The below is a basic outline of cleaning practices and chemical applications for cleaning and disinfecting, with a focus on addressing the breakdown of biofilm within the context of a potential Listeria outbreak in a food facility under the FSSC 22000 framework.
Preparation: Before starting the cleaning process, ensure that all equipment is disassembled and accessible for thorough cleaning. This includes removing parts that are difficult to clean or reach.
Dry Cleaning: Begin by dry cleaning to remove loose debris, such as food particles or dirt. Use brushes, scrapers, or air pressure to dislodge any visible dirt.
Wet Cleaning: Use a suitable detergent or alkaline cleaner to break down organic residues. Make sure the detergent is compatible with food contact surfaces and equipment materials.
Scrubbing: Use brushes or scrub pads to manually scrub surfaces, especially those with crevices or joints where Listeria can hide. Pay close attention to areas that are hard to reach.
Rinsing: Thoroughly rinse all surfaces with clean water to remove detergent residues and loosened debris.
Disinfection: Apply an approved disinfectant to kill any remaining Listeria. Ensure the disinfectant is suitable for food contact surfaces and effective against Listeria.
Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (Quats): Quats are commonly used disinfectants that are effective against Listeria. Ensure proper concentration and contact time for effective results.
Chlorine Compounds: Chlorine-based sanitisers can be effective, but their efficacy can decrease in the presence of organic matter. Ensure proper concentration and pH levels.
Peroxyacetic Acid (PAA): PAA-based sanitizers are known for their effectiveness against biofilms and Listeria. They can penetrate and disrupt biofilm layers.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide-based sanitizers can be used effectively, especially when combined with peracetic acid. They are known for their ability to break down biofilms.
Enzymatic Cleaners: Enzymatic cleaners can be used to target biofilm breakdown. Enzymes help degrade the components of biofilms, making them easier to remove.
Enzymatic Treatment: Use specialised enzymatic cleaners designed to target biofilms. These enzymes break down the matrix that holds the biofilm together.
Mechanical Agitation: Scrubbing or using mechanical devices like rotary brushes can physically disrupt biofilm structures, making it easier for sanitizers to penetrate.
Extended Contact Time: Allow disinfectants or enzymatic cleaners to have sufficient contact time to penetrate and break down biofilm layers effectively.
Multiple Applications: In severe cases, multiple rounds of cleaning and disinfection may be needed to completely remove stubborn biofilms.
Validation and Verification: Regularly validate and verify the effectiveness of cleaning and disinfection procedures, especially regarding biofilm removal, through swab testing and visual inspections.