09/28/2012 08:40:00 AMArmand Lobato
Those same retail chains that can't keep their own houses clean still insist on forcing their suppliers' grower/packers to spend obscene amounts of cash keeping the packing house sanitized and inspected. The packers need to ensure that everyone washes and sanitizes their hands AND wears gloves. Any product that touches the floor needs to be destroyed. Environmental samples need to be tested for pathogens. BUT, then you go to the grocery store to see countless masses of customers caressing the fruit with ZERO hand washing, the produce guy placing back on the shelves apples/lettuce that fell to the filthy floor, and all sorts of caked on grime hiding out in the displays. I say it is long past due for the retailers to get a taste of the medicine they force upon all the grower/packers.
Thank You for this article. I'm the guy who religiously breaks down a 12 foot section of the wet rack every Tuesday. The only problem is , other members of the department do not realize the importance of keeping a consistent schedule throughout the year. The cleanining seems to suffer setbacks during the summer vacation months, July-September. I often find this unacceptable, not to mention the drain problems and an extra effort to regain cleanliness once back on track.
I am in charge of cleaning a 48' rack monthly in my produce department. I can't help but agree with everything the author states, as well as the comments that follow below. It is single-handedly, the most time consuming and labor-intensive task in a produce department. How do I succeed? Trying to maintain as much consistency as possible, arguing with the familiar "let's wait until next week" attitude, and strict attention to detail. Each month, I clean 2/5 of the case the first week (20'), and 3/5 of the case the next week (28'). Total time for me working by myself is about 13 hours per month. Thirteen hours times twelve months a year = 156 hours a year. A small price to pay for food safety.