5 Must-Have Water Routines to Achieve Sanitation Success

In most food plants, water is an integral component of sanitation. Whether you handle your sanitation routine in-house or use external resources, optimizing water management needs to be part of your overall sanitation strategy.

As North America’s number one contract sanitation company, Packers Sanitation Services, Inc. (PSSI) works with the best of the best to optimize water use when cleaning plants around the country. Packers Chemical is PSSI’s preferred partner for chemical and resource management. Matt Prine, food safety director from Packers Chemical, along with PSSI technical experts provide these must-have steps to manage water during sanitation shifts.

  1. Routinely Test Your Water Quality

The goal of a sanitation program is to provide the optimum clean. But that can’t be achieved if the water isn’t doing the job it is supposed to.

The first step to achieving a successful routine with your water is to take samples and perform quality tests regularly—at least once per year and anytime the municipality notifies you of changes in the water supply. PSSI and Packers Chemical work closely with customers to facilitate water testing and make sanitation changes as needed.

  1. Use Your Water Analysis to Select Sanitation Chemicals

Chemical selection and sanitation strategy are largely determined by water quality.

“If I’m on the front side of the chemical selection, the first question that I ask of my customers is that they send me their water analysis report,” Prine says.

The water analysis helps determine which detergents are the right choice, based on water hardness and any mineral impurities. PSSI and Packers Chemical work together to select and manage the sanitation chemical program, including documenting the products and concentrations used.

“All our chemicals are blended to match the water conditions and soil level of each individual site,” says Prine. 

  1. Consider Water Temperature

Water temperature is another factor that requires acute attention and expertise, especially in the meat and poultry industry. Hydrophobic soil such as animal fats don’t mix with water and must be melted away during sanitation. This means it is critical the water temperature reaches the melting point of the tallows and fats that are being removed, which may vary depending on species and time of year.

  1. Manage Water Pressure

Sanitation worker spraying equipment with hose

Water pressure is another sanitation component that requires a delicate balance. Pressure that is too low won’t be effective at removing contaminants, and pressure that is too high could present a worker safety risk.

Too-high pressure also risks overspray from equipment to equipment or from floor to equipment, creating a huge food safety concern.

“We spend all this time cleaning, but if you use too much water pressure, you’re just putting contaminants right back on equipment,” says Prine.

The sanitation experts at PSSI test their water pressure routines regularly and provide ongoing training to team members to ensure they use the correct pressure to get each specific job done right.

  1. Take the Environment into Account

In a world where usable water is a limited resource, it’s increasingly important to manage your plant’s water usage from a sustainability standpoint. Are you meeting wastewater discharge requirements? Are you using water reduction and reuse strategies?

Strategizing a sustainable water routine does more than just protect your brand: It can put you ahead of the competition. PSSI works with customers to provide custom water care solutions, which include meeting all EPA requirements for water use and providing documentation for audit purposes.

Wondering if your water routine is set up for sanitation success? Contact PSSI to learn more about optimizing your food safety program.