Meat Processing Chemicals

Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures

for a Meat Processing Plant

This web page outlines basic procedures to effectively clean and sanitize a meat processing plant. Many detailed variations of what is presented here may apply depending upon the facility, equipment, product, management preferences, and more.

There are several areas in a meat processing plant that require specific procedures to ensure proper sanitation. We will address each processing area individually and include frequency of cleaning, types of sanitizers, types of soils to be removed, and the method to actually clean the area.

SOURCES OF CONTAMINATION

In addition to cleaning and sanitizing procedures, it is important to know some of the most common sources of contamination in meat processing plants and how to prevent them. During processing, carcasses may be vulnerable to the following pathogens:

  • Escherichia coli
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter
  • Aeromonas hydrophilia
  • Campylobacter jejuni

Process equipment, any surfaces in the room, tools, and workers can also contribute to the contamination in meat processing plants.

CLEANING AND SANITIZING

It is equally important to be familiar with the various types of cleaners and sanitizers used most often in meat processing plants.

Strong Alkaline Cleaners are used to saponify fats and remove heavy soils. Products include: self-foaming HD 5105, HD 5395, and 5396; low-foaming 3009; and nonfoaming CIP products such as KP 3875, 3876, 5026, and KP 3020.

Heavy Duty Alkaline Cleaners are used to remove heavy soils and are aluminum safe. They include: self-foaming GP 1080, GP 1100, GP 1400, GP 1550, and KP 3275. ChemStation’s product KP 3010 contains chlorine and is included in this group.

Mild Alkaline Cleaners are used for general purpose cleaning and are safe on all surfaces. Products include: GP 1050, GP 1125, GP 1150, GP 1250, GP 1300, and GP 1450.

Chlorinated Alkaline Cleaners are used to remove heavy soils while providing a widely recognized sanitizer. Products include: self-foaming KP 3010, KP 3900, KP 3925, 3926, KP 3950, and 3951; and nonfoaming chlorinated products for sanitizing CIP systems such as KP 3000, KP 3060, KP 3030, and OS 6075.

Strong Acid Cleaners are used to clean and brighten aluminum and stainless steel. Products include: self-foaming 4016; and for nonfoaming CIP systems 3555. ChemStation’s product 9035 cleans, brightens, and sanitizes all hard surfaces.

Sanitizers include: quaternary ammonium products such as KP 3515, KP 3520, and KP 3530, which always require rinsing. No-rinse quaternary sanitizers are KP 3505, and KP 3510. A no-rinse acid sanitizer is 9035. ChemStation’s sanitizer 9015 contains highly-effective iodine and is safe to use on equipment, hands, gloves, aprons, and shoes when used according to label directions.

Following is a list of each processing area and the steps needed to keep it clean and sanitized.

LIVESTOCK VEHICLES

  1. After the livestock has been removed from the vehicle, scrape off the manure from the walls and bed of the truck.
  2. Wash the frame, bed, and wheels of the vehicle with water. After the wash, disinfect with a quaternary ammonium sanitizer spray. Another acceptable method is to sanitize and clean in one operation by spraying an alkaline detergent sanitizer.
  3. Always clean after every load has been removed.

SHIPPING AND RECEIVING AREA

  1. Before cleaning these areas, make sure all electrical connections and equipment are covered with plastic sheeting.
  2. Rinse the walls and floors with hot water using a high-pressure sprayer. This should be done in a top-to-bottom, side-to-side manner so that all matter is directed toward the floor.
  3. Clean with a foam gun using a heavy duty alkaline cleaner.
  4. Rinse after 20 minutes with hot water. Use a high-pressure spray.
  5. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.
  6. These steps should be followed every day at the end of the last work shift.

