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Clean Your RTE Plant in 7 Steps

By November 24, 2017Blog

The 7 Step Cleaning Process for your RTE plant


In their “Control of Listeria monocytogenes in Ready-To-Eat Foods: Guidance for Industry Draft Guidance Guide,” the Food and Drug Administration offers their recommended cleaning procedure for ready-to-eat food processing plants including carefully sequenced cleaning actions followed by a sanitizing procedure. The FDA recommends that your written sanitation procedures include the following steps:

  1. Dry Clean – Using appropriate tools (such as brushes, scrapers), remove heavy soils or debris from equipment, then floors;
  2. Pre-Rinse –  Working from the top of the equipment down, rinse and scrub equipment to remove visible soils. Using appropriate tools, remove any additional debris from the floors and drains, and then rinse the floor;
  3. Soap and Scour – Apply foam cleaner to ensure adequate coverage by first foaming walls (if applicable), floors, and then the equipment from the bottom of the equipment to the top. Clean drains using appropriate tools. Scour equipment to remove any residues, and avoid the drying of the foam cleaner;
  4. Post-Rinse –  Remove the foam cleaner by flood rinsing the walls (if applicable), floors and equipment in the same order that the foam cleaner was applied;
  5. Prepare for Inspection – Remove any possible overhead condensation or standing water and prepare the equipment for inspection;
  6. Pre-Op Inspection – Visually inspect the equipment for cleaning effectiveness and correct any deficiencies;
  7. Sanitize and Assemble –  Sanitize the equipment, floors, and (if applicable) walls and prepare the equipment for operation using ATP bioluminescence or other appropriate testing as a sanitation check.

For more information, read the full FDA Guidance.