Eight key conditions of a sanitation SOP

Food processor will need to demonstrate their sanitation processes; regulators will be looking for these eight key points in the sanitation plan.

Sanitation of the food processing facility is a major factor in developing and producing safe food products. Regulators use key sanitation points as a guideline in evaluating sanitation operating procedures (SOP) and the sanitation plan. The key points to consider are:

  • Safety of the water that comes into contact with food or food contact surfaces, or is used in the manufacture of ice
  • Condition and cleanliness of food contact surfaces, including utensils, gloves and outer garments
  • Prevention of cross-contamination from insanitary objects to food; food packaging material; and other food contact surfaces including utensils, gloves and outer garments; and from raw product to cooked product
  • Maintenance of hand washing, hand sanitizing and toilet facilities
  • Protection of food, food packaging material and food contact surfaces from adulteration with lubricants, fuel, pesticides, cleaning compounds, sanitizing agents, condensate and other chemical, physical and biological contaminants
  • Proper labeling, storage and use of toxic compounds
  • Control of employee health conditions that could result in the microbiological contamination of food, food packaging materials and food contact surfaces
  • Exclusion of pests from the food plant

Including these key conditions in planning for facilities and considered in processes used, regulatory requirements and inspections should be easier. Additionally, food processors will maintain favorable conditions to produce safe foods.

Michigan State University Extension educators and Innovation Counselors at the MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio are ready to assist food processors in the development of the products.

The MSU Product Center Food-Ag-Bio provides food safety testing and assistance to help Michigan entrepreneurs develop and commercialize high-value, consumer-responsive products and businesses in the value-added agriculture, food, and natural resources sectors.

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