Cleaning and Sanitation

Learn about the cleaning and sanitation requirements for meat and seafood processing.


  • Safe and effective cleaning and sanitation is required for meat and seafood processing. It has to be included in your food safety program.
  • You must have cleaning instructions, schedules and provide proper training for staff.
  • Cleaning and sanitation chemicals must always be available, safely used and safely stored.

Importance of cleaning and sanitation in meat and seafood processing

Keeping your premises and equipment clean and sanitised is critical because:

  1. It stops the growth and spread of harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. These bacteria in food can make people or pets very sick.
  2. It reduces the chance of cross-contamination from food residue left on surfaces. This helps manage the risk of allergens contaminating food.
  3. It is required by law. There are strict rules and standards for cleaning and sanitation in the meat, seafood and pet meat industries. You must follow these regulations to protect public health and avoid legal consequences.

Your cleaning and sanitation program

You must have a cleaning and sanitation program as part of your food safety program.

It needs to include:

  1. Cleaning instructions: Standard operating procedures (SOPs) for cleaning food contact surfaces (like equipment and utensils) and non-food contact surfaces (like walls, floors, ceilings and drains).
  2. Cleaning schedules: Clearly defined schedules for how often cleaning should happen, whether daily, weekly, or fortnightly. You need to keep records of your cleaning and any test results.
  3. Proper training: Staff to be trained on how to clean equipment, disassemble and assemble equipment safely, and use the right cleaning chemicals and doses.

Make sure you:

  • Provide the right tools and chemicals: Brushes, brooms, detergents, disinfectants, and protective gear to be always available. Personal protective equipment (PPE) to be always available.
  • Have a regular schedule: Areas where food is processed and the equipment is used to have a regular cleaning schedule.
  • Comply with regulations: If you follow the regulations your cleaning and sanitation will be done correctly and safely.