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5 things to consider when changing a chemical supplier in food production.

1.Update your sanitation plan early

Have your new sanitation plan drawn up, before your change over date. Working closely with your new suppliers technical team leading up to the change over can assist in understanding all the new products and how they fit in with your cleaning and sanitation program. Taking the time before hand can make make the transition a lot smoother.

2.Understand supplier requirements and limitations

Regardless of how service driven your suppliers are, the nature of business is that suppliers can often have certain limitations or cut off times, in regard to delivery schedules or requirement for placing orders before a certain time of day. When delays happen, they will have delays on your stock arriving on site. A solid understanding of a suppliers requirements for account opening and delivery schedules or at least understanding the implications of how a particular delay will directly effect your stock deliveries can avoid misunderstandings from the start.

3.Involve the maintenance team from the beginning.

Cleaning operations in food production facilities are often heavily reliant on the maintenance team for safety shutting down equipment and dismantling before deep cleaning. Without effective communication between the two departments, you can almost be sure that the cleaning effort is suffering somewhere in your facility. Maintenance are also better equipped to understand the materials equipment is made from assisting with making sure expensive equipment is not damaged by chemicals and equipment.

4.Training and change management

Ensuring your cleaning teams and supervisors are adequately trained on new products and verification practises required for the change over date, helps to ensure a smooth change over. End users require the knowledge for using the new products safely and effectively from day one. Making sure cleaning operators understand exactly what each product is for, how it should be diluted and the acceptable application options for that product will assist operators to be effective in their duties.

5.Have a back up plan

Changing anything in a food production facility always comes with certain risks and challenges, but can often lead to much better processes and results in the future. When changing processes, bad judgement or bad quality products can sometimes produce underwhelming results. To avoid any pathogen risks during your change over process, I recommend keeping a sufficient amount of high quality spray and leave sanitiser like Paracetic Acid based products ( Saf Peroxy ), or a highly dilutable QAC based sanitiser( Saf Disinfectant Concentrate). These products can be used on top of the new cleaning protocols during the change over period for peace of mind, or for emergency use if your critical control points start to show higher pathogen counts upon testing.

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