Any food processing plant, including a commercial bakery, needs a quality sanitation program. Bakeries, along with fast food restaurants, have historically faced high employee turnover rates, so the organization and implementation of an easily understandable food sanitation program must be a number one priority.
In order to create a valid and workable bakery sanitation program, the following aspects should be addressed:
Management should never assume that any new employee knows the intricacies of proper sanitation. Thorough staff training is critical because a simple employee error or misconception can easily negate an important sanitation step. For example, a sanitizing chemical that has been improperly mixed with water to yield an ineffective concentration can allow a seemingly sanitized surface to become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
There are certain steps in every sanitation process. For example, rough food waste should be removed from any flat surface before sanitizer is applied. An inexperienced employee may try to clean rough particles from a table with sanitizer only; this process can be ineffective and ultimately dangerous. Again, proper training is a key element in any sanitation program, and all procedures should be carefully listed, recorded, and ultimately explained to each applicable employee.
Cleaning bakery equipment needs to be a continual part of your program. Some equipment, like dough rollers, may need to be sanitized daily. Other items, like stainless steel worktables, usually need hourly sanitation. Every piece of bakery equipment must be scheduled for routine cleaning and sanitation. A sanitation schedule should be readily available and easily seen in each area of the bakery. Many bakeries also use checklists that are to be signed as employees complete individual sanitation tasks.
Chemicals and Cleaning Equipment
Chemicals should never be stored near food products. All sanitation chemicals should be housed in their own areas, with proper spec sheets and warning information readily available. This is critical for a bakery, since a jar of white soap powder left in the wrong area of the bakery could easily be mistaken for flour, sugar, or salt. Unfortunately, accidents of this nature do occur, but they can be prevented with proper managerial vigilance.
No employee should use sophisticated cleaning equipment without proper training. Management must make sure that all safety procedures are followed, and that all cleaning equipment is being used only for its intended purpose.
All food processing plants need stringent sanitation programs and guidelines. While bakeries may have their own set of individual sanitation concerns, proper training, efficient scheduling and correct use of chemicals and equipment should be high priorities for bakery managers.