SLAUGHTERING AREA

  1. Cover all electrical connections with plastic sheeting.
  2. Place all pieces of large extraneous carcass and other materials in specified receptacles.
  3. Rinse all soiled areas with hot water. Ceilings, walls and the upper portions of equipment should be rinsed in a top-to-bottom manner so that all matter is directed toward the floor.
  4. Dismantle equipment to ensure complete cleaning and sanitizing.
  5. Clean the framework, undersides and any other difficult to reach places on the machine (along with the walls and ceiling) using a foam dispenser applying an alkaline cleaner.
  6. Rinse after 20 minutes with hot water. To penetrate hard to reach places, a high-pressure system can be used. This method is better and will attain more effective removal of Listeria monocytogenes. Rinse ceilings, walls and equipment.
  7. Apply a chlorine or a Quat sanitizer to all equipment using a portable or centralized sanitizing unit. A fogging system can be employed as well. The chlorine solution should be a minimum of 50 ppm of chlorine. Follow all label directions for dilutions of Quat sanitizers.
  8. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.
  9. Apply a light coat of white edible oil to surfaces that are subject to rust or corrosion.
  10. Clean any pieces of equipment that require special cleaning according to the manufacturer’s recommended procedure.
  11. Follow these procedures daily, except for the removal of large extraneous material which should be done as needed throughout the day.

PROCESSED PRODUCTS, OFFAL, AND STORAGE COOLER

  1. Clean each section with a good floor cleaner using a high-pressure slurry or foamer. (It is recommended that all offal, processed and hanging meats be rotated so that only half of the area contains the hanging meat to allow easier cleaning.)
  2. Rinse after 20 minutes with hot water. Work all debris towards the floor in a manner that will not splash nor contaminate hanging meat in the other section.
  3. Squeegee the floor where water has accumulated so that it does not freeze.
  4. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.

FABRICATION AND FURTHER PROCESSING

  1. Pick up all extraneous material and dispose in proper receptacles.
  2. Cover all electrical outlets and equipment with plastic sheeting.
  3. Rinse the entire area with hot water. Start at the bone conveyor top (avoid hosing the motor or electrical connections) and work the debris down to the floor.
  4. Apply an alkaline cleaner with a high-pressure, low-volume system using hot water. A foaming unit can be employed as well.
  5. Rinse after 20 minutes with hot water.
  6. Apply a chlorine or a Quat sanitizer to all equipment using a portable or centralized sanitizing unit. A fogging system can be employed as well. The chlorine solution should be a minimum of 50 ppm of chlorine. Follow all label directions for dilutions of Quat sanitizers.
  7. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.
  8. Apply a light coat of white edible oil to surfaces that are subject to rust or corrosion.
  9. If there is a bone hopper at the facility, clean it in the same manner as described in this section.
  10. Follow these cleaning procedures at least once a day.

PROCESSED PRODUCTS AREA

  1. Dismantle all equipment and place the parts on a table.
  2. Dispose of all pieces of debris and place in the proper receptacle.
  3. Cover all electrical components with plastic sheeting.
  4. Rinse all surfaces with hot water. Begin at the top of the equipment and work all matter to the floor.
  5. Apply an alkaline cleaner using a portable or centralized high-pressure, low-volume system using hot water.
  6. Rinse after 20 minutes using hot water. Use a top-to-bottom, left-to-right pattern so that all matter is directed toward the floor.
  7. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.
  8. Apply a light coat of white edible oil to surfaces that are subject to rust or corrosion.

pigsFRESH PRODUCT PROCESSING AREAS

  1. Dismantle all equipment and place the parts on a table.
  2. Dispose of all pieces of debris and place in the proper receptacle.
  3. Cover all electrical components, mixer, other equipment, and motors with plastic sheeting.
  4. Rinse all surfaces with hot water in a manner that drives the debris in the direction of a nearby floor drain.
  5. Apply an alkaline cleaner using a portable or centralized high-pressure, low-volume system using hot water. Clean all areas including the floor, walls, equipment and doors.
  6. Rinse after 20 minutes using hot water.
  7. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.
  8. Apply a chlorine or a Quat sanitizer to all equipment using a portable or centralized sanitizing unit. A fogging system can be employed as well. The chlorine solution should be a minimum of 50 ppm of chlorine. Follow all label directions for dilutions of Quat sanitizers.
  9. Apply a light coat of white edible oil to surfaces that are subject to rust or corrosion.

