Chemical Cleaning Safety

Chemical Cleaning Safety

With the new year underway, Chempower Australia has launched into its 2024 schedule of chemical training.

Account Manager Lino Napolitano recently conducted separate safety training sessions for two of our clients in the food production industry, Sonoma Bakery and Bob and Pete’s.

Both companies are well-known and well-respected artisan bakeries with impeccable reputations for the highest quality baked products; reputations that depends on ensuring their premises comply with the correct hygiene standards.

So, in addition to our regular service checks, we conduct in depth staff training sessions on the appropriate and safe use of commercial cleaning chemicals.

For some longer-term employees, these sessions act as a refresher course. For others, it complements their induction training.

It’s also an opportunity for staff to ask questions, raise any concerns or troubleshoot any site-specific cleaning concerns they might be encountering.

Chemical Safety

Chemicals are tools of the trade in the food production industry, no different from knives in the kitchen or a nail gun in a tradie’s toolbox. All tools, if used properly, can make your job easier; just as all tools, used incorrectly, can be hazardous to your health.

Legislation covering the use of chemicals is quite clear and if you’re in food service or production, it’s your obligation to meet them.

Our regular training sessions ensure that all your staff are aware of the correct storage, use and handling of chemicals. They’ll also know what to do in the event of a spill, poisoning, or other chemical accident.

While each training session is highly individualised, the instruction generally covers:

Safety Data Sheets (SDS). Your staff must read and understand the SDS before using chemicals for cleaning. We’ll develop the SDS with you, so they’ll be relevant to your requirements.

Correct use of chemicals. Cleaning chemicals have specific uses. Some need to be watered down. All need to be applied correctly.

Use of safety equipment. Safety equipment specified in the SDS (such as gloves or masks) must be used every time your staff use a chemical. This even applies when it is just a quick job being done in a hurry – this is when a lot of accidents occur.

Correct storage of chemical containers. All containers holding chemicals must be of the correct type and labelled correctly. Our safety sessions reiterate the importance of not using old food containers for storing chemicals and why unlabelled chemicals shouldn’t be used.

Cleaning up and reporting of chemical spills and accidents. If chemicals do spill or leak, your staff need to know the correct procedures for cleaning up, particularly if multiple chemicals are involved. Significant penalties may apply if the correct procedures aren’t followed after a chemical spill or accident.

What to do if a poisoning occurs. We’ll review likely chemical poisoning symptoms, as well provide checklists on what actions to take.

Regulatory Standards

As well as covering off on chemical safety, food production businesses have to navigate a minefield of Food Safety compliance and HACCP standards.

HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points and is a food safety and risk assessment plan that was initially developed in the 1960s to solve food-related problems caused by crumbs and disease-producing microorganisms faced by NASA’s crewed space missions.

HACCP now form the basis of food safety programs worldwide and apply to processes throughout every stage of the food supply chain.

The standards you must meet will vary widely, depending on whether you’re serving snacks out of the back of a van, producing exquisite meals in a five-star restaurant, preparing meals for a residential facility… or producing large volumes of artisan baked goods.

That’s why our training is tailored to your specific situation. However, our training sessions will generally cover off on areas such as:

  • The importance and correct procedures relating to personal hygiene,
  • General cleanliness,
  • Proper cleaning and sanitisation of all food contact areas, including specialised equipment,
  • Creating and following cleaning schedules
  • Cleaning vs sanitising
  • Temperature checks, and
  • The importance of thorough recordkeeping.

Chempower Australia has more than 20 years’ experience of providing world class chemical cleaning and hygiene solutions to industry professionals. This means we have the experience to help our clients be clean, stay compliant and become more profitable.

Providing guidance on your compliance obligations and ensuring your staff are correctly trained takes away the stress of remaining compliant, leaving you to focus on running your business.

If you’d like to see how Chempower Australia’s knowledgeable team members can help support your cleaning and compliance obligations, give us a call.

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