There is generally a good understanding of the importance of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP’s) and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems in the support of maintaining food safety. However, the importance of good housekeeping in supporting the GMP’s and HACCP are often forgotten. Housekeeping not only improves food safety and quality management practices, but it also supports occupational health and safety procedures by minimizing trip points and other employee hazards. Good housekeeping is essential for the well-being and morale of all employees.
In this article, we will learn about one effective strategy for maintaining good housekeeping and food safety, namely the 5S principles.
The 5S Principles!
The Japanese-developed 5S lean manufacturing system covers the five tenets
Set in Order,
This strategy helps food business firms prevent lost production due to unanticipated downtime by offering a systematic foundation for cleanliness. Let’s explore each of the tenets one by one!
This is the procedure to get rid of everything unnecessary from the area. For convenience, discard broken tools and other damaged items that are no longer needed. Besides, things that are occasionally needed but not frequently used should be put in storage. You can keep all items in a more suitable location if it is misplaced or maintained improperly.
One pro tip for you! You can immediately mark items that should be moved or thrown away with red tags or labels.
Set in Order
This is the step that typically takes the longest but has the most significant impact. The ultimate objective is to make the workplace more efficient and reduce the possibility of cross-contamination between raw and finished products at the same time.
You can logically segregate food and non-food items. It is better to divide proper zones with colour-coded tools and visual boards.
The process, which should be repeated as often as necessary, must involve cleaning the kitchen equipment and the workspace itself. Perhaps regular cleaning reduces biofilm accumulation and improves general hygienic conditions. Manufacturing facilities that handle susceptible food products, such as meat, should use hygienically designed tools.
This stage allows you to establish strong guidelines for where to keep appropriate food products while eliminating the chances of cross-contamination. You can keep track of what functions well and what doesn't.
It is best to consult with staff members to determine the complete process before establishing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Remember, employees should not feel manipulated during the SOP planning process. You can create a training programme for new joiners, and remind existing staff members of the procedures at least once a year.
Experts suggest three comprehensive processes for sustaining healthy housekeeping formalities.
- Supervisors need to be present on the shop floor to ensure daily compliance with policies and to assist workers during daily checks.
- Supervisors can conduct quarterly or monthly checks to ensure 5S is being followed diligently.
- SOPs can be reviewed to incorporate the change for healthy protocols.
Implementing healthy food safety guidelines
The 5S principles are an excellent tool that all food companies can easily adopt and use to reinforce housekeeping standards, which in turn support your GMP’s and food safety management.