Food-processing manufacturers place extreme importance on keeping customers and employees safe and healthy. A big part of how they do this is by consistently following government and industry hygiene and safety regulations. Over the past few years, however, food-processing manufacturers have experienced lower production capacity an average of 3.2 times as a result of food-safety incidents and a failure to comply with protocols.1 Even a small compliance failure can slow or stop production, trigger unexpected expenses and damage a company’s reputation.

While food processors operate with very high standards, sustaining compliance levels efficiently while maintaining productivity can be challenging. More than half of food-processing production managers find it difficult to motivate workers on the production line to consistently abide by demanding requirements.1 Robust, easy-to-maintain and well-stocked hygiene and cleaning dispensers, placed exactly where needed, can increase hygiene compliance and efficiency.

A period of change and challenge for food-processing manufacturers

The food-processing industry continues to adjust to dramatic changes in customer demand, hygiene expectations, productivity requirements and sustainability goals.

An industry shift: An increase in the demand for food and beverages to be consumed at home, instead of in restaurants and other establishments, made it difficult for manufacturers to adjust their production lines while maintaining output. Disruptions in supply chains added more complications.

More compliance requirements: Stricter pandemic-related regulations have forced companies to require more frequent disinfecting and hand washing. Food-processing manufacturers have also implemented safety practices like social distancing and temperature checks. The requirements vary for different zones, such as on the production floor versus locker rooms. These extra hygiene-related tasks require ongoing training and monitoring of employees to ensure compliance. Unfortunately, they can also slow production and reduce efficiency.

To gain clarity on hygiene-compliance efforts, food-processing managers should examine:
• How often employees are trained on hygiene compliance?
• Who is responsible for training and monitoring them?
• How much does waste due to contamination cost your business?

A focus on increased productivity: Food processing is a highly competitive industry. Managers use continuous improvement principles and methods to identify and implement efficiencies wherever possible. But these must always be balanced with the need to maintain the same high levels of employee safety and product quality. This includes when facilities may be short-staffed due to a lack of qualified labour.

Consider these questions when investigating how to support productivity:
• How much downtime does your company face due to hygiene demands, cleaning equipment, etc.?
• Does your current layout allow for workers to easily access the cleaning equipment they need?
• How much time could you save if you made the process of cleaning equipment and machines more efficient?

A drive to improve sustainability: There is a growing movement to reduce the environmental impact of food processing operations. Some of this pressure comes from consumer and retailer demand. Increasingly, however, large companies are setting their own sustainability goals and using products that require renewable or fewer natural resources.

When it comes to sustainability efforts, consider the following questions:
• What are the key sustainability actions or practices considered most crucial by your company?
• Does your company have sustainability targets?
• Do you have expectations for suppliers?
• How do you evaluate suppliers that offer cleaning products with sustainability claims?

Efficiently maintain hygiene standards

Choosing the right products and placing them in strategic areas around a facility can help food-processing managers balance efficiency, safety and productivity with a more streamlined and organised workflow – even addressing sustainability concerns.

Hygiene compliance: Encouraging employees to follow compliance standards is often a matter of providing the right equipment in the right place. Therefore, 82 percent of food processing production managers say they have experienced production delays due to a compliance failure with hygiene protocols.1 However, 94 percent of production managers agree that increasing accessibility to hygiene and cleaning materials can improve employee compliance with those regulations.1

Productivity and efficiency: Streamlined workflows are key to improving productivity, say 97 percent of production managers, while 95 percent of them agree that a lack of readily available hygiene and cleaning supplies can negatively impact efficiency. Optimising workflows on the production floor with the efficient placement of easy-to-clean, high-capacity hygiene and cleaning dispensers can help workers find and retrieve materials quickly.

Sustainability: 95 percent of managers believe that lessening the negative impact of their business on the environment is important.1 Even small changes over time – such as using more environmentally sensitive products – can make a significant difference.

See how you can maintain efficient hygiene compliance with Tork. Tork offers a range of easy-to-clean, high-capacity hygiene products designed to help you continue to meet increasingly stringent standards while also supporting high productivity and efficiency.

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1 2021 Survey conducted by PRS Invivo in March 2021. The survey covered the US and Germany, with 100 respondents in each market.