: When verifying the cleanliness of a piece of machinery or equipment, look at individual points on the equipment or machine rather than the overall machine/equipment cleanliness.

Verify the cleanliness of different points on the machine or equipment

Trend cleaning verification results

If you are using a paper record you will need to log the results in some type of spreadsheet so you can easily see the trend visually over a period of time. You can see an example of this below.

If you use mobile records, the system should be able to generate a trending graph with a click of a button.

Have your say

Do you use a similar method to trend verification results in your food business? If you have a method that works great for you, share your knowledge and experience with the HACCP Mentor community by leaving a comment below this post.

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