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From: Food Quality & Safety magazine, June/July 2006

"Glug-Glug" Method Gouges the Budget

Using Chemicals Sparingly Controls Your Sanitation Budget

by Christopher A. Celusta

In years past, companies would put the responsibility of “measuring” their products in the hand of employees. Realistically, the typical mentality is if a little does well, a lot works better, and I can finish this job at a quicker pace. This “glug-glug” approach of product measuring drives up the budget. It also conceivably leaves additional film and adds time to rinsing the product/soil from surfaces. In effect, you increase your labor costs, and the bottom line is your overall costs increase.

Over the years, many manufacturers have perfected their skills for providing accurate-measure dispensing systems. The good news is they will work with cleaners, degreasers and acid-based/caustic-based products. At the push of a button you can have your product of choice precisely measured. The selection of the units varies based upon the needs of the facility, soils to be targeted and the areas to be covered to administer your sanitation program. The good news is you can customize your program with the right piece of equipment to “control” your chemical use and, more importantly, conceivably free up monies that can be used within your budget to provide added efficiencies. You can purchase new equipment or additional green pads and brushes, which are great tools that add the mechanical action/agitation part to aggressively remove soils/biofilm and, most importantly, provide your employees with the “tools” so they can generate the efficiencies we all plan for.

Let’s think about some of the following benefits that come with controlling your chemical use via selecting your equipment of choice:

  • Control your cost: Every facility is working under a budget. The better we stay within those guidelines, the better we can stay competitive. Plus you increase the chance to provide additional new “tools” so not only will your people be motivated in generating the results we all plan for but, more importantly, they are also able to contribute and finish their job in a timely fashion.
  • Safety: In today’s society safety is the number one issue employees are always concerned with. Downtime, costs associated with employees’ suffering, chemical burns, etc., can be extremely costly. By taking the product “out of the hands” of your employees, you are implementing a system that allows for less handling of the concentrated product. This, in turn, minimizes liability concerns and, more importantly, physical contact with the product.
  • Consistent results/consistent controls of your budget: Like any good product, ideally it will emulsify, suspend, and provide ease of removal of taking the soil away from the surface. Bottom line, you minimize your rinse time along with having to deal with any residual issues that typically arise from overuse of the product. What is their or your time worth?
  • Budgetary controls: In today’s environment the better the company stays within its objectives, the easier it is to generate consistent results and, most importantly, no spikes within your cleaning budget.

So when you begin to define chemical use, keep in mind your options with the various chemical management systems. Their contributions allow you to maximize product effectiveness, provide for employee safety, contribute to time and labor savings, and, most importantly, provide consistencies within your program. Like any good program, the key is to define the right product with the right chemical management system that generate the right results and, most importantly, provides a safer environment for you and your employees. It seems to boil down about “your choice” to make the right selection. The good news is there are many excellent options available to ultimately make your job easier to perform.

Christopher A. Celusta is manager of food processing sanitation for Spartan Chemical Company, Inc. (Maumee, Ohio). Reach him at 800-537-8990.

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