What are your cold room cleaning requirements? In referring to cold rooms we also refer to freezer rooms as both are food storage areas.
Food business have an obligation under the Australian Food Standards code to follow the legislated Food Safety Practices. Never mind it is good for business.
Section 3.2.2 covers cool and freezer rooms as it specifically lists “storage” as well as “cleaning, sanitising, and maintenance of premises and equipment.” This is detailed in Section 5 – Cleaning, sanitising and maintenance which in Section 19 Cleanliness Sub section (1) stipulates:
So there is a clear obligation on food business to ensure their storage areas are clean and visibly clean at that. Standard 3.3.1 places an even greater obligation for these requirements on food safety programs for vulnerable persons.
All food proprietors and managers are required to meet the food safety standards and implement a program. The most commonly referred to program being HACCP Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. So any cleaning practices must be viewed in the greater context of the organisations larger food safety program.
In both cool and freezer rooms there are the visible walls, floors and ceilings. There is a scarily common misconception that just cleaning these surfaces will meet the obligations for the cool room cleans. It is scary as the misconception could lead to a food business being in breach of food safety standards which at worst can close your doors.
The reason it is wrong is that just cleaning surfaces ignores the evaporator unit for the refrigeration equipment that is in the room. The evaporator is subject to both moisture and heat so can accumulate dirt, grease, bacteria and mould in large quantities if left unchecked. It is absolutely critical that the evaporator is also santised regularly as the internal fans will just spread any contamination in the evaporator coils around the cool room.
Cleaners cannot legally open or access an evaporator as there is internal power. You need to be a trade qualified and licensed refrigeration mechanic and know what you are doing to properly clean an evaporator. The cleaning of an evaporator and its coil is part of our preventative maintenance programs so we recommend that food businesses also engage Tecair in relation to your food safety program to ensure you are compliant. Temperature sensing calibration is another obligation and good example on why your refrigeration services need to be more than just about the freezer working.