As most in the food industry know, looking clean isn't the same as actually being clean. Though a new cleaning tool may appear to be ready for use right away, especially those sealed in plastic pouches, they need to be prepped for their first use. Here are a few steps that should be taken to ensure all new tools are ready for use in food production facilities:

  1. Remove Labels
    It is essential to completely remove any label and adhesive, as the sticky residue can
    be a trap for debris and bacteria. This task is most easily done when dry, but if there is residual stickiness, simply use a towel with warm soapy water, or a towel soaked in vinegar to remove anything left behind.
  2. Clean the Tool
    Since most tools are not produced in factory settings with the same rigorous sanitation requirements as food manufacturing, it is highly recommended to put new tools through an industrial dishwasher, or hand wash them prior to their first use.
  3. Sanitize for High-Risk Conditions
    Follow HACCP plans for how clean the tool should be before use. If a tool will be used in a high-risk environment, it should be sterilized to ensure any microbes that may have contaminated the item before it arrived are fully destroyed.
  4. Dry
    In order to prevent mold and other microorganisms from growing, it is important to ensure the tool is completely dried. Whether by hanging or by using an industrial dishwasher's drying cycle, tools must be dry to be considered clean.

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Information provided by Remco.