Cleaning workplaces to minimise the impact of COVID-19
In response to the urgency of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, Sanikleen has developed free online training courses for preventative and reactive cleaning in workplace amenity areas. Dan Crozier explains the cleaning procedures, PPE and chemicals required in this video.
Within the factory
All manufacturing sites have a Food Safety plan in accordance with the requirements of the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Food Standards Code. The plans are approved and audited by the appropriate state-based Food Safety Regulatory Authority (SRA) who has issued the dairy manufacturing licence.
Food Safety Plans include detailed information about food safety and hygiene practices for factory operations and for all staff who work in the plant. To reduce the risk of COVID 19 contamination, ensure that a vigilant approach is taken to following the hygiene procedures in your Food Safety Plan. This must apply to all people who enter the manufacturing site with no exceptions. Manufacturers can reduce the risk of COVID 19 exposure to all staff by strongly restricting plant access to anyone not essential to the business.
Food safety and hygiene issues in dairy manufacturing sites are overseen by the SRAs in each state. Each has published dedicated pages providing detailed advice concerning COVID-19. The relevant SRA should be your first point of contact for issue regarding food safety and hygiene issues during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Links to the SRA sites are below. Additional useful links are included from FSANZ, Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), and Safe Work Australia.
In shared amenity areas and office
Given the contagious nature of COVID-19 and the data that suggests it can survive for a number of days on surfaces, it is important that businesses also consider routes of transmission between employees that exist outside of the food processing areas such as office work stations and shared amenity spaces such as lunchrooms, changerooms or bathrooms.
Apart from practising the required social distancing, businesses should look to eliminate and/or minimise close contact between employees wherever possible. The Australian Food and Grocery Council and Australian Industry Group have provided some useful guidelines here which suggest practical risk reduction measures such as: minimising on-site personnel; careful structuring of shifts; and additional consideration of staff movement within the factory.
Businesses should also maintain a vigilant environmental cleaning regime across shared amenity spaces. Particular attention should be paid to high traffic touch points like door handles, light switches, handrails, and water taps.
Australian company, Sanikleen Group (SKG), is also offering some excellent free training resources for both preventative and reactive cleaning practices on their website - including a Preventative Cleaning Action Plan.
Dairy biosecurity is vital for protecting your farm. Dairy farmers and their advisors now have access to a new online biosecurity tool to build their skills and adapt their management approach to biosecurity risks.