Farms of various sizes all have tools and equipment that need to be cleaned and sanitized. This equipment varies in how well it has been designed to be cleaned; its level of hygienic design. Some items require lots of effort and specific tools to clean adequately while others are straight-forward. What’s the best brush to clean totes? Is spending money on an expensive squeegee to get water off the floor worth it ? This blog post will highlight some of the things to look for in cleaning tools and supplies for use on the farm.
Janitorial supplies on the market are generally targeted towards hospitality, schools, or restaurants, but there isn’t much out there specific for agriculture. Though not required, it might be a good idea to invest in tools for the farm that are designed for the food manufacturing industry. These will be durable items that promote the cleaning of food contact surfaces, and reduce the risk of spreading germs and contaminants. The right cleaning tool, used appropriately and regularly, can improve produce safety and also reduce postharvest spoilage.
The first question to ask yourself is “Does it need to be cleaned? And, if so, how frequently?” Not everything needs to be kept sparkling clean, and not everything should be cleaned with soap and water. There are various easy ways to achieve “clean” based on the item’s intended purpose. Starting with a visual inspection you can ask yourself some of the following questions:
Is it a food contact surface?
Zone 1 – Critical to clean, regularly
It is adjacent to food contact surfaces?
Zone 2 – Very important to clean, regularly
Is it contributing to a dirty environment?
Should be cleaned routinely
Is this equipment generally a wet environment or dry?
It may not be a good idea to introduce water in an otherwise dry production line. Dry soil or leaves can be removed with a vacuum or broom and dust pan.