If you are a processor, you are already thinking about how you’ll keep your facility clean, but no matter what you do in this industry, it’s a constant nagging in the back of your mind. Cleanliness has become not ‘a thing’, it is the ONLY THING.
But how do we address cleanliness in this world of misinformation, false information, fake news and over-reacting to everything? The answer is simple. Go to the source.
We went out to multiple government health agencies to find out what it takes to protect your products, your staff and yourself against Covid-19:
- You should pay attention to clean surfaces with the usual cleaning supplies. Antibacterial cleaners work fine. You will want to change out your sponges or use fresh cleaning materials weekly.
- Wash your hands regularly. Hand sanitizer is not better than soap and water but if that is all you have use it.
- You may need to create a Cleaning Schedule for areas that you previously cleaned less often. A weekly cleaning schedule may have to be done daily until we have more understanding of Covid-19.
- If you serve raw foods, you will want to wash them carefully, but if you cook food, you will not need to do anything extra to your food prep other than making sure you are not sampling your food and returning the spoons to the pot or pan as you prepare it.
- Clean places around your workspace like door and cabinet handles, light switches, phones, faucets, toilet handles, desks, computer equipment, fans along with countertops and sinks.
- It is recommended that you clean with soap and water then use a disinfectant. If your cleaner kills the human coronavirus (Lysol and Clorox say they do the job), you should be in the clear. You want to use disposable gloves when you clean and use disposable cleaning rags like paper towels.
TIP 1: Read and follow the directions on the cleaning product label. Some will tell you to leave a cleaner on a surface for up to 15 minutes. Some older stainless appliances and marble countertops should not be left wet that long. The EPA has a timetable for how long a surface should be left wet by cleaning agent and virus (not a pleasant thought, but useful). It can be found at:
TIP 2: As silly as this may seem, some folks do not know that many cleaning agents do not mix. For example, NEVER mix ammonia and bleach. There are many cleaning products that have one or the other as an active ingredient. You don’t want to die from toxic cleaning supplies.
TIP 3: Pay attention. Learn all you can from CDC, EPA, your local health department, state agency and National Institutes of Health. Do a Google search on Coronavirus weekly and set-up your internet to alert you when new data is released on ‘cleaning and Coronavirus’ and ‘how to clean for Covid-19’. Learn everything you can from every source. Your health is too important.