Where Can I Access a Maintenance and Sanitation SOP?

Oct. 15, 2009
MRO Q&A is a Food Processing series addressing maintenance, repair and operational issues in food plants.
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Q. Where can I access a maintenance SOP for a food processing facility as well as a sanitation SOP?

A. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) each issue their own regulations in the relevant titles of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The USDA has jurisdiction over all animal (title 9) and agriculture products (title 7) and the FDA has jurisdiction over the manufacturing, blending and handling of food and drug ingredients (title 21).

While each of these CFR titles covers a broad area of work, within each you will find the sanitation standards for all food products manufactured within the U.S. Based on the type of products you manufacture, either or possibly both of these agencies will have jurisdiction over your operation. In any case it is expected that each food operation shall develop, implement and maintain a written standard operating procedure (SOP) for sanitation in accordance with these regulations. So the best place to start is in reviewing these documents and putting together your own sanitation SOP. Once you have this document developed you can consult with either or both agencies and get their review and input.

Once you have developed your sanitation program, you can then analyze your total operation from the perspective of its unique hazardous and critical control points. This in turn will create an operational SOP founded on your HACCP (hazard analysis and critical control points) review and allows you to develop a maintenance SOP that is directly linked to your operational and sanitation SOPs.

The seven basic HACCP principles are included in the International Standardization Organization (ISO) 22000 standards. While this standard is intended to develop a complete food safety management system, utilizing this document will enable you to develop maintenance documentation that addresses all the critical elements within your facility. Focusing your maintenance SOP on HACCP allows you to focus on maintaining the highest level of food sanitation and safety and transfer that focus into your equipment requirements and routine maintenance schedules.

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