And the Answers You Need to Succeed in Sanitation

When starting or reevaluating a sanitation program, expert advice isn’t exactly at your fingertips. But, that time-tested advice can make all the difference. Matt Prine, Technical Service Director for PSSI’s preferred chemical supplier, Packers Chemical, lets food processors in on the questions they should ask about chemicals when strategizing a sanitation program.


1. What chemical training do sanitation workers need?

PSSI trains team members in chemistry basics, proper storage, mixing restrictions and labeling instructions. During training, we go over safety precautions like operating eyewash stations and showers, and emphasize personal protective equipment to make sure workers know how to respond to accidents or spills. The key with training is to make learning engaging and hands-on. Keep language barriers in mind and provide appropriate translation based on worker population.

2. How can I make sure chemical concentrations are correct?

The most important thing to remember is to stay within the concentration range specified on the product label for how it will be used. Using a lower concentration will not effectively sanitize the area and using a higher concentration is wasteful and costly. Disinfectants and sanitizers are classified as pesticides by the EPA, so using a higher-than-necessary concentration could put you at risk for EPA action and food contamination.

PSSI ensures consistent and correct chemical concentrations by performing real-time titrations every time chemical products are mixed.

3. How do I choose which chemicals to use?

It is crucial to find the right supplier to advise you on your sanitation chemical program. PSSI’s preferred supplier is Packers Chemical, a licensed chemical blending facility that provides technical support and supplies high-quality dispensers and foamers. Packers Chemical has quality control procedures and performs tests on each shipment for purity and potency.

4. How does water affect sanitation chemicals?

Water quality can have a big impact on sanitation chemical performance and is often overlooked. Test your water at least once per year or any time your municipality makes changes to the water supply. Pay attention to water hardness. Between zero and four grains is considered soft water and above seven grains is considered hard water. Chemical labels provide use instructions based on hardness levels. Also, watch for mineral-based water impurities like iron, manganese and chlorides. These can cause staining, corrosion and filming issues. PSSI tests water at every plant annually and works with Packers Chemical to adjust chemical programs accordingly.

5. What’s the best way to store chemicals?

Make routine inspections of the plant to look for any unlabeled materials that could be food or worker safety risks. Store chemicals in securely locked containers to prevent contamination or product tampering. Chemical drums should be stored away from sunlight or heat in areas that are well-ventilated and well-drained. PSSI ensures all containers are labeled with a reliable tagging system – even the buckets used to mix chemicals are tagged with the product mixtures they contain.