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10 STEPS THAT CHANGED THE CLEANING INDUSTRY By Brett Osrin, CEO Ecowize

A structured methodology can entrench complex behavioural sequences into achievable steps. This is a powerful way to minimise mistakes and maximise efficiencies. It’s the idea behind the 10 Steps of Cleaning – a logical, repetitive process that ensures compliance and discipline in the sanitation and cleaning regime. As cleaning specialists, it’s been part of Ecowize almost from our founding, 27 years ago.  In fact, Peter Maiborn, Managing Director of our Australian operation, was instrumental in its origin.

The 10 Steps are a pivotal part of our DNA, reflected in the disciplined way we deliver our services. It’s something that’s tried and tested – we know it works! By repeating the same logical process, you embed best-practice behaviours. That enables us to produce optimal outcomes, time and again.

A History of the 10 Steps

As a leading cleaning and sanitation company, we have a smart cleaning approach that incorporates the discipline of the 10 steps to ensure an optimal clean every time. This can be seen in our recent case study, based on the work of our US team at RTE Meat Facility in Philadelphia. By optimising our people-processes-technology approach and using the 10 steps, we managed to reduce water usage by 36%, energy by 66%, chemical use by 29%, and labour FTE (workload) by 38%.

There’s no doubt the 10 steps were a game-changer for the industry. And our very own Maiborn was instrumental in establishing them!  Maiborn was a branch manager for ISS from 1989-1995. ISS Food Service – now one of the world’s leading facility companies – was founded in the 80s, as a segment of the cleaning industry, with a strong focus on servicing Denmark’s large pork industry.

In 1990, Maiborn teamed up with technical manager Frands Kragh to develop a management system for ISS Food Service that could be certified to ISO 9001 Standard (ISO 9001 refers to the international standard that specifies criteria for a quality management system for goods and services). Over the course of 18 months, the duo analysed best-practice cleaning processes. From this, the 10 Steps of Cleaning system was born – and the food safety services industry has never looked back! Today, it’s a critical way to demonstrate the process of service delivery to the client and ensure rigorous compliance from the team.

So, what are the 10 Steps of Cleaning?

Each step also involves lots of ‘mini steps’, some of which are listed below:

  1. Getting Ready: Pre-shift meetings, donning of PPE, readying of equipment, dilution and issuing of chemicals, staff hygiene inspection, workflow chart communication, and removal of customer product or packaging material
  2. Rough Rinse: Planned rinsing sequence to remove the bulk of the debris and minimise cross contamination. The application of water-wise measures
  3. Pick-up: Picking up packaging material and product waste so no cross-contamination occurs, plus correct waste disposal
  4. Foaming: Chemical application to food contact and non-food contact surfaces for lifting of dirt and biofilm
  5. Scrubbing: Mechanical action to loosen tough debris or stains and break through biofilm
  6. Final Rinse: Rinsing of environment from top to bottom to remove chemical and physical residue from surfaces. We use a higher volume, low pressure system, with the foam and sanitizer being delivered from the same satellite for optimal efficiency
  7. Ecowize Inspection: Hygiene operators perform a self-inspection of all equipment and surfaces cleaned. This is followed by a visual inspection by the Site Manager to verify all food and non-food contact surfaces have been cleaned to standard. There’s a re-clean in the event of a non-conformance
  8. Sanitation: Disinfection using approved chemicals, at the correct dilution and contact time to reduce the bacterial load on surfaces
  9. Handover Inspection: Visual Inspection with the customer to confirm cleanliness of food contact and non-food contact surfaces
  10. Finishing: PPE & cleaning equipment is reconciled as intact. It is then cleaned, disinfected, and stored accordingly. All paperwork is completed to provide evidence of verification

A structured cleaning and sanitation process like this has been proven to minimise mistakes and maximise efficiencies. As cleaning specialists in South Africa and globally, we’ve consistently reaped positive results from adopting the 10 steps in our business and making them our DNA. It’s one of the ways we ensure we meet our standards of service excellence and consistently help to protect our clients’ brands.

For more information on Ecowize and what we can offer you, please contact us.

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