Per Michael Cramer, “Once a biofilm is determined to be present, it’s critical to remove the film and prevent if from re-forming. The removal, and prevention, are primarily through the sanitation process; using an effective chemical to help breakdown the film protective layer, employing mechanical action and application of a sanitizer that is effective against biofilms. Mechanical action, using scrub pads that won’t scratch surfaces or good quality brushes with resin-set bristles, is one of the most effective means of removing and preventing biofilm formation. In addition, inspection of equipment to look for harborage niches or opportunities to improve sanitary design can also help prevent formation.”
Now that you have an indication of biofilm presence on equipment, what do you do to eliminate it?
– Inspection = conduct a thorough inspection of the equipment, look for damage (scratches, etching) or insanitary design (bad welds, overlapping) that can be eliminated
– Cleaning = assess the cleaning procedures to assure that the 7-steps are followed and that this includes mechanical action; assess the cleaning materials that are used to assure that appropriate brushes are used, verify that the cleaning utensils are cleaned and sanitized periodically
– Chemical protocol = discuss biofilm removal with your chemical supplier, they can assist with implementation of a multi-step enzyme biofilm removal, as well as periodic application to prevent recurrence
– Sanitizing= select the sanitizer that is effective against removal and prevention of biofilm; one of the best for use is sodium hypochlorite, another is chlorine dioxide
Upon initial removal of the biofilm, it’s important to prevent return; include mechanical action to prevent the formation of the initial attachment, scrubbing will be done to remove soils and prevent attachment but not cause etching