PACKAGING AREA

  1. Dismantle all equipment and place the parts on a table.
  2. Dispose of all pieces of debris and place in the proper receptacle.
  3. Cover all electrical components with plastic sheeting.
  4. Rinse all surfaces with hot water. Begin at the top of the equipment and work all matter to the floor.
  5. Apply an alkaline cleaner with a high-pressure, low-volume system using hot water. A foaming unit can be employed as well.
  6. Rinse after 20 minutes with hot water.
  7. Apply a chlorine or a Quat sanitizer to all equipment using a portable or centralized sanitizing unit. A fogging system can be employed as well. The chlorine solution should be a minimum of 50 ppm of chlorine. Follow all label directions for dilutions of Quat sanitizers.
  8. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.
  9. Apply a light coat of white edible oil to surfaces that are subject to rust or corrosion.

BRINE CURING AND PACKAGING AREA

  1. Dispose of all pieces of debris and place in the proper receptacle.
  2. Cover all electrical components, scales and exposed product with plastic sheeting.
  3. Rinse the entire area with hot water. During this rinse an acid cleaner should be added and circulated through a shrink tunnel for 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse the tunnel before the application of detergent.
  5. Apply an alkaline cleaner using a portable or centralized high-pressure, low-volume system using hot water.
  6. Rinse after 20 minutes with hot water.
  7. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.
  8. Sanitize the equipment with a quaternary sanitizer using a portable or centralized sanitizer.
  9. Apply a light coat of white edible oil to surfaces that are subject to rust or corrosion.

DRY CURING AREAS

  1. Sweep the floors.
  2. Remove pallets and other storage equipment.
  3. Dispose of all pieces of debris and place in the proper receptacle.
  4. Rinse the entire area with hot water.
  5. Apply a chlorine or a Quat sanitizer to the entire area using a portable or centralized sanitizing unit. A fogging system can be employed as well. The chlorine solution should be a minimum of 50 ppm of chlorine. Follow all label directions for dilutions of Quat sanitizers.

WASH AREA

The wash areas for raw and cooked product should be separate in an effort to reduce the spread of Listeria and other spoilage microorganisms.

PACKAGED MEATS STORAGE AREA

  1. Dispose of all pieces of debris and place in the proper receptacle.
  2. Scrub the floor with a mechanical scrubber, using the cleaning compound type recommended by the manufacturer.
  3. Clean areas soiled by unpackaged products with a foamer or a slurry cleaning system with hot water.
  4. Rinse the entire area with hot water.
  5. Remove and clean all drain covers and return them to their previous position.
  6. Follow these steps on a daily basis.

LOW-TEMPERATURE RENDERING

  1. Remove all pieces of fat and tissue from the grinding equipment and store in a cool place for the next production shift.
  2. Drain the system so that no tallow, melted fat or lard is present.
  3. Flush the system with hot water.
  4. Disconnect the equipment where possible to allow easy drainage of water and debris. Dismantle T-joints and piping to allow easy removal of debris accumulations.
  5. Dismantle all pieces of equipment that can be removed and place in an alkaline cleaning solution to soak.
  6. Remove all large scraps of debris in the interior of the equipment and dispose of in the proper receptacle.
  7. Spray all exposed surfaces of equipment via an alkaline detergent sanitizer. Spray clean the cooling rollers while they are operating without refrigeration. Clean all parts and pipe sections by soaking in a sink with an alkaline cleaner.
  8. Spray and circulate a solution of heavy duty alkaline cleaner through the centrifugal equipment for about 30 minutes to clean the interior surfaces. Operate the centrifuges at reduced speeds while the cleaning solution is circulating to provide a scrubbing action.
  9. Drain and flush the system with hot water until all scraps are gone.
  10. All scraps that are flushed should be taken to the inedible department.

WIRE PALLETS AND METAL CONTAINERS

  1. Using a high-pressure rinse, spray the entire area with hot water.
  2. Apply an alkaline cleaner using a portable or centralized high-pressure, low-volume system using hot water.
  3. Using a high-pressure rinse, spray the entire area with hot water.
  4. Follow these procedures periodically or as needed.

TROLLEY WASH

  1. Skim off the excess waste from the cleaning solution.
  2. Check the solution strength to make sure it is strong enough.
  3. After the main steam valve is open, maintain a solution temperature of 180-190°F (82-88°C).
  4. Place the trolleys into a wash tank and soak for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove and rinse thoroughly over a drain area or in a rinse sink to avoid diluting the cleaning solution.
  6. Reclean trolleys that are still soiled.
  7. Put the trolleys in an oil bath.
  8. Place the trolleys over a drip pan and allow sufficient drip time